2018 MERCEDES-AMG SLC 43

We all loved the gas guzzling V8 in SLK and when Mercedes decided to retire both, it was a kind of a bad news for most of the car enthusiasts. 2018 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 was introduced with a low powered but more efficient V6, keeping it much quieter. A retracting rooftop makes it the best of both worlds, coupe, and convertible.

SLC 43 is priced at $61,350 and comes with a 3.0L Bi-turbo V6. The AMG tuned V6 failed to excite the performance enthusiasts even with some performance uplifts. The new SLC 43 is equipped with AMG’s sports suspension and torque vectoring brakes which provides it with a better handling.

Merc’s SLK’s best features were curated and fitted into the SLC 43, except the V8 (sighs). Jolted with AMG’s sports suspension and electronic stability program, SLC won’t let you question on its performance. The climate control knobs might feel a bit cheap but the rest of SLC’s interior won’t make a fuss about quality.

What we like

  • Sleek and aerodynamic styling
  • Drop-down metal roof-top
  • Suave stance

What we don’t

  • Tawdry braking
  • Expensive upgrades

What’s new for 2018

There are not many upgrades in the new SLC 43 AMG, but there are slight facelifts for the updated model. Some of them were:

  • RedArt edition is now available
  • Side-mirrors with projecting Mercedes-Benz logo are now standard

2018 MERCEDES-AMG SLC 43 TRIMS & FEATURES

The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 is available in only one trim. This AMG SLC is available with only RWD option and no 4Matic trims. The AMG upgrade includes an eye-catching sports grille and carbon-fiber trims in interiors.

Trim 2018 Mercedes-AMG SLC 63
MSRP $61,350
Key

Features

·         Twin power sports seats with memory

·         7″ color screen and the central controller

·         Rearview camera

·         Dynamic SELECT drive modes

·         Sports exhaust with active sound

SLC is also available with a keyless entry remote which can also work as a remote for the hard-top as well. This roadster was included with some top-shelf features such as Brake hold, Infrared remote hard-top operation, and a panorama magic sky roof.

We Recommend

SLC 43 is already packed with a lot of features and there is little room for upgradations. There is just one upgrade which we recommend, the smartphone integration package. The integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will cost you an additional $350.

2018 MERCEDES-AMG SLC 43 POWER & PERFORMANCE

“The V6 growls politely compared to the old SLK55 V8’s bark, and the outputs are down by 53hp and 14 lb-ft respectively. 0-60mph takes 0.1 seconds longer than the old SLK, and is accomplished in 4.6 seconds.”-carbuzz

Engine and Transmission

SLC might don the AMG badge but it does not pack that performance under its hood. The heart of SLC is a 3.0L Bi-Turbo which was not hand-crafted by AMG but tuned. This engine can produce 362hp of power and 384 lb-ft. of torque on its wheels. Mercedes retired their line of V8s with SLK-55 and this might look like the end of an era, but the much-refined V6s are pretty good.

Models Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
MSRP $61,350 $63,850 $59,000 $64,900
Engine 3.0L Biturbo V6 2.0L i4 Turbocharged 2.0L 4-Cyl Horizontally Opposed Alum Alloy 2.5L, 5-Cyl, Turbocharged
Transmission 9-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Manual 7-speed S-Tronic
Horsepower 362 hp 296 hp 300 hp 400hp
Torque 384 lb-ft 295 lb-ft 280 lb-ft 354lb-ft.

There is a smooth seamless 9-speed automatic transmission provided to SLC 43. The perfectly placed paddle-shifters can make the transmission more fun and shifts are pretty smooth too. The AMG’s 9G-Tronic transmission is orderly and makes SLC more fuel efficient. Jaguar is an expensive option but with a small engine, it is still able to churn 296hp of power and 295 lb-ft of torque. Whereas, Audi comes packed with an engine which churns out 400hp of power which is best amongst its competitors, even with a smaller engine.

