Mercedes SLC revealed: a new name and a new face for SLK in 2016

Published: 15 December 2015

► New name for Mercedes SLK
► Fresh lights, grille, bumpers
► Revised range topped by 360bhp AMG 43

Ready for a fresh round of Mercedes name-based confusion? This is the new Mercedes SLC, the facelifted, renamed and all-round refreshed SLK for 2016.

Talk me through the new name

‘SLC’ is one of the final pieces in Mercedes’ new naming structure puzzle. Merc has embarked on a reshuffle of its model names across the board for 2016 – explained here. As part of the same restructure, the SUV previously known as the Mercedes GLK is now called the GLC.

‘The name change acknowledges the traditionally close relationship with the C-class, from which much of the roadster's technology is derived’ is the official line from Stuttgart.

And the new face?

Just like its recently facelifted SL big brother, the SLC gets fresh bumpers, a more steeply raked radiator grille with a spangly diamond pattern, and swoopier headlight graphics (with full LED units an optional extra).

What about the interior?

New bits of trim made from aluminium but pretending to be carbonfibre, a new instrument cluster with black dials, red needles and a TFT display in the middle, plus a bigger display in the centre console.

Inside cabin of new Merc SLC

Both the steering wheel and gear selector are new too, and the seats’ leather upholstery has a different design, supposedly all the better for keeping cool on sunny days.

The 2016 Mercedes SLC range

The bread-and-butter ones:

  • SLC 180 – the entry-level. 1.6-litre 4cyl, 154bhp, 7.9sec to 62mph, six-speed manual gearbox
  • SLC 200 – 2.0-litre 4cyl, 181bhp, 7.0sec to 62mph, six-speed manual gearbox
  • SLC 300 – 2.0-litre 4cyl, 242bhp, 5.8sec to 62mph, nine-speed auto as standard

The diesel one:

  • SLC 250d – 2.1-litre 4-cyl, 201bhp, 6.6sec to 62mph, nine-speed auto as standard

The nutty AMG one:

  • Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 - 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 replaces the rumbling V8 of the old SLK 55 AMG. 362bhp, 4.7sec to 62mph, nine-speed auto as standard 

What else is new?

‘Active Brake Assist’ low-speed autonomous emergency braking is standard fit, and adaptive LED headlights are now available.

Good news for April showers - you can now raise or lower the electrohydraulic hardtop while travelling at up to around 25mph, and the luggage separator now shifts automatically so you don’t need to stop to reshuffle your luggage before dropping the top.

Prices will be announced when the new Mercedes SLC becomes available to order in January 2016. 

Mercedes SLC roof-up

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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