All You Need To Know: Mercedes-AMG SLC 43
The new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 unites the classic virtues of a roadster with exemplary efficiency
by Jim Davis | 20 July 2017
There need be no contradiction between high driving dynamics and low fuel consumption. This is proved by the new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43: thanks to the combination of 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine and 9G-TRONIC sports transmission, the 270 kW (367 hp) roadster consumes just 7.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (NEDC, combined). Consequently, the open-top two-seater not only uses 0.6 l/100 km less than its predecessor, the SLK 55 with V8 naturally aspirated engine, but is also the most efficient six-cylinder performance roadster on the market. The specially developed suspension and model-specific mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit are designed for high lateral acceleration and low roll. Even greater driving dynamics is optionally available with the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive adjustable damping and the Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
Compact, powerful and economical: “The new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 unites the classic virtues of a roadster with exemplary efficiency. Weighing less and with lower fuel consumption, the new SLC 43 delivers a similar performance to the SLK 55 on the race track. This vehicle provides typical AMG driving pleasure in a compact open-top two-seater in line with the needs of today’s market,” says Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers.
The 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine offers impressive performance with its 270 kW (367 hp) maximum power and peak torque of 520 Newton-metres: sprinting from rest to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, its top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The key factors behind the snappy, agile roadster driving experience are the newly developed front and rear axles, new engine/rear-axle gear unit mountings, stiff elastokinematics and highly precise steering. Even greater transverse dynamics is made possible by the optional Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
New model, new nomenclature
The new SLC 43 represents the entry point into the current roadster world of AMG. Apart from the renaming of the SLK to SLC, the open-top two-seater also comes with a new AMG nomenclature. The familiar two-digit combination typical of AMG underscores the SLC’s unmistakable membership of the AMG family. Due to its overall “engineered in Affalterbach” package of typical AMG driving dynamics, engine response and high efficiency, the SLC 43 is very competitively positioned in the segment. The 43 stands for the further-developed AMG 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine. The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 is therefore the first V6 model from Affalterbach to feature the new nomenclature. This will be successively introduced to the future model portfolio.
The key data
Mercedes-AMG SLC 43
- Engine- V6 biturbo
- Displacement- 2996 cc
- Output- 270 kW (367 hp) at 5500-6000 rpm
- Peak torque- 520 Nm at 2000-4200 rpm
- Fuel consumption, NEDC combined- 7.8 l/100 km
- CO2 emissions- 178 g/km
- Efficiency class- D
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h- 4.7 s
- Top speed- 250 km/h*
* Electronically limited
- 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with AMG-specific engine management and increased charge-air pressure
- 9G-TRONIC sports transmission with double-declutching function on downshifts and thrillingly short response times in the Sport + transmission mode or in manual gearshift mode
- Specially developed front and rear axles with new elastokinematics
- Stiffer mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit
- High-performance braking system with larger brake discs
- AMG design with specific front and rear aprons, exhaust tailpipes and wheel arch covers integrated into rear wheel arch trims
- Diamond radiator grille in chrome with louvre in high-gloss black
- 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in high-gloss black with high-sheen
- Instrument cluster in chequered flag design with 280 km/h scale
- Multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather with perforations in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching
- Upholstery in black nappa leather / DINAMICA microfibre with sports seat upholstery layout and red piping and topstitching, with model-specific door centre panel
The key options
- Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on rear axle
- AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adaptive adjustable damping
- Night package with front splitter and trim strip in diffuser in high-gloss black as well as black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes
- Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, with flattened bottom section, red contrasting topstitching and red 12 o’clock marking
- High on power, low on consumption: the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine
The new SLC models from Mercedes-Benz come exclusively with a four-cylinder powerplant. The six-cylinder engine is reserved for the SLC 43 from Mercedes‑AMG: the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine is characterised by a high power output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The high power output of 270 kW (367 hp) is attributable to, among other things, the 1.1 bar charge-air pressure. Especially tough and, therefore, wear-resistant, the NANOSLIDE coating on the cylinder liners reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injection with up to 200 bar fuel pressure. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover.
Short shift times: the 9G-TRONIC sports transmission
The 9G-TRONIC sports transmission is specially matched to the demands of the SLC 43. By specifically adapting the software, the AMG developers have been able to significantly shorten the shift times. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the “Sport” and “Sport +” transmission modes makes for an even more emotive driving experience. In “Sport +” mode, partial ignition interruptions provide even faster gearshifts.
The standard-fit shift paddles allow lightning-fast manual shifting of the automatic transmission without the driver needing to take their hands off the steering wheel. Shifting in “Manual” mode, which is activated using a separate button next to the selector lever, is twice as fast as in the other transmission modes. Also, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
Two options: the sports suspension
With the standard sports suspension or the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adjustable damping, the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 offers two suspension options designed for high lateral acceleration and reduced roll. Common to both suspensions are the specially developed front and rear axles, which guarantee precise wheel location and high camber stability on compression and rebound.
The three-link front axle has been provided with stiffer steering knuckles, improved elastokinematics and increased negative camber. In combination with the likewise newly developed wishbone guide bearings, this design results in significantly more agile cornering, more precise and direct suspension feedback from the road and fast cornering speeds.
The four-link rear axle with optimised elastokinematics, increased negative camber and special forged-aluminium track rods not only improves the driving dynamics, but also makes the SLC 43 more controllable when driven at the limit.
The special AMG mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit offer the ideal compromise between handling and comfort. They also contribute to the snappy and highly stable driving impression given by the roadster.
With its automatic adjustable damping system, the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension allows an even more personalised suspension set-up, with each wheel being individually electronically controlled. The three suspension settings “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport +” can be selected by the driver via the transmission modes using the DYNAMIC SELECT button.
