Entry-level drop-top gets a four-cylinder engine and a manual gearbox; it’s expected to offer lower PCP rates than the hard-top MX-5

Mercedes-Benz is introducing an SLC 180 as a new entry sports car that's expected to undercut the Mazda MX-5 RF on monthly finance payments.

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.

That list price is £8644 more than the entry MX-5 RF and £2419 more than another rival, the Abarth 124 Spider, but a Mercedes spokesman said that the SLC would have lower monthly prices due to its better residual values, making it cheaper on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal.

Production of the SLC 180 is scheduled to begin in June and first deliveries are expected at the end of July.

The current best selling SLC model in Britain is the SLC 250d, which accounts for close to 70% of total model sales. The UK is the SLC’s biggest market, with around 4000 units sold here each year.

Reports have suggested that the SLC won’t be replaced when the current car’s lifecycle ends, due to the small number of sales currently in the compact sports car segment. Mercedes was unable to comment on the matter.

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Comments
10

2 May 2017
We should be thankful that Mercedes are still producing a "budget" RWD roadster at all...That the diesel is the best selling engine shows that is has its own niche in the market when compared to the MC5

2 May 2017
Seems rather heavy and does not have enough power to be a serious entrant in this segment of the market. Myself I'd be very surprised if a punter drove a 180SLC paying just £32k for the car from a Mercedes Benz showrooms,after you've added up the options & packs you could expect an OTR price north of £40K. So it's a PCP special and I'd bet that the GFV's are not going to be what Mercedes expect it to be. Apart from being a point of entry to the "premium" world of the three pointed star this car has very little going for it, if you wanted a bigger bang for your buck even the entry level Ecoboost powered Mustang would eat this alive and should require a sports car that does provide real thrills for much less money then Nissan's 370Z fits the bill perfectly.

3 May 2017
ianp55 wrote:

Seems rather heavy and does not have enough power to be a serious entrant in this segment of the market. Myself I'd be very surprised if a punter drove a 180SLC paying just £32k for the car from a Mercedes Benz showrooms,after you've added up the options & packs you could expect an OTR price north of £40K. ..... Nissan's 370Z fits the bill perfectly.

Could you tell what these £8,000 of extras are to make the car north of £40,000? And on what evidence do you base this on. Also, how much would they spend on a 370Z?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

TS7

8 May 2017
xxxx wrote:
ianp55 wrote:

Seems rather heavy and does not have enough power to be a serious entrant in this segment of the market. Myself I'd be very surprised if a punter drove a 180SLC paying just £32k for the car from a Mercedes Benz showrooms,after you've added up the options & packs you could expect an OTR price north of £40K. ..... Nissan's 370Z fits the bill perfectly.

Could you tell what these £8,000 of extras are to make the car north of £40,000? And on what evidence do you base this on. Also, how much would they spend on a 370Z?

Driver Assist £1695, Memory Pack £1030, Metallic Paint £685, Different interior trim from £995, Parktronic £695, Airscarf £395, Heated Seats £330, SatNav £595, Auto Gearbox £1600. There are more, but 'tis (relatively) easily done.

3 May 2017
ianp55 wrote:

Seems rather heavy and does not have enough power to be a serious entrant in this segment of the market. Myself I'd be very surprised if a punter drove a 180SLC paying just £32k for the car from a Mercedes Benz showrooms,after you've added up the options & packs you could expect an OTR price north of £40K. So it's a PCP special and I'd bet that the GFV's are not going to be what Mercedes expect it to be. Apart from being a point of entry to the "premium" world of the three pointed star this car has very little going for it, if you wanted a bigger bang for your buck even the entry level Ecoboost powered Mustang would eat this alive and should require a sports car that does provide real thrills for much less money then Nissan's 370Z fits the bill perfectly.

Yeah not everyone wants a roadster just so they can win the traffic light grand prix or show the next idiot along that their car can 'go faster' than theirs.

2 May 2017
Well, it looks as though current PCP propositions are going to be investigated by the FCA (the regulator, not the the Italo-american car company led by Marchionne), which will probably end up in them being outlawed in some way, shape, or form. Hence, this rather misleading headline will become null and void and the Merc restored unequivocally to being £8,644 more than the Mazda RF, which would still be my preferred purchase in either case. There is something just a bit unfortunate about the image of an underpowered small Merc 'sportscar'.
The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

2 May 2017
But then not everyone buys a roadster because they want to race around country lanes, exploiting the handling of the car. Plenty of people bought the original SLK because of its looks rather than because of how it drove, and this is still the main choice if you want to pose around London in a relatively affordable roadster.

3 May 2017
Mikey C wrote:

But then not everyone buys a roadster because they want to race around country lanes, exploiting the handling of the car. Plenty of people bought the original SLK because of its looks rather than because of how it drove, and this is still the main choice if you want to pose around London in a relatively affordable roadster.

Totally agree.

TS7

2 May 2017
...as standard?

TS7

2 May 2017
... as 'Cougar'...

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