The new Mercedes-Benz SLC has an impressive heritage to live up to: its predecessor, the SLK, which was launched in 1996, won fans around the world and achieved sales of around 670,000 units. Comprehensively refined and with a model line-up ranging from the efficient SL 200 to the sporty, high-performance Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, the new model has what it takes to build on that success. The SLC 300 and SLC 43 feature the sport/comfort-oriented 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard, while it is available as an option for the 135 kW SLC 200.
“In 1996 Mercedes-Benz redefined the roadster with its innovative vario-roof, and combined open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather. The renamed compact roadster remains the ideal combination of passion and rational common sense, appealing to both the heart and the mind,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
As part of the facelift, the Mercedes-Benz designers have further honed the cult roadster’s sporty look. The new front section, where the steeply raked radiator grille elongates the appearance of the arrow-shaped bonnet, is particularly striking. All SLC models feature a diamond radiator grille as standard. Its interior, post facelift, has an even higher-quality look. Highlights include new light (standard) or dark aluminium trim parts with a carbon-fibre finish. The instrument cluster has a new design too.
With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted instantly at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the engine, transmission, steering and suspension at the driver’s request.
The new model line-up at a glance:
|SLC 200||SLC 300||SLC 43|
|Number of cylinders/ arrangement||4/in-line||4/in-line||6/V|
(kW at r/min)
|135 at 5500||180 at 5500||270 at 5500-6000|
(Nm at r/min)
|NEDC consumption (l/100 km) urban/extra-urban/comb.||8.1/4.9/6.1
|Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)||154||144||178|
0-100 km/h (sec)
|Top speed (km/h)||240 (237)||(250)||(250)|
|Price from:||R680 600||R753 400||R988 000|
In brackets: figures for version with 9G-TRONIC.
Drive system: individual driving characteristics with DYNAMIC SELECT: The entry-level model is the SLC 200 with an output of 135 kW. It has an NEDC consumption figure of just 5.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 154 g/km. Positioned above this is the SLC 300 with 180 kW), featuring a 1991 cc four-cylinder engine.
Driving Performance is the AMG brand promise – and the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 lives up to it in impressive style. The new model combines a 270 kW, 520 Nm, 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with a modified version of the AMG sports suspension familiar from the Mercedes-AMG SLK 55, and the combination is reflected in the sporty performance figures, with the SLC 43 accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.
The SLC 200 is fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission. The sport/comfort-oriented 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is available as an option for the SLC 200 and fitted as standard in the SLC 300 and SLC 43.
With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted instantly at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the engine, transmission and steering at the driver’s request. The five modes – “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “Eco” and “Individual” – are easy to select using the DYNAMIC SELECT button in the upper control panel on the dashboard console. The selected mode is shown on the colour multifunction display and also appears as a pop-up message on the head unit display. DYNAMIC SELECT is a standard feature in the SLC 300. In the SLC 200, transmission mode selection is available in conjunction with the optional 9G-TRONIC.
Assistance and safety systems: a comprehensive range: A new feature for the SLC is the standard-fit Active Brake Assist, known until now as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. In addition to a visual proximity warning and an additional audible collision warning, it includes Adaptive Brake Assist, which can help prevent collisions by boosting the brake pressure to suit the situation. Should the risk of collision remain and the driver fails to react, the system can trigger autonomous braking.
The Lane tracking package includes Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist and is also available as an option across the range.
For optimum visibility on country roads and highways, when cornering and on bends, the optional LED Intelligent Light System automatically adapts to all light and driving conditions. Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus is also available for dazzle- free continuous high beam usage. This system always automatically sets the optimum headlamp range. The driver can concentrate on the traffic and does not have to continually switch between low beam and high beam.
If the front passenger seat is unoccupied or a child seat is detected, the front passenger airbag is automatically deactivated. This helps prevent small children from being injured by the front passenger airbag deploying. The reliable recognition function uses a pressure sensor.
Comfort appointments: vario-roof now even easier to operate: The SLC’s vario-roof combines open-top driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather. Operating the electrohydraulic roof is now even more straightforward. If while the roof is opening or closing the vehicle has to move off due to the traffic conditions, the process which was started when at a standstill can be continued up to a speed of approx. 40 km/h. Another new feature is the semi-automatic boot separator (in conjunction with the optional vario-roof convenience feature or optional KEYLESS-GO): if the separator is in the upper position for increased boot capacity, it automatically moves down when the roof is opened.
Even with the top down, optional features ensure that the SLC is able to offer the perfect on-board climate. These features include heated seats and AIRSCARF, the neck-level heating system for the driver and passenger, ideally in combination with one of the two available draught-stops. The small side window behind the door can now be closed separately when the top is down, reducing wind noise.
A feature that continues to be unique to the SLC is the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL – this glass roof is lightened or darkened at the touch of a button. This means that it provides an open-air feeling at any time, but when required gives welcome shade under a hot sun.
The classic strengths of the SLC also include its well-designed boot, which at 335 litres has easily the highest capacity in this segment.
Infotainment: extended functions for COMAND Online: As a control and display system for navigation, phone, audio, video and internet, the COMAND Online infotainment system offers a wide range of new and extended features. These include the 7-inch (17.8 cm) high-resolution TFT display and internet access from the stationary vehicle, plus unrestricted use of the Mercedes-Benz Apps when on the move too (in conjunction with an appropriate mobile phone).
The Audio 20 CD entertainment system has also been upgraded. It now features a larger 7-inch (17.8 cm) display and can be combined with the Garmin® MAP PILOT navigation system; the navigation data here is input using an SD card. Optimised route guidance is also available via Live Traffic Information.