Happy 20th Birthday

The cult roadster from Mercedes-Benz has been rechristened. Since July, the two-seater with vario-roof has gone by the name SLC. But that’s far from the only change the company has made to celebrate the car’s big birthday.

Since 1996, the letters SLK have adorned the bodywork of a history-making Mercedes-Benz. For 20 years now, the compact roadster has fused the driving pleasure of an open-top car with the everyday usability of a coupe. The key has been the vario-roof, which guarantees high comfort levels in all weather. In the year it was launched, the SLK was Germany’s best-selling roadster, and it has since attracted fans the world over. The R 170 (up to 2004), R 171 (up to 2011) and R 172 (since 2011) model generations have notched up combined sales of 670,000 cars.


Among the presents awaiting this now classic Mercedes-Benz are a facelift and a new name: It’s out with the SLK and in with the SLC. This underscores the roadster’s close relationship with the C-Class, and also heralds a host of other technical and stylistic optimizations by the Mercedes-Benz designers. Visually, the car now cuts an even more dynamic figure, the range of equipment options has been expanded and numerous details have been further refined. The overview below shows exactly what has changed – from the interior trim to the panoramic vario-roof, from the front end to the trunk.

Mercedes-Benz SLC


The Active LED High Performance Lighting System available as an option for the SLC bathes the road in a pleasant white hue that is very close to daylight. The optional Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus system makes continuous high-beam headlamp use possible without blinding other road users.


Sporting intent is written all over the face of the SLC. The newly designed nose with steeply raked radiator grille and arrow-shaped hood creates an even more dynamic look. The diamond radiator grille is a standard feature of all SLC models. And the striking headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lamps also catch the eye. The new front bumper with prominent air intakes is another time-honoured roadster design cue.


Operating the electrohydraulic roof is now easier than ever. If traffic conditions require that you pull away with the roof still opening or closing, the process – started while at a standstill – can continue with the car moving at up to approximately 40 km/h. The optional glass panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL can be changed from a dark tint to transparent at the touch of a button, making it possible to stargaze when the roof is closed.

4. 335 LITRES

The trunk capacity of the SLC makes it ideal for road-trip getaways for couples. A new electric luggage compartment separator is standard. If the separator is in the upper position for increased trunk capacity, it automatically moves down as soon as the roof is opened. If there is not enough space for this to happen, the driver immediately receives an alert in the instrument cluster.

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