Mercedes-Benz revives SLK compact roadster, now known as the SLC

Article by Andrew Christian, on January 5, 2016

The archetype roadster or the all American sporty looking car is a dream-come-true in past history. Now it is to be relaunched with enhanced technology and a distinctly new look to go with the times. Twenty years since its origin, the roadster is now to be presented to the public with a new name, the SLC. The Mercedes-Benz SLC’s name is a rational derivation of the C-Class to which it generously owes much of its technology.

There are new additions to the model series- the handsome, sporty looking spangling Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 and the entry-level SLC 180. Attractive features of the new editions include the standard diamond radiator grille and an optional LED sophisticated lighting system. We’re all still in the dark about the prices but these will soon be announced in the middle of January 2016. The SLC takes on the challenge to meet or surpass its predecessor’s success in the market.

Its predecessor is the SLK (launched in 1996) with a huge following and an astounding sales figure of 670,000 units. The ultimate in sleek elegance and class, with a model series ranging from the economically viable and high torque advantage SLC 250 to the sportsman’s choice, high-powered Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, the new model is certain to gain another triumph.

9G TRONIC is available in SLC 250, SLC 300 and the SLC 43. It is a gear point technology that allows for both sporty driving and comfort. It is also available in the SLC 180 with its 115 kW (156hp) and the SLC 200, but only as an option.

Ola Kallenius, Member of the Board of Daimier AG, Mercedes Benz Cars and Marketing, declares that in 1996, the company set the benchmarks for the roadster with its “innovative vario-roof, and combined open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather.” He added that this renamed compact roadster is attractive to both the intellect and the heart with its incredible combo of passion and common sense.

To further enhance the sporty look of the roadster, Mercedes Benz’s designers elongated the steeple looking raked, standard, radiator grille to make it appear like an arrow-shaped bonnet. These diamond radiator grilles are customary in all SLC models. Furthermore, they all have DYNAMIC Select buttons which allow for control over transmission, engine, steering, and suspension decisions by the driver.

DYNAMIC Select allows for immediate adjustments in characteristics with the push of a button. It is able to control systems in steering, transmission, engine and suspension.

The car becomes alive in the driver’s hands. The dashboard console holds the control panel with five modes of operation: Comfort, Sport+, Sport, Eco and Individual. This array of control selections is available in the colour multifunction display as well as in the pop-up message of the head unit display.

DYNAMIC Select is customarily built in SLC 300, SLC 200, SLC 43, SLC 250 and SLC 180. They all have the option for 9G TRONIC transmission mode to be fitted in. SLC 43 has an AMG exhaust system customarily built in and when the need arises to adjust sound from DYNAMIC Select by the two flaps of the exhaust system.

The SLC 300 also has a standardized built in exhaust system. The SLC 200 has this system combined with 9G TRONIC and an AMG line/sports package.

Exterior Design

As we all know, Mercedes Benz has done a good job in reinventing the core appearance of their new models for a more enhanced sporty look. The steeple like grill is more elongated to show off a bonnet-like appearance in the shape of an arrow. All SLC models have the standardized diamond radiator grille.

The colors differ, however. Entry-level models are done in black with chrome trim and silver, iridium louvre. The Night Package or the AMG Line has a more unique look with diamond radiator grilles done in chrome and the louvre is either in the usual iridium silver or a shiny black color.

The bumper is made to look more masculine and powerful with air intakes, dynamic contours, chrome trims and interesting headlamps. These headlamps contain LED daytime lighting whose lenses are polycarbonate with scratchproof coating.

The headlamp is a powerful black and with the LED lighting as an optional choice, the car cruises down the road at night with an appearance of muted, light that is deep and gives a sense of mood.

The silhouette is a beltline that rises subtly and the rooftop is wave of curve. The wheel arches are masterful in design while the wheels itself are 16 to 18 inch light alloy.

In the front wing are ventilation grilles like fins reminiscent of the Mercedes Benz-300 SL. The rear portion is defined by strong, willful wings. The tail lights are partially divided into three horizontal tiers.

