2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 quick review

The SLK 55 has been sent on its way, so how does the SLC 43 stack up as a replacement?

2017 Mercedes AMG SLC 43 quick review main

Let’s address the small, mid-engined elephant in the room.

When it comes to two-seat roadsters under $200K, Porsche’s Boxster is the benchmark. Mercedes-Benz’s SLK55 AMG put up a good defence, relying on brutish charm to stand out on its own.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 rearBut now that Mercedes has flicked the SLK55 and its atmo 5.5-litre V8 for a flagship with a new name, drivetrain, and body, can it keep a foothold in the segment? Not on dynamic merit alone.

While the SLC is a significant update of the SLK, it’s more evolutionary than the name change suggests. The front-end’s been stiffened and the suspension’s been overhauled, but it hasn’t banished its aggressive ride and doesn’t sparkle with fine balance or bite.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 interiorInstead, in true AMG tradition, the Mercedes SLC43's main event is its driveline. The new nine-speed auto is always in the right gear. Engage Sport Plus mode and it’ll also deliver fantastic downshifts under braking.

You’ll find the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 in C43 and E43 variants, but it sounds best here, unfiltered by sound deadening and tickling your ears with its raucous wail. It pulls hard from 3000rpm all the way until its redline, and would walk past a Boxster on the run (it should, at 50kW and 100Nm healthier).

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 sideHowever, this stonk can prove too much for the rear axle – it’ll tramp during hard launches. The ESP system’s been tuned with this in mind, as it constantly cuts traction to help the LSD-equipped rear end cope with the power. Which says a lot about the car.

The SLC43 is enjoyable on the right road and day. But to match a long-time benchmark, that might not be often enough.

SPECS
Engine: 3.0L V6 twin-turbo
Power: 270kW
Torque: 520Nm
Weight: 1520kg
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Price: $134,615

 

How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at feedback@whichcar.com.au.

 

Subscribe to Motor magazine

Subscribe to MOTOR and save up to 49%
The world's most thrilling performance car magazine. Delivered to your door each month.

Subscribe

 

NEWS

Why everyone should drive a convertible with the top down
News

Opinion: The indulgent joy of driving a top-down convertible

Dan explains why driving with the top down is like going fishing with hand grenades

a day ago
Daniel Gardner

We recommend

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.