With 362bhp and 384lb ft, the new engine delivers 53bhp and 14lb ft less than the naturally aspirated 5.5-litre V8 petrol unit used by its predecessor. But while the SLK55 AMG developed its 398lb ft peak at 4500rpm, the SLC43's can be tapped from 2000rpm. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 4.7sec and the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.
The SLK55 used a seven-speed version of AMG’s Speedshift automatic gearbox, while the SLC43 is fitted with Mercedes-Benz’s latest nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, which features Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Eco and Individual driving modes.
Two spec levels are available: Sport and AMG Line. Sport models feature 17in alloys as standard, while AMG Line brings 18in AMG Line alloys. In SLC200 and 250d format, AMG Line brings a £4000 premium to the respective £30,495 and £32,995 prices, while the SLC300 is only available in AMG Line spec, at £39,985. The 9G-Tronic gearbox on the SLC200 is a £1485 option.
Official performance claims put the SLC43’s 0-62mph time at 4.7sec – 0.1sec slower than the SLK55 - while top speed remains limited to 155mph. The move to the smaller capacity engine has brought about a 2.5mpg improvement in combined cycle fuel economy at 36.2mpg, with average CO2 emissions of 178g/km.
The '43' model designation was first used on the C43 AMG launched in 1997. Powered by a naturally aspirated 4.3-litre V8 petrol engine, the predecessor to today’s C63 produced 302bhp and 302lb ft, sufficient to provide the 1571kg saloon with a 0-62mphh time of 6.5sec and a 155mph top speed.
Other changes introduced with the new SLC include an SLC180 entry-level model, which is not coming to the UK for the forseeable future. It uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine developing 154bhp and 184lb ft.
The SLK200-replacing SLC200 also receives a new engine, with the old 1.8-litre unit replaced by a more contemporary 2.0-litre powerplant delivering the same 181bhp as before but an added 22lb ft at 221lb ft.
Among the styling changes brought to the SLC are a new front bumper with larger ducts for improved engine bay cooling, an altered grille featuring a Mercedes-Benz’s latest diamond-shaped insert design and revised headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights and fresh internal graphics. At the rear, there are new LED tail-light graphics and a reprofiled bumper with integrated tailpipes and a more pronounced diffuser element.
Revisions to the operating procedure of the SLC’s folding hard-top now allow it to be to opened without having to manually set the luggage cover in place. It also now operates at speeds of up to 25mph, allowing it to be opened and closed while setting off rather than at standstill, as with the older SLK. Buyers can continue to order the optional Magic Sky Control glass roof, which employs an electrochromatic process to vary the amount of light entering the cabin.
Inside, the SLC retains the same dashboard as before. However, it receives revised instruments, new trim applications, a larger 4.in infotainment monitor and a new three-spoke steering wheel, among other changes. Standard safety equipment now includes Active Brake Assist – a collision prevention system that features autonomous braking, Attention Assist - a system which detects and alerts drivers to signs of fatigue, Active Bonnet, which raises the bonnet to protect pedestrians in the event of a collision, remote boot lid release, and automatic headlights.