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2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class unveiled

The wraps are off the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class prior to its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Previously known as the SLK, the 2-seat roadster has been redesigned to go along with the name change. It sports a new look, upgraded technology, enhanced features and a new Mercedes-AMG SLC43 variant to compliment the standard SLC300. The new range goes on sale here next spring.

More engaging design

The new SLC-Class duo boasts an edgier look highlighted by new fascias and bolder lighting elements. Up front, a diamond-shaped grille is framed by more prominent air intakes and restyled headlamps can be upgraded to full Dynamic LED spec. The rear has slimmer LED lamps and a recast diffuser/exhaust outlets. In keeping with tradition, the AMG version is more aggressive while the SLC300 can be enhanced with an AMG-inspired Sport Package.

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Inside, the 2016 SLC300 and SLC43 AMG have a more sophisticated look set off by upgraded leather upholstery and new aluminum trim elements with a carbon fiber finish and high-gloss black accents. A new multifunction sport steering wheel overlooks an upgraded instrument cluster with a 4.5-inch TFT driver info display and the car's high-res center screen has been upsized from 5.8 to 7.0 inches. That larger viewing area lets those aboard take full advantage of M-B's enhanced Comand infotainment system that now offers hard-disc navigation with three years of free map updates, Internet access when the vehicle is stationary as well as full-time access to M-B Apps. Bespoke elements in the AMG cabin include sport seats, unique graphics and trim bits.

Smarter power top

The 2017 SLC-Class upgrade also extends to its retractable hardtop. The electro-hydraulically actuated roof can now be raised or lowered at speeds up to 25 mph and a new feature will either lower the trunk separator element automatically when the roof is opened or refuse to initiate the process and advise the driver if there's insufficient free space in the trunk to stow the top. The standard panoramic roof can be had with optional Magic Sky Control that lightens or darkens the glass at the touch of a button.

A 241-horsepower/2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine linked to a 9-speed automatic transmission continues to provide motive force for the 2017 SLC300, while the SLC43 AMG employs a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 362 horses. Also backed by an AMG-enhanced paddle-shift 9-speed automatic, it trims the 0-60 mph interval from 5.7 to 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.

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As always, the chassis design and tuning also is model specific, although both variations share a multi-mode Dynamic Select system that modifies the steering feel and suspension as well as throttle response and transmission shift mapping at the push of a button. Buyers of the SLC300 looking for a bit more sport can opt for a Dynamic Handling package that brings adaptive damping and ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist while those stepping up to the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 can augment the already tauter underpinnings and quicker steering with optional AMG Ride Control sport suspension and an optional limited-slip rear differential.

Pricing, final packaging and EPA numbers for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 and Mercedes-AMG SLC43 will be released closer to their actual on-sale dates.


 

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