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Mercedes SLK becomes SLC

By raccars Published

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The Mercedes SLK is not actually being replaced but merely updated, however it has been renamed the SLC as part of Mercedes-Benz's new naming structure.

New naming structure sees SLC replace Mercedes SLK

The facelift involves a number of cosmetic tweaks and some mechanical updates, but the new name is the most dramatic part of the update. The Mercedes Benz SLK-Class will now clearly belong to the brand's 'C' level in its model line-up, together with the C-Class and the GLC SUV. The SLC will be junior to the new SL model, while there will also be an updated range-topping AMG variant, to be called the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43.

The changes start from the bottom up and the range will include a new entry-level SLC180, but this will not be sold in the UK initially. It will be powered by a four cylinder 1.6 litre turbo unit producing 154bhp. Next up is the SLC200, clearly a direct replacement for the SLK200 and replacing the outgoing 1.8 litre engine with a new 2.0 litre unit with the same power output, 181bhp, but some useful extra torque.

The SLK250 becomes the SLC300, with an uprated version of the 2.0 litre engine already mentioned, tuned to produce 242bhp. It appears that the SLK350 is to be phased out, with no direct replacement announced. An SLC250d will be the only diesel model in the range, using the SLK 250 CDI's existing, rather speedy 201bhp 2.0 litre unit, capable of reaching 62mph in 6.6 seconds. This makes it faster than the SLC200 which takes 6.9 seconds to do the same.

The two base models will be fitted with a six speed manual transmission while the remainder of the range is treated to the economical nine speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, which will help the SLC250d to achieve 64.2mpg and 114g/km in CO2 emissions.

Aesthetically, fans will notice revisions to the front end with larger air intakes and a new grille and headlamp arrangement, updated to follow the brand's current design language. The rear end displays a new LED tail light cluster, a revised bumper incorporating the tailpipes and a noticeably more prominent rear wing.

The folding hard top's opening mechanism has been streamlined with some additional automation and can now be used up to 25mph rather than the current arrangement, which can only be used at a standstill and with some manual intervention in placing the luggage cover. The Magic Sky Control electrochromatic glass roof will still be available, allowing drivers to control the level of light entering the cockpit.

The interior won't change very much other than some minor trim updates, a larger infotainment screen with extra functionality, a more modern instrument binnacle and a new steering wheel. There's extra safety kit on board including the autonomous braking Active Brake Assist feature. Customers can also choose from some new colourways.

Mercedes-AMG SLC43

The new halo model will be dubbed the Mercedes-AMG SLC43, replacing the SLK55 AMG. It will use the S400 Coupe's 3.0 litre twin turbo V6, driving the rear wheels with 362bhp. That's less outright power than its naturally aspirated predecessor, which produced an extra 53bhp from of its 5.5 litre V8, but an extra torque boost in the lower registers should make for far more entertaining driving dynamics. In performance terms there will be very little - if any - difference in off the line or top speeds but the new unit will be a little cleaner and more economical.

Deliveries of the new range are slated for spring, after the new model makes its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January.

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