[Video] Mercedes-Benz premieres the SLC as replacement for SLK cabrio [gallery] image

The German premium automaker has officially unveiled online the facelifted SLK cabrio – renamed from now on as the SLC and ready to be presented in front of the world wide audience in January during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The new 2017 SLC is essentially a refreshed and renamed version of the well known SLK, which now has a completely new front fascia with new bumper, a modified diamond radiator grille as well as new headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. The modifications continue in the back with a refreshed and more dynamic bumper, new LED taillights, and a reworked dual exhaust system.

“In 1996 Mercedes-Benz redefined the roadster with its innovative vario-roof, and combined open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather. The renamed compact roadster remains an ideal combination of passion and rational common sense, appealing to both the heart and the mind,” commented Ola Källenius, the Daimler member of the board in charge of Mercedes marketing and sales.

The model also features the iconic hard-top retractable roof in an improved version, which can be opened and closed at up to 25 mph (40 km/h). The cabin has not been modified as extensively but we noticed the new sports steering wheel, the refreshed instrument cluster and the aluminum finish with a carbon-fiber inspired fit. There’s also new leather upholstery and Nappa leather and an improved COMAND infotainment system with a seven inch screen of higher resolution.

The chassis features the well known DYNAMIC SELECT module that allows easy adjustment of the engine, transmission, steering and suspension – the available options are “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “Eco” and “Individual”. The feature is standard in the SLC 300 and SLC 250 d. And the feature also works in conjunction with the optional Dynamic Handling package (10 mm lower chassis, adaptive damping system, direct steering and ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist).

The new base model is the SLC 180 with a 4-in line engine churning out 156 hp, followed by the SLC 200 that develops 184 hp and the SLC 300 with 245 hp. There’s also the efficiency champ – the 250 d with 204 hp and an average economy of 4.4 liters per 100 km. The engines can be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox – exclusive to the SLC 180 and SLC 200, while the others will receive as standard the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission.

Naturally the star of the show is the new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, which has gone down from the SLK55 AMG moniker that used to be powered by a more elegant V8. It now uses a V6 configuration and the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo delivers 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Nm for a 0-100 km/h time (0-62 mph) of 4.7 seconds. It has been mated to the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and comes with a modified version of the AMG sports suspension that was used by the predecessor.