1996 was a time of great changes in the motoring world. GM produced their last full size sedans, and Mercedes introduced the SLK. Yes, the small roadster gave us twenty years of top-down excitement but for 2017 is has been replaced by the SLC. Aside from the abbreviation of Utah’s only metropolis, the new SLC incorporates many features of the larger models into a nimble and sporty experience.
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As a spiritual successor to the SLK 230 Kompressor, the new SLC43 packs a 3.0-liter V6 with twin turbochargers. Horsepower is rated at 362 with torque at 384 lb-ft. Not too long ago, building a short wheelbase two-seat roadster with almost 400 hp would seem unthinkable because the car would be uncontrollable.The AMG handling package is optional, although it contains features that should be standard equipment. For $2,000 on top of the $60,300 base price, you will have a limited slip differential, red calipers and the flat bottom steering wheel.
Thanks to incredible engine and stability systems, the SLC is a wise choice for safety. Active head restraints and the latest in curtain airbags offer more than any other compact two-seater. If the climate doesn’t allow for top-down motoring, Magic Sky Control is a $2,500 option borrowed from big brother SL. This electro-chromatic glass in the hard top isn’t exactly magic, nor does it control the sky but it sounds better than dimmable roof panel. Appealing to creatures of the night, the AMG night package is a $925 group of gloss black spoilers front and rear, with black chrome exhaust. It also adds canards onto the front apron for a racy look.
We spent a week of daily driving the SLC43 and it doesn’t disappoint. Our only gripe is the AMG name being used on V6 cars. Yes, it is a quick car, but $75,375 is a heavy window sticker for 362 horsepower. Curb weight is listed at 3,351 lbs, which is decent considering the amenities like the folding hard top and Harmon/Kardon audio. Mercedes knows their target audience is willing to pay a little more for the quality, and that is what the SLC delivers.