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M-B HAMMER (some text hidden)
By Car & Driving
Mercedes' top AMG-engineered SLC 43 lacks a couple of cylinders in comparison to its SLK 55 AMG predecessor - but it makes much more sense as a real world performance roadster. The experts at Car & Driving check it out.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 58
The top AMG version of Mercedes' compact roadster is now badged the 'SLC 43' and it's evolved. Instead of the old 415bhp V8, a 316bhp twin turbo V6 now beats beneath the bonnet, but the car's not a lot slower - and it's a great deal more efficient. Plus it's good looking and smart. What's not to like?
Backgroundword count: 156
Fast isn't enough. We've done fast and while it's undoubtedly fun, in order to succeed in today's market, a sports car needs more than just sledgehammer acceleration. It used to be the case that a 0-60 time could sell a car, but buyers are now a more sophisticated bunch. Few companies have got with that particular program more adeptly than Mercedes-Benz. Spool the clock back not so many years and you'd find a bunch of AMG models on their books that were quite magnificently overinflated with horsepower but which hardly offered a rounded driving experience. These days the Mercedes-AMG portfolio retains big power but brings with it welcome subtlety and, dare I say it, a measure of responsibility. The Mercedes SLK 55 AMG was the last of a generation of bruisers but that too has been replaced by an altogether more considered car - this Mercedes-AMG SLC 43. AMG hasn't gone soft. It's just become smarter.
Driving Experienceword count: 221
First the broadly predictable news. Replacing the old SLK AMG's V8 with the twin turbo V6 of this SLC has led to a drop in power - from 415 to 367bhp. Fortunately, much of that power deficit is hidden by the combination of a 30kg weight saving and the quick-shifting reactions of the mandatory 9G-TRONIC auto gearbox, with the result that the 4.7s 0-62mph sprint time is just a tenth slower than that of the old V8. Plus of course you get much improved economy - and very decent traction too, thanks to the standard limited slip differential. We mentioned the new gearbox: ratio shift timings are one of the parameters you can alter via 'DYNAMIC SELECT', a driving modes system that represents the other key addition to this SLC's roadgoing repertoire. As with most such set-ups, this one also allows you to alter steering feel, throttle response and stability control thresholds, all to better suit the way you want to drive. From start-up, there's a default 'Comfort' setting and from there, you can choose either a frugally-focused 'Eco' mode or more dynamic 'Sport' or 'Sport Plus' options. You can also fiddle with the parameters of the various system elements by altering settings on a further 'Individual' menu. Spend long enough with this and you should find a set-up you'll like.
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