Hardtop convertibles have a charm of their own and if you wanted one with a three-pointed star on it, then the SLK 55 is the first thing that would come to mind, until now as the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 has been launched in India at a price tag of Rs 77.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The SLC 43 had big shoes to fill because its predecessor, the SLK 55, was one of the most iconic open-top roadster sold by the German automaker and the last generation was powered by a humongous naturally aspirated 5-litre V8 engine. The SLC 43, on the other hand, is powered by a relatively small 3 litre V6 which, thanks to a couple of turbochargers, manages to deliver 367 horsepower and 520 Nm torque, making the car capable of doing 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. That’s merely 0.1-second slower than the SLK 55, so there’s no compromise on the performance front. It doesn’t miss out on the AMG growl either as it still sounds fantastic and SLK purists won’t complain.
The engine comes mated to a 9G-TRONIC transmission which has established a reputation for itself for quick gearshifts, especially when you are downshifting, and the gear knob gets a neat SLC embossing on it.(Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
In terms of body styling, the front fascia sports the diamond radiator grille like the one the new A-Class, LED headlamps, new air intake design and chrome finished front-splitter. On the back, there’s redesigned LED taillamps, new bumper design, swept-back boot lid with brake lamp in the spoiler lip and the AMG exhaust system with chrome-plated tailpipes. The side profile stays largely similar to the SLK 55.Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 from the back. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
The changes have been made on the inside too with a new AMG instrument cluster, red seatbelts and a neatly placed analogue clock on the centre dashboard.
The car will come with 5 driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and individual which will vary the driving characteristics of the car based on the mode selected.Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 interiors. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
The main attraction of the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 has to be the roof which can retract in under 20 seconds, at speeds up to 40 km/h.
By the looks of it, Mercedes seems to have played its car right with a competitive price tag for a convertible hard-top rooftop, and the SLC 43 looks like a worthy successor to the SLK 55, at least on paper. What remains to be seen is how the Indian market responds to the latest Mercedes in town and whether the SLC 43 delivers on the other most significant thing that the SLK was known for, that is, being a driver’s car. For that, we will have to wait to find out.