Optimal traction: the optional rear-axle limited-slip differential
The mechanically controlled AMG limited-slip differential on the rear axle makes for improved traction and handling in all driving situations, particularly when the driver adopts a sporty driving style. This is achieved by reducing the slip on the inside driven wheel when cornering, without control intervention in the brakes. When there is a difference in rotational speed between the rear wheels, the torque is distributed to the wheel with the better grip in order to reduce wheel spin.
The benefits are:
- better acceleration out of bends
- better acceleration from rest
- greater stability on braking and at high speed
Safe and fade-resistant: the high-performance braking system
The AMG high-performance braking system is characterised by excellent deceleration, high fade resistance and precise brake control. Large-sized, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs are capable of absorbing plenty of braking energy and quickly dissipating the arising heat. Lightweight aluminium brake calipers reduce the unsprung mass, resulting in improved handling and comfort.
Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
With the five DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual, the driver can change the characteristics of the SLC 43 at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension and steering. The modes are selected using a button in the centre console control panel.
DYNAMIC SELECT at a glance
- “Eco” transmission mode: all parameters are programmed for maximum efficiency. The ECO start/stop and coasting functions (overrun mode for fuel-saving vehicle operation) are activated.
- “Comfort” transmission mode: comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
- “Sport” transmission mode: sporty characteristics thanks to a more agile response to accelerator commands, shorter shift times, earlier downshifts and more emotive gearshifts owing to double-declutching. A more dynamic set-up of suspension and steering.
- “Sport +” transmission mode: extremely sporty characteristics thanks to an even more agile throttle response, increased acoustic emphasis on double-declutching on downshifts as well as selective torque control on upshifts with cylinder suppression for optimal shift times. Increased idle speed for faster pull-away. An even more dynamic set-up of suspension, steering and drivetrain.
- “Individual” transmission mode: personalised set-up of drive, suspension, steering, air conditioning and ECO start/stop function.
Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the “M” button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Further personalisation of the driving dynamics is possible by means of the ESP® button, which offers a choice between three control strategies for the Electronic Stability Program:
- ESP® “ON”: early system intervention without adversely affecting the sporty character
- ESP® “SPORT HANDLING MODE”: late system intervention for a sporty driving style
- ESP® “OFF”: system deactivated for an extremely sporty driving style on closed racing circuits
Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering
With its permanent, direct transmission ratio of 15.5 : 1, the speed-sensitive sports steering supports the new SLC 43’s agile cornering while additionally impressing with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The steering power assistance is variable with two modes (Comfort and Sport). It is automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalised in Individual mode.
Typical of AMG: an emotively appealing sound
The new SLC 43 also meets the personal wishes of the driver when it comes to acoustics: the standard-fit sports exhaust system comes with two automatically map-controlled exhaust flaps. In the “Eco” and “Comfort” transmission modes, the flaps remain closed most of the time, this resulting in an acoustically restrained note from the six-cylinder biturbo engine. In the “Sport” and “Sport +” modes, the exhaust flaps open earlier and more spontaneously, especially if the driver prefers a dynamic driving style. The effect: the typical, emotively appealing AMG engine sound. The statutory noise prevention limits are met in all transmission modes.
Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design
Numerous design features immediately identify the new SLC 43 as a member of the Mercedes-AMG family. With an emphasis on width, the front view is dominated by the air deflector in brand-typical “A-wing” form, which is in high-gloss black. The large outer air intakes come with silver chrome fins and are edged by black flics. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules. It also makes the roadster appear hug the road more closely. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins and a louvre in high-gloss black.
The side view is dominated by high-sheen 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black. The exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black act as additional distinguishing features. The front wings come with a silver chrome fin as well as biturbo lettering. With its AMG spoiler lip, the rear end, too, boasts a characteristic look, with two quad-flow chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes conveying an especially sporty note. The diffuser-look rear apron trim is in silver chrome.
The unique selling points include a diversity of available roof variants. In addition to the standard vario roof, there is a choice between the panoramic vario roof with a large glass element and the panoramic vario roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL selectable brightness control.
Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design
The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias of the new SLC 43 with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black nappa leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching, with the perforated grip area lying especially well in the hand.
The contoured sports seats give the driver ideal lateral support, including when a dynamic driving style is adopted. The upholstery in sun-reflecting nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre with model-specific seat layout, red piping and topstitching meets the highest standards in terms of material quality, look and feel. The perforations in the shoulder area and on the seat cushions stop the driver working up a sweat. The seat design is complemented by the door centre panels in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre. In the optionally available Exclusive nappa leather version, the instrument panel, beltlines and door centre panels are covered in high-grade leather.
The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimised for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look & feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 11.4 cm (4.5-inch) multifunction colour display, RACETIMER and 280 km/h scale in chequered flag design.
Suitability for everyday use is additionally enhanced by intelligent comfort functions such as optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating, operation of the vario roof while driving (up to 40 km/h, initiated below 5 km/h) and automatic closing of the boot separator.
Even greater individualisation: the options
The new SLC 43 offers even further scope for individualisation with selected options, these including the Handling package, which comes with features designed to support an ambitious driving style on the racing circuit. They also include the mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential and an additional engine radiator at the front. The vehicle’s proximity to motor sport is visually underscored by red-painted brake callipers, a Performance steering wheel in nappa leather with DINAMICA microfibre in the grip area and red topstitching as well as an analogue clock in IWC design.
Other options include the LED Intelligent Light System with brand-typical eyebrows, several 18-inch wheel/tyre combinations, the AMG Night package, exclusive designo paint finishes, various leather upholstery options, the COMAND Online infotainment and communications system, a Harman Kardon® Logic 7® Surround Sound system as well as ambience lighting in solar red, polar blue or polar white.