Ahead of 2016 NAIAS Detroit, Mercedes introduces the new SLC, a facelift for the current SLK, that also changs its name and adapts it to the new nomenclature. The name change acknowledges the close relationship with the C-Class, from which much of the roadster’s technology is derived.

The SLK, which was launched in 1996, won fans around the world and achieved sales of around 670,000 units. Now, the SLC will have to keep up that high level.

The facelift brings new design details like the front section, where the steeply raked radiator grille elongates the appearance of the arrow-shaped bonnet. All SLC models feature a diamond radiator grille as standard.

The new entry-level model is the SLC 180 with an output of 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 184 hp and the SLC 300 with 180 245 hp, both of which feature a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. The efficiency champion remains the 204 hp diesel model, the SLC 250d, with a CO2 figure of 114 g/km.

The SLC 180 and SLC 200 are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission. The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is available for these models as an option and fitted as standard in the SLC 250d and SLC 300.

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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.

The SLC’s vario-roof combines open-top driving pleasure with comfort in poor weather. 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 approximately 40 km/h. 

Even if outside is cold, the SLC can get its roof down. Mercedes offers 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.

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Inside, a large, multifunction, colour TFT display with a screen diagonal of 4.5 inches 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 instead of 5.8 inches. The screen surround is in high-gloss black. 

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.