Interior Design

The interior features fine marksmanship of great detail. The design is contemporary such as red needles in dials that give off a sporty, refined look. Aluminum is used for the trims and some carbon fibre are seen in the finishing for a luxurious feel. The screen has been greatly enlarged to 4.5 inches.

It is multifunctional with a TFT display and has colorful resolution. Screen surround is all black. There are dials for engine data and an optional analogue dial. The steering wheel is perforated for good grip.

There are controls for everything, ranging from the Memory package for the seat adjustments to DIRECT Select lever. The upholstery has been redone in Nappa leather in varying colors defying the sun’s rays. Another option is ambient lighting that creates a sense of space.

Powertrain

The entry-level SLC 180 has an output of 115 kW or 156 hp. Its NEDC consumption standard is a mere 5.6 liters per 100 km. The carbon dioxide emission is 127 g/km. Meanwhile, the models positioned higher are the SLC 200 with an output of135 kW or 184 hp and the SLC 300 with 180 kW or 245 hp. Both are powered by the 1991 cc four-cylinder engine.

When it comes to efficiency, the winner is the SLC 250 diesel model with an output of 150 kW or 204 hp, emitting carbon dioxide as little as 114 g/km. In terms of performance, AMG is unprecedented in its promise to deliver the best driving experience.

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 is truly admirable in style. This new model is impressive with a 270 kW (367hp), 520 Nm, 3.0 V6 biturbo engine with the renewed version of the AMG suspension a lot like the Mercedes-AMG SLK 55. This amalgamation of features is most apparent in the performance of SLC 43 which is a real sportsman’s dream gunning down the road at a pace of 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.

The SLC 180 and the SLC 200 are available with a 6-speed manual transmission. Also available for these models is the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, but only as an option. It is however, customarily built into SLC 250 d, SLC 300 and SLC 43.

Press Release

The new SLC: New name, new dynamic

In March 2016, 20 years on from the birth of its segment, the archetypal compact roadster is to be relaunched with a new name – the SLC – significantly optimised technology and an enhanced look. The name change acknowledges the traditionally close relationship with the C-Class, from which much of the roadster's technology is derived. There are new additions to the model line-up – the sporty top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 and the entry-level SLC 180. In visual terms, stand-out features include the standard-fit diamond radiator grille and the LED Intelligent Light System (optional extra). Prices will be announced when the SLC is available to order in mid-January 2016.

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 high-torque and economical SLC 250 d to the sporty, high-performance Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, the new model has what it takes to build on that success. The SLC 250 d, 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 new 115 kW (156 hp) SLC 180 and for the SLC 200.

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales & Marketing: "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 an ideal combination of passion and rational common sense, appealing to both the heart and the mind."

As part of the facelift, the Mercedes-Benz designers have further honed the 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.

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 behest.

The drive system: individual driving characteristics with DYNAMIC SELECT

The new entry-level model is the SLC 180 with an output of 115 kW (156 hp). It has an NEDC consumption figure of just 5.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 127 g/km. Positioned above this are the SLC 200 with an output of 135 kW (184 hp) and the SLC 300 with 180 kW (245 hp), both of which feature a 1991 cc four-cylinder engine. The efficiency champion remains the 150 kW (204 hp) diesel model, the SLC 250 d, with a CO2 figure of 114 g/km.

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 (367 hp), 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 180 and SLC 200 are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission. The sport/comfort-oriented 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is available for these models as an option and fitted as standard in the SLC 250 d, 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, steering and suspension at the driver's behest. 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 and SLC 250 d. In the SLC 180 and SLC 200 with 9G-TRONIC, transmission mode selection is available as an option. The SLC 43 features an AMG Sport exhaust system as standard and uses the two adjustable exhaust flaps to adapt the sound to the mode selected via DYNAMIC SELECT.

Drivers who choose the Dynamic Handling package (optional extra), which features a 10 mm lower chassis, an adaptive damping system, direct steering and ESP® Dynamic Cornering Assist, can also use DYNAMIC SELECT to specify the damping force in Comfort, Sport and Sport+ mode. Here the damping force at each individual wheel is automatically and continuously adapted to the current driving conditions.

