The hardtop convertible’s front end features a steeply raked grille and elongated, arrow-shaped hood. The standard grille is finished in black with silver and chrome trim, with an optional chrome-finished grille with silver or high-gloss trim. The contoured bumper features air intakes and chrome trim along the lower edge and LED daytime running lamps integrated into the headlights.
Aluminum-alloy wheels come in 17 and 18 inches. At the rear, the bumper features a black diffuser and chrome flourishes as well as narrowed, horizontally divided LED taillights. The trunk lid has an accentuated arrow shape with a third brake light positioned on the spoiler lip.
Aluminum trim with carbon-fiber finish adorns the cabin, while a redesigned instrument cluster updates the driver’s view of vehicle functions. The Comand multimedia system’s screen grows to 7 inches from the SLK’s 5.8 inches, and a dash-top analog clock tells the current time as it harkens the past. Available multimedia functions include navigation, a DVD player, Internet radio, Bluetooth connectivity with hands-free capabilities and voice-operated control, as well as two USB ports.
The roadster’s electrohydraulic roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 25 mph so long as the process is begun from a standstill. Meanwhile, if the standard automatic trunk separator is in the upper position for max cargo space, it moves down when the top is dropped and stowed; if the trunk is full, the roof will not open and a notification will appear in the instrument cluster.
Other interior features include a sport steering wheel with perforated grip, an optional three-spoke multifunction steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather and microfiber upholstery with a new perforated design on the shoulder area of the electrically adjustable seats, contrast piping and stitching, and increased use of ambient lighting.
The SLC300 will use a version of the current SLK’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 241 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque. Mercedes says it’s good for a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 130 mph. The high-performance SLC43 runs on a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that makes 362 hp and 384 pounds-feet of torque, shaving more than a second off that sprint and bumping the electronically limited top speed up by 25 mph.
Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission; the SLC43 adds an AMG sport suspension. The standard Dynamic Select feature allows the driver to choose from five selectable modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Eco and Individual.
Advanced safety and driver-assistance features include standard collision-prevention braking and backup camera, and optional blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, dynamic LED headlights and parking assist.