Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new generation two-seat roadster, called the ‘R173’ SLC. Replacing the R172 SLK, the SLC is the mid-cycle facelift with minor updates.
The biggest changes are under the bonnet, with a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 on the SLC 43 AMG. Opening the range is the 135kW/300Nm SLC 200, with the SLC 300 offering a higher state of tune at 180Kw and 370Nm from a similar 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder.
Europeans have a choice of oil-burner as well, with the 149kW 2.1-litre SLC 250d, with an official fuel consumption rate of 4.4L/100km. Despite the economy, acceleration from 0-100km/h comes up in 6.6 seconds. The sprint for the 200 and 300 are 7.9 and 7.0 seconds, respectively, with the 43 AMG achieving it in 4.7 seconds.
The new V6 AMG engine produces 270kW and 520Nm, while returning an average consumption of 7.8L/100km – an improvement of 8 per cent over the V8-engined SLK 55 AMG. The trade-off to this efficiency is a 0-100km/h time 0.1 seconds slower. A benefit of the switch, aside from less weight, is better emissions, rated at 178g/km.
Transmission choices range from a six-speed manual on the SLC 200 and 300, and a nine-speed automatic available across the range. Suspension changes including new axles, stiffer sub-frame mountings and sharper steering point to a more focused driving experience, while a limited-slip diff is available in the ‘Handling’ package.
Styling changes are not substantial, but the cabin gets a 7.0-inch touch-screen display with updated apps, while there’s also new technologies including Collision Prevention Assist Plus, optional LED lighting, and Traffic Sign recognition. Pricing and local specifications are expected to come closer to the car’s 2016 launch.