The new entry-level SLC 180 has a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, producing 154bhp and 184lb ft, mated to a manual six-speed gearbox. The car can sprint from 0-62mph in 7.9sec and on to a top speed of 140mph.
While this makes it 0.6sec slower from 0-62mph than the 2.0-litre-engined MX-5 RF, the SLC 180 offers better fuel economy, with 48.7mpg to the MX-5 RF’s 47.1mpg, and lower CO2 emissions, outputting 134g/km to the RF’s 161g/km.
The SLC 180’s smaller engine and manual gearbox make it the lightest model in the SLC range, weighing in at 1435kg. Like the rest of the 2017 SLC range, it's now only available in AMG Line trim, which adds AMG-designed bodywork and 17in alloy wheels.
Mercedes has confirmed to Autocar that the SLC 180 is on sale now, priced from £32,039, which is £2681 less than the previous entry-level model, the SLC 200.