Acceleration

There is a mode for every mood, Sports+ is for adrenaline junkies. This mode opens up the valves and the suspension becomes stiff, making it a track-ready vehicle. This V6 will take SLC to 60mph mark in just 4.6sec, it might not be best-in-class but it is not slowest amongst its rivals. The new 3.0L V6 takes 0.1sec more than its predecessor V8 which also gave you the muscle-car-like tone.

Models Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
0-60 MPH 4.6 sec 5.4 sec 4.9 sec 3.6sec
Quarter mile 14.0 sec 14.1 sec 14.2 sec 11.9sec
Engine 3.0L 2.0L 2.0L 2.5L
Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.7 6.8 7.3 N/A

The competition was quite clear in this segment with every manufacturer looking to produce an entry-level sports car. The quickest in this segment is the Audi TT RS which took 3.6sec to reach 60mph and put rest of its rivals in its rear-view mirror. The slowest is the Brit F-type, Jaguar took 5.4sec to reach 60mph mark. Even the Boxster took 4.9sec to reach 60 mph and it was quite impressive for a much smaller engine.

Braking & Handling

SLC 43 is the heaviest in this segment and this makes it difficult to stop. Braking is done by AMG’s sports braking system which brings it down to a halt from 70mph in 153ft. Even Audi TT RS being a performance-driven vehicle takes 154ft of distance to halt itself. Porsche is the lightest in this segment bites the least amount of tarmac with just 144 ft. to bring itself to a halt.

Model Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
Brake Front (in.) 14.2 14.0 13.0 14.6
Brake Rear (in.) 13.0 12.8 11.8 12.2
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,541 3,405 2,943 3,306
70-0 MPH (ft.) 153 149 144 154

SLC might not be what AMG enthusiasts had in mind but this car handles like an F-16. While cornering, AMG’s electromechanical steering provides this SLC a brilliant feedback and keeps the car in driver’s control. Handling can be improved with the optionally available limited slip differential which sends the power where it matters and this makes the SLC shoot out like a rocket around corners. AMG also provided this roadster with an adaptive damper which helps it out around wildest corners.

Fuel Economy

If you feel like buying a fuel-efficient sports-car, SLC 43 might be the one to consider. Merc’s SLC can run for 20 miles in one gallon in city driving conditions, on highways, SLC can chew 29 miles in just one gallon, which is quite good for a sports car.

Whereas, Jaguar gives 23 mpg on city driving conditions which is best-in-class. Moreover, if we talk about highway driving conditions, Audi and Merc stand at the same point of 29 mpg. Porsche might be better in city conditions but on the highway, it gives 28mpg which is not very satisfying.

Model Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
MPG (city) 20 23 21 19
MPG (highway) 29 30 28 29
MPG (combined) 23 26 24 22

2018 MERCEDES-AMG SLC 43 EXTERIOR

“The head- and taillamps gain subtle new shapes, while the front fascia brings gloss black and silver finishes on the air intakes and the splitter—they look particularly flattering against a bright red body. More gloss black adorns the mirror housings and the 18-inch wheels.”-caranddriver

Dimensions and Weight

SLK went through a little bit of nose-job by the cosmetic surgeons from AMG & Mercedes. Though we still are not able to recover from V8s being dead but looks are something to die for. Mercedes knows how to play with straight lines and SLC is a perfectly done job in this matter. As you go through the eye-warming design of this car you will notice how thoroughly aerodynamic this car is.

Model Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
Curb weight (lbs.) 3,541 3,405 2,943 3,306
Length(in) 163.1 176.5 172.4 165.0
Width(in) 71.5 75.7 70.9 72.1
Height(in) 51.3 51.3 50.9 52.9
Ground clearance (in) 3.5 4.0 4.3 4.3
Wheelbase (in) 95.7 103.2 97.4 98.6
Track width (in) F/R 61.0/61.7 62.9/64.9 59.6/60.3 61.6/60.8

 

SLC weighs 3,541lbs and it is the heaviest in this section. The lightest in this segment is the Porsche Boxster which stands at 2,943lbs. Even Audi TT RS lost some of its weight and this shedding got it at 3,306lbs. Jaguar at this matter gave there F-type a 3,405lbs of load to carry.

