It has been a while since we have seen an AMG model whose power figures start with a ‘3’. That’s because, while the SLC 43 is not exactly a apples to apples replacement of the SLK 55AMG, if you want to AMG version of the Mercedes’s small roadster, this is all that you can get. First up, the name. The SLC is just the same as the older SLK, save for new styling for the headlamps and tail-lamps to align the looks of the SLK with those of the rest of the Mercedes range. Secondly, the SLC 43 is not a real AMG, but rather one rung below on the ladder of Mercedes performance versions.
The ’43’ cars are going to act as a bridge between the regular models and genuine stuff from Affalterbach. So the SLC 43 does not have an engine under the hood which also bears the name of the person who assembled, but rather it has a more common 3.0-litre biturbo V6. It does sound a bit underwhelming considering the SLK55 had soldiered on to the end with that iconic naturally aspirated 5.5-litre V8. Even more so when you realize that the new V6 produces 362 bhp, a good 52 bhp less than the 5.5-litre V8. However, the drop in performance is negligible, thanks to the rather brilliant 9G-TRONIC transmission which is able to utilize greater amount of low-end torque bought about by the turbocharging. Zero to hundred times are down by just .1 second to 4.7 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 250 kph.
Other than the powerful V6, there are few more mechanical bits that increase the dynamic abilities of the SLC 43. AMG has worked on the front and rear axles with beefier steering knuckles, added dynamic mountings for the engine and gearbox unit and increased negative camber on both ends. While a mechanical limited slip differential is optional, adjustable adaptive damping is standard, offering different modes that the driver can toggle through for different driving conditions. Other standard offerings are 18 inch wheels, a front splitter, an AMG lip spoiler, bigger brakes and an AMG tuned sports exhaust which works with the driving modes to deliver the full throaty growl in the sportier settings. Inside, the smaller infotainment of the older SLK has been replaced bigger touchscreen along with new air-vents that look similar to bigger Mercedes cabriolets and coupes.