With the sports exhaust system the sound experience can be intensified as the acoustics can be adjusted via an integral exhaust flap in conjunction with the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes. The SLC 300 is fitted with the sports exhaust system as standard, while it is available for the SLC 200 in conjunction with 9G-TRONIC and the AMG Line/Sports package.

Assistance and safety systems: a comprehensive range

A new feature for the SLC is the standard-fit Active Brake Assist, known in other model series as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. In addition to radar-based proximity warning and braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist, this Active Brake Assist system carries out autonomous braking to reduce the danger of rear-end collisions. If the driver fails to act when a risk of a collision is detected, despite the warning lamp in the instrument cluster and the intermittent audible alert, the system will initiate automatic braking. This significantly reduces the vehicle speed. At low relative speeds, this intervention may be sufficient to prevent a rear-end collision with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles. Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist also remain available.
For optimum visibility on country roads and motorways, when cornering and on bends, the optional LED Intelligent Light System automatically adapts to all light and driving conditions. The LED technology features low energy consumption, a long service life and a pleasant white light which approximates the daylight spectrum. The five functions of the LED Intelligent Light System include motorway mode, cornering light function, camera-based active light function, roundabout light function and also the enhanced fog light function.

Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus is also available for dazzle-free continuous high beam usage. When high beam is switched on, this system always makes the optimum headlamp range available. The driver can concentrate on the traffic and does not have to continually switch between low beam and high beam. Via a camera positioned behind the windscreen, the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus detects other illuminated road users, for example oncoming vehicles or vehicles travelling in front, and adjusts the headlamps independently to the new traffic conditions. A mechanism in the headlamp module masks the portion of the cone of light of the LED headlamps where there are other vehicles to prevent their drivers from being dazzled. The driver can therefore leave the high-beam headlamps on at all times and use their full range without bothering or endangering other road users. This function is active at speeds above 30 km/h when travelling in the dark on roads without street lighting.

Traffic Sign Assist is available in conjunction with COMAND Online. The system can recognise speed limit signs, no entry signs and no overtaking signs and shows the driver where any such restrictions start and finish. If the driver attempts to make a wrong turn against the stipulated flow of traffic and the appropriate signs are detected, a visual and audible warning will be given.
If the front passenger seat is unoccupied or a child seat is detected, the front passenger airbag is now deactivated automatically. This helps prevent small children from being injured by the front passenger airbag deploying. The reliable recognition function uses a pressure sensor.

Reversing into a parking space and manoeuvring can be made significantly safer and more straightforward with the optional reversing camera. It is automatically activated when reverse gear is engaged and uses the head unit display to show the driver the area behind the vehicle with dynamic guide lines. As an option, Parking Assist PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance can make locating a parking space and parallel parking easier.

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 when opening or closing the roof 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 automatic boot separator (in conjunction with the optional extra vario-roof convenience feature or KEYLESS-GO): if the separator is in the upper position for increased boot capacity, it automatically moves down when the roof is opened. If there is not enough space for this because the boot is full of luggage, the roof does not open and the message "Close boot separator" appears in the instrument cluster.

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 front 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 range of new and extended features:
  • High-resolution, colour media display (screen diagonal 17.8 cm/7 inches)
  • Fast, dynamic hard disc navigation with realistic topographical map views and three years of free navigation updates
  • Internet access when vehicle is stationary and unrestricted use of Mercedes‑Benz Apps when on the move too (in conjunction with an appropriate mobile phone)
  • DVD player
  • Internet radio
  • Bluetooth® connectivity with hands-free function, read function for text messages and audio streaming for music
  • LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, phone, navigation, music search and Mercedes-Benz Apps
  • 2 USB ports in centre armrest and one SD card slot in COMAND head unit
  • Integral Media Interface connection for iPod® or iPhone®
  • Phone book import from mobile to head unit
  • Cover Art: album covers displayed in audio menu
  • Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call
  • Mercedes me connect Standard Services (Accident Recovery, Breakdown Management, Maintenance Management and Telediagnostics), Remote Retrieval of Vehicle Status via Remote Online
  • The Audio 20 CD entertainment system has also been upgraded. It now features a bigger display (17.8 cm/7 inches) and can be combined with the Garmin® MAP PILOT navigation system; the navigation data is input using an SD card. Optimised route guidance is also available via Live Traffic Information.

