After its launch in 1996, the SLK marked the start of a new era for the traditional Mercedes-Benz brand.
Next year, fans of the roadster are getting one last run with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC Final Edition.
“Mercedes-Benz SLK: 1996 – 2020.” That’s what it’ll read on the little guy’s tombstone. In the roadster/sports car segment, that’s a pretty good run. All good things must come to an end. And so it is with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC (aka the SLK) which just showed its last hand with the SLC 300 Final Edition. Although not as “true” to sports cars as a Miata (which they came out as a Germanic answer to), the SLKs were okay, especially the AMG versions.
Mercedes, being a bit more emotional than one would expect, have decided to give their little two-seater a fond farewell.
2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 Final Edition: Styling & Design
Perhaps the feature the SLK can most justifiably be praised for was the power-folding hardtop. As a comfortable driver in the sunny Pacific Northwest, many is the time that I wished I could have a hardtop appear over my head quickly and at the push of a button. That said, what does the outgoing 2020 SLC Final Edition bring to the showroom? Good stuff!
It’s worth noting, however, this special model is based on the AMG Line. That’s the AMG Line, not AMG, the performance tuners. This is more of a look-fast versus a go-fast deal. The SLC 300 Final Edition boasts a distinctive look with an AMG-style front bumper with silver chrome trim. The door handles, mirrors, and rear brace come in a high-gloss black finish. “SLC Final Edition” badges adorn the front fenders just below the chromed fin. Five-spoke, AMG light-alloy, 18-inch wheels with a high-gloss black finish come standard.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC comes with a lower (10 mm) sport suspension and a larger braking system with perforated discs. Okay, those last two are actually go-fast bits. Yay!
The interior of the SLC 300 is dressed in two-tone Nappa leather (Black/Silver Pearl) with grey top-stitching. Carbon-fiber-look leather inserts in the head restraints and the upper section of the seatbacks finish the interior. There’s also silver “SLC” lettering on the head restraints and the “gear” selector (it’s an automatic transmission). The steering wheel has carbon leather in the upper and lower segment, with a smoother Nappa leather in the grip area, the opposite of what I would have done.
Other standard goodies in the SLC 300 Final Edition include black floor mats with an embroidered logo, that slick AIRSCARF neck-level heating (which is a really good thing to have), and heated seats (another good thing). There’s also a memory package for the seats, steering column, and exterior mirrors, a nice touch.
Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Final Edition: Styling & Design
But wait . . . there’s more! Say hello to the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Final Edition! What, did you think there wasn’t going to be a full-on AMG option? Ha-ha I say, ha-ha! The Final Edition of the AMG SLC43 pumps up the racy appearance with Sun Yellow paint and a bunch of high-gloss black elements. The wheels are matte black, five-spoke, AMG light-alloy 18-inchers with a yellow rim flange.
The inside of the AMG SLC43 is also a two-tone leather affair with grey top-stitching and seatbelts. There’s that carbon-fiber-look leather here and there as well. The steering wheel is an AMG Performance unit with carbon-embossed leather in the upper and lower segment, as well as Nappa leather in the grip area. There’s a crystal grey, 12-o’clock marker and an additional “AMG EDITION” badge.
And yes, you get the AIRSCARF neck-level heating and the memory package.
Power & Performance
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC comes with an in-line four that creates 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque. By comparison, the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Final Edition comes with a V6 that produces 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. The top speed for both is an electronically-limited 155 mph, although the AMG model hits 60 in 4.6 seconds.
Pricing & Availability
No word yet on price, but they will be in dealer showrooms next year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.
Mercedes-Benz SLK & SLC
Design studies in Turin and Paris.
World premiere of the SLK (R 170), Turin Motor Show.