Mercedes-Benz confirms the SLC will cease production later this year with an announcement that a Final Edition model will arrive in North American showrooms next month.
To be unveiled at the upcoming 2019 Geneva auto show, the last-ever SLC will be launched nearly 23 years after the 2-seat roadster made its public premiere badged as the SLK, ushering in a new folding hardtop roof structure that many rival automakers subsequently copied.
The celebratory SLC Final Edition is to be produced with three different gasoline engines: a 1.6L 4-cyl. with 154 hp in the SLC180; a 2.0L 4-cyl. with 181 hp and 242 hp in the SLC200 and SLC300; and a 3.0L V-6 that delivers 383 hp in the SLC43 from Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance-car division.
Both the SLC180 and SLC200 Final Edition come with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, while the SLC300 and SLC43 receive a standard 9-speed automatic.
In line with the current SLC lineup, only the SLC300 and SLC43 will be sold in the U.S.
Without plans for a successor model, Mercedes-Benz is marking the end of SLC production with a special optional yellow exterior paint scheme. It is one of the colors the German automaker used in launching the original SLK back in 1996 and is offered alongside standard black and gray paint schemes.
The new SLC model is based on the existing AMG Line model, with uniquely styled bumpers, 18-in. 5-spoke alloy wheels and an upgraded interior featuring, among other previous options, the Airscarf seatback-mounted neck heater (below, left) as standard.
In top-of-the-line SLC43 AMG Final Edition guise, the rear-wheel-drive roadster is claimed to accelerate from 0-to-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
The SLC was produced in three model generations over its 23-year lifespan. The original R170-designated model was launched in 1996 at the Paris auto show. It was succeeded by a second-generation model, the R171, at the 2004 Geneva auto show.
The final third-generation model, the R172, first went on sale in 2011. Until then, the C-Class-based roadster was known as the SLK. It was renamed the SLC during a facelift in 2016.
Up to next month’s introduction of the new SLC Final Edition, combined global sales of the SLK and SLC exceed 710,000, according to Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz’s decision to discontinue the SLC comes after falling sales and dwindling profits in the premium roadster segment.