By on April 27, 2017

[Image: Daimler AG]

Remember when the boxy little Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster bowed with its innovative retractable hardtop back in 1997? The model provided Germanophiles with an alternative to the BMW Z3 and gave the brand a healthy injection of youthful, downmarket sportiness.

Well, the recently refreshed two-seater — which adopted the SLC moniker for 2017 — seems to be running on a combination of gasoline and borrowed time.

A report out of Europe claims the automaker has new plans in store for its lower-volume offerings, and it doesn’t include a future for the SLC. According to Automobile, the SLC has vanished from Mercedes-Benz’s cycle plan, meaning the current generation will be the roadster’s last.

As it stands, the SLC is merely a refresh of a model that bowed as a 2012 model back in the spring of 2011. As Mercedes-Benz isn’t likely to dump the existing SLC with any immediate haste, you probably have a few years left to add one to your driveway.

The same report teases changes coming to other products in the Benz stable. Again, we’re talking about niche models far removed from the brand’s sedan and utility breadwinners.

The next-generation SL and AMG GT luxo rockets will share a new lightweight platform, with the SL taking on a more conventional layout in the grand tourer tradition. That means a 2+2 configuration and soft convertible top. Of course, a large 2+2 droptop would tread heavily into the S-Class Cabriolet’s territory, meaning that model — which only just arrived this year — might find itself in danger of an early extinction.

The SL/AMG GT platform swap isn’t expected until 2020, so the Cabriolet still has a few years left if that’s the case.

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche echoed comments made by BMW, saying that it’s increasingly hard to make a business case for specialty models.

[Image: Daimler AG]

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18 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz’s Smallest Droptop Ready for a Date with Death: Report...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    A four-seat SL? Blasphemy!

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    A fancy-luxury electric impersonation of an MX-5 that was considerably quicker would be a great niche for either a Z BMW or SLK Benz.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    Good riddens, this thing hasn’t been relevant for a decade. This new generation is also the ugliest.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    For me, the only reason for this thing to exist was the always-awesome AMG V8 engine note, sounding more like a bass boat than a car, that you could get from either of the two generations of SLK55 AMG. Now it’s been replaced by the SLC43, powered by a vacuum cleaner of a turbocharged V6. No want anymore.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    And with this, thousands of kept women pour one out.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      They moved onto Audi Q3s etc.

      There used to be a roaring trade here of Euro small automatic asthmatic electric top convertibles… stuff that wasnt available in the US.

      Things like the Peugeot 206 convertible, 1.6 n/a 4 spd auto with a full auto metal roof. Seems to be the fave of ‘kept women’, enough room for shopping, a small snippy poodle and your best female friend.

      That market is dead in the water now.

  • avatar
    MLS

    Bring back the Crossfire!

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Am I the only one tempted by the crossfire?

      You can buy them for like $5 grand, and they have aged REALLY WELL…

      I used to have an SLK 320 and I loved it. Crossfires need to get a little rarer, and they’ll be a good bite for the price.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Has the Crossfire crossed my mind at times? Yes because they are stinkin’ cheap.

        BUT the Mercedes engine is what gives me pause. I’d rather have Chrysler’s 3.5 ltr HO V6. At least it doesn’t have two spark plugs per cylinder and a known issue with eating crank position sensors with frightening regularity.

      • 0 avatar
        MLS

        Never thought to look at used prices, though it makes sense they’d be cheap given the massive discounts and Overstock.com (!) fire sale in the final model year. Just found one on eBay (admittedly with 140K) for $2700.

        I agree that the Crossfire has aged well, and the examples I see on the road appear to be well cared for given their age.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Bring back the Crossfire!”

      Not to be confused with the ’83 ‘Vette and its Crossfire Injection.

      As C&D said, that was such a goofy name; “look out, kid, that car’s about to crossfire!”

  • avatar
    gasser

    For what it’s worth In the 70s the 450 SL also came as cool with four seats called the 450 SLC. When the next Mercedes S class debuted in 1981 or so they waited one year and then went to a two door SEC for their for passenger coupe. I had one of these after MBZ put the larger 560 engine into it. The backseat was OK for kids or really short rides for adults. The 560 was a fabulous car ; I had it for 17 years.

  • avatar
    jaybee2

    @gasser

    Coincidentally I just acquired a 560SEC – I could no sooner have afforded one new than I could fly to the moon – 30 years later I am enjoying a veritable time capsule example of Merc’s flagship coupe – a fabulous car as you say :)

    The SLC was kind of an odd duck but curiously has grown on me – funny how name badges come and go.

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