Exterior design: diamond radiator grille and LED Intelligent Light System

As part of the facelift, the Mercedes-Benz designers have further honed the 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. On the entry-level model it is finished in black with an iridium silver louvre and chrome trim. A more individual look is available in conjunction with the AMG Line or the Night package: here the diamond radiator grille is finished in chrome, and the colour of the louvre either remains iridium silver (AMG Line) or is high-gloss black (Night package).

Further features of the masculine, sporty front section include a bumper which features striking air intakes, dynamically modelled contours and high-quality chrome trim at the lower edge, and distinctive headlamps. The LED daytime running lamps are integrated into the headlamp units. The lenses are made from clear polycarbonate and have a scratchproof coating. With the LED Intelligent Light System (optional extra), the edges and other parts of the headlamp housing are finished in black – conveying a high-level of perceived quality and an effective sense of depth.
The side view of the SLC reveals the typical features of a roadster with a long bonnet, a passenger compartment that is set back and a short rear. The silhouette is defined by the gently rising beltline and the sweeping curve of the roof, the powerfully moulded wheel arches, sporty 16 to 18-inch light-alloy wheels and the ventilation grilles in the front wing. The latter feature a high-sheen chrome fin which has echoes of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

Powerful proportions define the rear section with its muscular wings. The rear bumper with its black diffuser, chrome touches and integral tailpipe trim signal the dynamic potential of the SLC. The tail light units, which now have a narrower design, feature LED technology and are divided horizontally: the top and middle lights are the brake and tail light, and below them are the direction indicator and reversing light. The boot lid has a pronounced arrow shape and the third brake light is positioned in the spoiler lip.

The interior: larger display and electroplated control elements

The interior of the post-facelift SLC 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. The two tubular instrument surrounds now feature black dials. Red needles also add to the sporty, contemporary design.

A large, multifunction, colour TFT display with a screen diagonal of 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) is incorporated between the two dials as standard. An analogue clock with a black dial is available as an option. The display between the two ventilation outlets in the centre console has been significantly increased in size: in conjunction with Audio 20 it now has a diagonal of 7 inches (17.8 cm) instead of 5.8 inches (14.7 cm). The screen surround is in high-gloss black. Additional displays for vehicle parameters underline the sporty feel – as do the dials showing the engine data.

The electroplated control elements for the electrically adjustable seats (available in conjunction with the Memory package) and the electroplated steering wheel shift paddles, offered in conjunction with the AMG Line and Sports package, demonstrate an impressive attention to detail.

The new-generation sports steering wheel, perforated as standard in the grip area, and the DIRECT SELECT lever, embossed with SLC (in conjunction with 9G-TRONIC), also help create a sporty, refined feel. A new 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre is available as an option. The rim is flattened at the lower edge, the central grip area is trimmed with DINAMICA microfibre, and it features contrasting topstitching in red plus silver chrome trim and shift paddles.

The leather appointments have also been revised. With "sun-reflecting leather upholstery", for example, the shoulder area of the seats features a new perforated design, while with "sun-reflecting nappa leather" the seats now feature transverse fluting in the selected appointments colour. The piping and topstitching are in a contrasting colour. Two new colours have also been added – saddle brown (in conjunction with nappa leather and Exclusive nappa leather) and platinum white (in conjunction with nappa leather, Exclusive nappa leather, designo nappa leather and designo Exclusive nappa leather).

The ambient lighting (optional extra) has been extended to the footwell, creating a more generous sense of space. As well as solar red there are now two additional colours – polar blue and polar white.