2018 MERCEDES-AMG SLC 63 INTERIOR

“The SLC’s interior displays the high-quality look and feel you expect from a Mercedes. It can feel a little intimate, but that’s because it’s a smaller vehicle.”-Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

Mercedes has always been a maestro in comfort and creating noble interiors. SLC won’t disappoint you with its interiors either. An interactive console is made more fun with a hint of carbon-fiber on its dashboard. You look inside, and you see a ton of buttons which might confuse you but getting used to it is pretty easy.

Model Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
Passenger capacity 2 2 2 2
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.1/52.2/42.5 37.0/56.5/42.8 N/A 37.1/53.6/41.1

Merc’s SLC 43 is quite comfortable and this comfort is provided exclusively by AMG. Seats are wrapped captivatingly with Nappa leather. Mercedes also provided this roadster with Multi-color LED ambient lighting which puts the vehicle’s ambiance at your fingertips. While driving the SLC with its roof pulled up, the cabin is very well acoustically treated and keeps the inside silent.

Infotainment System

Mercedes decided to put a 7.0inch screen between IWC’s elite analog watch and those confusing buttons. Luckily, Mercedes decided to exclude their complicated touch navigation pad with the physical navigating button. The premium Harmon/Kardon speaker system provides this SLC with quite a punchy sound.

Cargo volume

SLC might be good looking and luxurious but it will disappoint you with its trunk space. It might not be a good vehicle to kidnap your foes but you could definitely hang out with them in the front seats. Merc provided the SLC with 10.1ft3 of cargo space which is not quite enough. Whereas, Porsche is a bit congested back in its trunk and provides just 9.7ft3. Audi was generous and gave its TT RS a good amount of boot space which might make this a good getaway car.

Model Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 Roadster Jaguar F-Type Convertible Porsche 718 Boxster Audi TT RS
Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3) 10.1 11.0 9.7 12.0

Safety Features

  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Infrared- remote hardtop operation
  • Antitheft alarm system with remote panic feature

IIHS & NHTSA ratings are not available.

2018 MERCEDES-AMG SLC 43 HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPETITION

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

Jaguar failed to impress us with its specifications. With a price tag of $63,850 and a low power output,  it is certainly not a good option. F-type is a good looking car and there is no denying that fact, but if you can shuffle your budget a bit, we’d recommend looking into higher trims. Jaguar could have made some more tweaks in their engine and made it a better car but the truth is, SLC 43 is a much better car in every aspect.

Porsche 718 Boxster

Porsche is famous for its performance vehicles and Boxster is the undefeated champion in handling here. 718 Boxster is a handsome looking cousin of 911. The price for this Boxster is set at $59,000 however, this might be a cheaper option here but certainly not a good one. With a 2.0L engine under its hood and generating 300hp of power. Boxster is a light vehicle and this greatly increases its handling efficiency. If you are looking for a ‘toy’ to play with, Porsche is your choice.

Audi TT RS

Audi is just $3,550 more expensive than Mercedes. A power packed, performance-driven vehicle, TT is clearly the best option in this segment. Generating a 400hp of power from its 2.5L engine it clearly surprised its competitors. Audi is also packed with a tackier infotainment system in addition, the interiors give you simple yet relaxing vibes.

Final Verdict

SLC 43 was introduced with a promise to provide Coupe-like luxury and an open-air experience. The hard retracting roof-top and the high revving V6 are some of the positive aspects of SLC. A hard-to-believe curb weight and the shoddy braking system even with AMG’s braking system will definitely make you consider other options.