Five things you need to know about the Mercedes SLK/SLC
Discover the key features of the SLC, the replacement for the historically popular SLK.
Mercedes-Benz confused the market when it launched the SLC, which is neither a new car nor a facelift, but a sort of hybrid of the two. It’s mostly based on the SLK that it replaces, but it’s a lot more than just a reskin.
The body structure is the same
Under the metal, SLK and SLC are very close bedfellows: the differences between the two are largely skin deep. Practically all of the surfaces and panels have been restyled, the headlights echo those of the E-Class and the front air intake is wider and deeper. Meanwhile, at the rear, the SLC gets a deeper bumper and slim twin exit exhausts.
The folding hardtop has a name
Mercedes didn’t invent the folding hardtop – that honour belongs with Peugeot in the 1930s – but it did popularise the concept with the original SLK in 1996. And the clever multi-layered roof has a name of its own. Called VarioRoof, the fundamental design of the roof system hasn’t changed in a quarter of a century. Nor does it need to.
The SLC has a four-cylinder 1.6!
A four-pot 1.6 might not sound like sports car material, but the entry-level SLC actually makes a lot of sense.
Called the SLC 180, it has a turbocharged, 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a six-speed manual gearbox, producing 154bhp. The engine is lifted from the A-Class and gives decent fuel economy of 48.7mpg. CO2 emissions of 132g/km aren’t too bad either. And it’ll still do 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds. It’s a great choice.
There are AMG models of both
Both the SLK and the SLC boast a bonkers AMG variant. In the SLK, the 55 AMG model has a naturally aspirated 5.5-litre V8 that’s wonderfully smooth and makes an incredible noise.
The SLC takes a less traditional approach. The 43 AMG has a 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 that’s more fuel and CO2 efficient. It’s equally quick, if not more so, but somehow doesn’t have the same character.
The SLK models are terrific value
With the SLC having been part of the Mercedes-Benz range since 2017, the SLK is getting to be an older model. But as it looks so similar to its predecessor, it still has a fresh appearance and that makes it a terrific value alternative if you’re not looking to spend as much.
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Published: September 17, 2021