Heritage: 20th anniversary of the original launch

The SLK's debut appearance back in 1996 caused a sensation. Not only was this a compact roadster from Mercedes-Benz but it featured vibrant yellowstone launch paintwork and, instead of the traditional soft top, a tough vario-roof. The SLK marked the start of a new era for the traditional Mercedes-Benz brand and its roof design served as a model for many other open-top vehicles.
Beneath its outer shell, it used a lot of technology from the C-Class. That remains unchanged to this day. Which is why, in the light of the company's nomenclature changes, it was deemed fitting that the roadster should continue its successful career under the new name SLC.

The second generation of the SLK was launched in March 2004. A front section based on the nose cone of a Formula 1 car underlined its sporty nature, as did the new top-of-the-line model, the SLK 55 AMG.

The Geneva Motor Show in spring 2005 saw the unveiling of the prototype SLK 320 CDI, which featured a pioneering 286 hp triturbo diesel engine. This never saw series production, but the roadster/diesel combination was successfully achieved as part of the third generation, launched in March 2011, which brought with it the SLK 250 CDI. Another new feature of the third SLK was the ingenious vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which allowed a glass panel in the roof to be switched from transparent to dark at the touch of a button.

The new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Performance roadster from Affalterbach

Affalterbach. There need be no contradiction between high driving dynamics and low fuel consumption. This is proved by the new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43: thanks to the combination of 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine and 9G-TRONIC sports transmission, the 270 kW (367 hp) roadster consumes just 7.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (NEDC, combined). Consequently, the open-top two-seater not only uses 0.6 l/100 km less than its predecessor, the SLK 55 with V8 naturally aspirated engine, but is also the most efficient six-cylinder performance roadster on the market. The specially developed suspension and model-specific mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit are designed for high lateral acceleration and low roll. Even greater driving dynamics is optionally available with the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive adjustable damping and the Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
Compact, powerful and economical: "The new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 unites the classic virtues of a roadster with exemplary efficiency. Weighing less and with lower fuel consumption, the new SLC 43 delivers a similar performance to the SLK 55 on the race track. This vehicle provides typical AMG driving pleasure in a compact open-top two-seater in line with the needs of today's market," says Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers.

The 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine offers impressive performance with its 270 kW (367 hp) maximum power and peak torque of 520 Newton-metres: sprinting from rest to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, its top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The key factors behind the snappy, agile roadster driving experience are the newly developed front and rear axles, new engine/rear-axle gear unit mountings, stiff elastokinematics and highly precise steering. Even greater transverse dynamics is made possible by the optional Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.

New model, new nomenclature

The new SLC 43 represents the entry point into the current roadster world of AMG. Apart from the renaming of the SLK to SLC, the open-top two-seater also comes with a new AMG nomenclature. The familiar two-digit combination typical of AMG underscores the SLC's unmistakable membership of the AMG family. Due to its overall "engineered in Affalterbach" package of typical AMG driving dynamics, engine response and high efficiency, the SLC 43 is very competitively positioned in the segment. The 43 stands for the further-developed AMG 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine. The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 is therefore the first V6 model from Affalterbach to feature the new nomenclature. This will be successively introduced to the future model portfolio.

The highlights

  • 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with AMG-specific engine management and increased charge-air pressure
  • 9G-TRONIC sports transmission with double-declutching function on downshifts and thrillingly short response times in the Sport + transmission mode or in manual gearshift mode
  • Specially developed front and rear axles with new elastokinematics
  • Stiffer mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit
  • High-performance braking system with larger brake discs
  • AMG design with specific front and rear aprons, exhaust tailpipes and wheel arch covers integrated into rear wheel arch trims
  • Diamond radiator grille in chrome with louvre in high-gloss black
  • 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in high-gloss black with high-sheen
  • Instrument cluster in chequered flag design with 280 km/h scale
  • Multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather with perforations in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching
  • Upholstery in black nappa leather / DINAMICA microfibre with sports seat upholstery layout and red piping and topstitching, with model-specific door centre panel
  • The key options
  • Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on rear axle
  • AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adaptive adjustable damping
  • Night package with front splitter and trim strip in diffuser in high-gloss black as well as black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes
  • Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, with flattened bottom section, red contrasting topstitching and red 12 o'clock marking
  • High on power, low on consumption: the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine

The new SLC models from Mercedes-Benz come exclusively with a four-cylinder powerplant. The six-cylinder engine is reserved for the SLC 43 from Mercedes‑AMG: the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine is characterised by a high power output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The high power output of 270 kW (367 hp) is attributable to, among other things, the 1.1 bar charge-air pressure. Especially tough and, therefore, wear-resistant, the NANOSLIDE coating on the cylinder liners reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injection with up to 200 bar fuel pressure. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover.

Short shift times: the 9G-TRONIC sports transmission

The 9G-TRONIC sports transmission is specially matched to the demands of the SLC 43. By specifically adapting the software, the AMG developers have been able to significantly shorten the shift times. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport +" transmission modes makes for an even more emotive driving experience. In "Sport +" mode, partial ignition interruptions provide even faster gearshifts.

The standard-fit shift paddles allow lightning-fast manual shifting of the automatic transmission without the driver needing to take their hands off the steering wheel. Shifting in "Manual" mode, which is activated using a separate button next to the selector lever, is twice as fast as in the other transmission modes. Also, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.

Two options: the sports suspension

With the standard sports suspension or the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adjustable damping, the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 offers two suspension options designed for high lateral acceleration and reduced roll. Common to both suspensions are the specially developed front and rear axles, which guarantee precise wheel location and high camber stability on compression and rebound.

The three-link front axle has been provided with stiffer steering knuckles, improved elastokinematics and increased negative camber. In combination with the likewise newly developed wishbone guide bearings, this design results in significantly more agile cornering, more precise and direct suspension feedback from the road and fast cornering speeds.

The four-link rear axle with optimised elastokinematics, increased negative camber and special forged-aluminium track rods not only improves the driving dynamics, but also makes the SLC 43 more controllable when driven at the limit.

The special AMG mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit offer the ideal compromise between handling and comfort. They also contribute to the snappy and highly stable driving impression given by the roadster.

With its automatic adjustable damping system, the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension allows an even more personalised suspension set-up, with each wheel being individually electronically controlled. The three suspension settings "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport +" can be selected by the driver via the transmission modes using the DYNAMIC SELECT button.

Optimal traction: the optional rear-axle limited-slip differential

The mechanically controlled AMG limited-slip differential on the rear axle makes for improved traction and handling in all driving situations, particularly when the driver adopts a sporty driving style. This is achieved by reducing the slip on the inside driven wheel when cornering, without control intervention in the brakes. When there is a difference in rotational speed between the rear wheels, the torque is distributed to the wheel with the better grip in order to reduce wheel spin.

The benefits are:

  • better acceleration out of bends
  • better acceleration from rest
  • greater stability on braking and at high speed
  • Safe and fade-resistant: the high-performance braking system

The AMG high-performance braking system is characterised by excellent deceleration, high fade resistance and precise brake control. Large-sized, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs are capable of absorbing plenty of braking energy and quickly dissipating the arising heat. Lightweight aluminium brake calipers reduce the unsprung mass, resulting in improved handling and comfort.

Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

With the five DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual, the driver can change the characteristics of the SLC 43 at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension and steering. The modes are selected using a button in the centre console control panel.

DYNAMIC SELECT at a glance

"Eco" transmission mode: all parameters are programmed for maximum efficiency. The ECO start/stop and coasting functions (overrun mode for fuel-saving vehicle operation) are activated.
"Comfort" transmission mode: comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
"Sport" transmission mode: sporty characteristics thanks to a more agile response to accelerator commands, shorter shift times, earlier downshifts and more emotive gearshifts owing to double-declutching. A more dynamic set-up of suspension and steering.

"Sport +" transmission mode: extremely sporty characteristics thanks to an even more agile throttle response, increased acoustic emphasis on double-declutching on downshifts as well as selective torque control on upshifts with cylinder suppression for optimal shift times. Increased idle speed for faster pull-away. An even more dynamic set-up of suspension, steering and drivetrain.
"Individual" transmission mode: personalised set-up of drive, suspension, steering, air conditioning and ECO start/stop function.

Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Further personalisation of the driving dynamics is possible by means of the ESP® button, which offers a choice between three control strategies for the Electronic Stability Program:

  • ESP® "ON": early system intervention without adversely affecting the sporty character
  • ESP® "SPORT HANDLING MODE": late system intervention for a sporty driving style
  • ESP® "OFF": system deactivated for an extremely sporty driving style on closed racing circuits
  • Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering

With its permanent, direct transmission ratio of 15.5 : 1, the speed-sensitive sports steering supports the new SLC 43's agile cornering while additionally impressing with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The steering power assistance is variable with two modes (Comfort and Sport). It is automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalised in Individual mode.

Typical of AMG: an emotively appealing sound

The new SLC 43 also meets the personal wishes of the driver when it comes to acoustics: the standard-fit sports exhaust system comes with two automatically map-controlled exhaust flaps. In the "Eco" and "Comfort" transmission modes, the flaps remain closed most of the time, this resulting in an acoustically restrained note from the six-cylinder biturbo engine. In the "Sport" and "Sport +" modes, the exhaust flaps open earlier and more spontaneously, especially if the driver prefers a dynamic driving style. The effect: the typical, emotively appealing AMG engine sound. The statutory noise prevention limits are met in all transmission modes.

Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design

Numerous design features immediately identify the new SLC 43 as a member of the Mercedes-AMG family. With an emphasis on width, the front view is dominated by the air deflector in brand-typical "A-wing" form, which is in high-gloss black. The large outer air intakes come with silver chrome fins and are edged by black flics. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules. It also makes the roadster appear hug the road more closely. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins and a louvre in high-gloss black.
The side view is dominated by high-sheen 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black. The exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black act as additional distinguishing features. The front wings come with a silver chrome fin as well as biturbo lettering. With its AMG spoiler lip, the rear end, too, boasts a characteristic look, with two quad-flow chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes conveying an especially sporty note. The diffuser-look rear apron trim is in silver chrome.

The unique selling points include a diversity of available roof variants. In addition to the standard vario roof, there is a choice between the panoramic vario roof with a large glass element and the panoramic vario roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL selectable brightness control.

Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design

The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias of the new SLC 43 with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black nappa leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching, with the perforated grip area lying especially well in the hand.

The contoured sports seats give the driver ideal lateral support, including when a dynamic driving style is adopted. The upholstery in sun-reflecting nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre with model-specific seat layout, red piping and topstitching meets the highest standards in terms of material quality, look and feel. The perforations in the shoulder area and on the seat cushions stop the driver working up a sweat. The seat design is complemented by the door centre panels in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre. In the optionally available Exclusive nappa leather version, the instrument panel, beltlines and door centre panels are covered in high-grade leather.

The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimised for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look & feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 11.4 cm (4.5-inch) multifunction colour display, RACETIMER and 280 km/h scale in chequered flag design.

Suitability for everyday use is additionally enhanced by intelligent comfort functions such as optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating, operation of the vario roof while driving (up to 40 km/h, initiated below 5 km/h) and automatic closing of the boot separator.

Even greater individualisation: the options

The new SLC 43 offers even further scope for individualisation with selected options, these including the Handling package, which comes with features designed to support an ambitious driving style on the racing circuit. They also include the mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential and an additional engine radiator at the front. The vehicle's proximity to motor sport is visually underscored by red-painted brake callipers, a Performance steering wheel in nappa leather with DINAMICA microfibre in the grip area and red topstitching as well as an analogue clock in IWC design.
Other options include the LED Intelligent Light System with brand-typical eyebrows, several 18-inch wheel/tyre combinations, the AMG Night package, exclusive designo paint finishes, various leather upholstery options, the COMAND Online infotainment and communications system, a Harman Kardon® Logic 7® Surround Sound system as well as ambience lighting in solar red, polar blue or polar white.

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