Mercedes Benz upgrades SLK to C-Class
WhenMercedes Benz introduced the SLK in 1996, it met with positive reaction andwent on to sell over 670,000 units. Twenty years is a long time to go between majorupdates in any business, but the wait appears to be worth it given all of thechanges to the German company's signature roadster that will now be called theSLC.
Whatimmediately stands out is the significant number of options within optionsavailable in the five separate models of the SLC – the entry-level SLC 180, theSLC 200, the SLC 250 d, the SLC 300 and the top-of-the-line AMG SLC 43. This isevident in everything from the engine to the transmission to the lightingsystem. It's almost too much and might make the average buyer's head spin, butMercedes Benz is clearly not appealing to that person.
Allbut the AMG version come with a 4-cylinder in-line engine with the racer model equippedwith a V-6. Engine size varies with the 180 at 1,595 cc (115 kW/156 hp), the 250d at 2,143cc (150kW/204 hp) and the SLC 43 at 2,996 cc (270 kW/367 hp). Both the200 and 300 have the same sized engine at 1,991 cc, but the 200 is rated at 135kW/184 hp and the 300 at 180 kW/245 hp. Torque numbers range from 250 Nm (184ft lbs) to 520 Nm (384 ft lbs) depending on the model.
Boththe 180 and 200 are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission, but the9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that comes standard in the other models is available as anoption.
Keyto the idea of options is what Mercedes is referring to as Dynamic Select,which gives the driver multiple choices that affect engine, transmission,steering and suspension. The five modes – Comfort,Sport, Sport+, Eco andIndividual will be easy to select using the Dynamic Select buttonin the upper control panel on the dashboard console. The AMG version comes withits own exhaust system that adjusts its sound based on which of the above modesyou've chosen.
There'san optional Dynamic Handling package that lowers the chassis by 10 mm andincludes an adaptive damping system, direct steering and ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist. When paired with Dynamic Select, this packageautomatically varies the damping force to each wheel depending on drivingconditions.
Anothernew feature for the whole SLC line is Active Brake Assist,known in other Mercedes Benz models as Collision Prevention Assist Plus.Basically, if you don't brake fast enough to avoid a collision, the car will doit for you. Couple this with Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, and thechances of getting in a wreck are greatly reduced.
Thereare also a plethora of options that improve overall lighting and detection.This includes an LED lighting system that adapts your headlights to all types oflighting conditions, Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus that allows you to keepyour high beams on while adjusting them for varied traffic conditions, andTraffic Sign Assist that reads and recognizes various traffic signs, like speedlimits and no entry, to keep you from making a wrong move.
Takingthe SLC from coupe to convertible happens at the push of a button and can be donewhile driving at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph). With the panoramic vario-roof topdown, more optional features are available. This includes heated seats and necklevel heating for both the driver and passenger. With the roof up, the glasscan be lightened or darkened at the touch of a button, providing either apanoramic sky view or shade from the sun.
Theinfotainment system is prominently featured in the center of the dash andconsists of a high resolution, color media display that lets you controlnavigation, phone, audio, video and Internet access.
Outside,Mercedes Benz engineers created a redesigned front section with a steeply rakeddiamond radiator grille, a front bumper with air intakes, and the LED daytimerunning lamps integrated into the headlamp units. The overall look is moremuscular and aggressive than the SLKs, which the new SLC will replace in March2016.
Pricingfor the five SLC models has yet to be announced, but Mercedes Benz willstart taking orders in January 2016. The listed price of the SLK 300 for 2016starts at almost US$48,000, so given the significant upgrades the new SLC maystart slightly higher.
Mercedes introduces the new SLC in the video below.
Source: Mercedes Benz