When Mercedes decided to change the name of their baby roadster from SLK to SLC they also made some major changes to their performance AMG model. Out with the big V8 and in with a more modest turbo V6. The result is the Mercedes-Benz SLC 43 AMG Roadster.
The old car with such a large engine in quite a small car was unique in the marketplace. It may not have been as nimble as a BMW Z4 or Porsche Boxster but the brutal power output made for an exhilarating drive. Performance in the SLC 43 is similar put delivered in a less brutal way. Where the SLK 55 AMG was exciting, the SLC 43 AMG is accomplished. The new engine is considerably lighter making a marked improvement to the handling. The multi-mode suspension adapts form dynamic sporty driving to long distance cruising very well. The exhaust note is pleasing with pops and crackles but not as obtrusive as some.
Th interior is pleasant if a little dated and the equipment levels are excellent. AMG did a good job of turning a comfortable roadster into a proper sports car. It feels special to drive and eagerly attacks winding roads. The suspension copes well with sporty driving and motorway miles but suffers on rough road surfaces where the trim can creak and shudder.
The Mercedes-Benz SLC 43 AMG Roadster has quite a few more modern competitors. Not least the Porsche 718 Boxster and Audi TTRS. Both highly accomplished cars which make the Mercedes look a little dated. The 43 AMG remains, however, a fast and stylish roadster and a refined compact grand touring car.