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Mercedes-Benz goes out with the old SLK and in with the new SLC (pictures)

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class updates more than just its name, packing some light aesthetic enhancements, new powertrains and a dash of new tech.

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Andrew Krok

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2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class
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The Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is the official replacement for the outgoing SLK-Class.

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SLC falls in line with Mercedes-Benz's new taxonomic structure. SL denotes that it's a roadster, and the C refers to its size relative to the automaker's lineup. The SLC is the smallest roadster, and should stay that way -- we doubt the company will build an SLA-Class.

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The rear end doesn't get too much updating in the move to the 2017 model year. The taillights have new innards, and they appear slightly thinner, although that might just be due to the pictures.

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Up front, the SLC's grille is featured more prominently, and the headlights have been reworked to better resemble those featured on other new Mercedes vehicles.

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The SLC-Class still features a retractable folding hardtop. Now, though, it can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 25 mph. Another new hardtop feature is a built-in luggage separator that keeps the roof and trunk items separate when both are stowed in the trunk.

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The panoramic glass roof in the hardtop can be optioned to include Magic Sky Control, an electrochromatic finish that allows the glass to darken or lighten based on the driver's preference.

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Another bit of optional equipment is Airscarf, which adds heater vents to the seatbacks, keeping your neck nice and toasty on an early-winter, top-down cruise.

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Two trims will be available -- SLC300 and SLC43. The SLC300 packs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, good for 241 horsepower.

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The interior features minimal updates, mostly related to infotainment and display screens.

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The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 sports a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, good for 362 horsepower.

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Both the SLC300 and the SLC43 come with a single choice of transmission: a nine-speed automatic.

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The SLC43 features several small aesthetic tweaks over the SLC300, including more aggressive fasciae elements.

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Also unique to the SLC43 is its suspension tuning.

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The SLC43 comes with two options not available on the SLC300 -- a mechanical limited-slip differential and adjustable dampers.

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Naturally, AMG's signature quad tailpipes are along for the ride, as well.

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The most obvious change in the SLC's interior is the COMAND infotainment screen, which grows from 5.8 inches to 7.

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The SLC also receives autonomous emergency braking for the first time in the model's history (SLK included).

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Another screen-related update is the addition of a 4.5-inch display nestled between the tachometer and speedometer.

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Mercedes believes the SLC-Class will launch in spring 2016.

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The company did not mention specifics regarding market availability and pricing.

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