Connect 4: Mercedes Roadsters, CAR+ February 2016

Published: 20 January 2016

► Exploring the family tree of Merc's new SLC roadster
► Replaces SLK, which was Merc's first metal drop top
► No entry-level 1.6-litre turbo for UK; AMG V6 instead

What’s my name again?

Mercedes SLC (2016)

Sadly the UK doesn’t get the new entry-level 1.6-litre turbo version of this born-again SLK, but we do get the new 362bhp AMG V6. Dynamic Select driving modes, optional handling package and sports exhaust promise extra thrills, new name aligns refreshed model with C-class. On sale April.

Heavy metal hardtop - the SLK featured Merc's first ever metal drop top

Heavy metal hardtop

Mercedes SLK (1996-2004)

The new SLC’s most direct progenitor is the original SLK. Launched 20 years ago, this was also the first Mercedes to feature a folding metal hardtop. Built to be Sporty, Light and Kurz (short), we guess two out of three ain’t bad – with it’s old-school recirculating ball steering it was never great to drive.

SL(C) remains Merc's longest-lived model after the G-class

Oi, grandad!

Mercedes SL(C) (1971-1989)

The premier owner of the Mercedes SLC moniker was actually the coupe version of the R107 SL convertible. On sale for a decade, this slightly awkward-looking four-seater fixed-head had an unlikely side-line as a rally car, while its drop-top version remains Merc’s longest-lived model after the G-class.

The 300 SL was downsized both in terms of engine and shape to create the 190 SL

Downsizing is nothing new

Mercedes 190 SL (1955-1963)

A blatant effort to cash in on the period cachet of the superstar 300 SL, the more affordable 190 SL had similar looks but ditched the spaceframe chassis for a cut-down saloon platform. Merc also lopped a couple of cylinders off the 300’s 3.0-litre straight-six to create the 190’s 1.9-litre four.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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