Mercedes-Benz's Smallest Droptop Ready for a Date With Death: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mercedes benz s smallest droptop ready for a date with death report

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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  • Gasser Gasser on Apr 27, 2017

    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.

  • Jaybee2 Jaybee2 on Apr 27, 2017

    @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.

  • Bill Wade Norm, while true I'll leave you with this. My 2023 RAM is running Android 8 released in 2017.My wife's navigation on her GM truck is a 2021 release, I believe the latest. Android Auto seems to update very week or two. Now, which would you rather have? Anybody with a car a couple of years old NEVER sees any updates. Heck, if your TV is a few years old it's dead on updates. At least cell phones are rapidly updated. If your old phone won't update, buy another $200 phone. If your GM vehicle doesn't update do what, buy another $50,000 GM vehicle?
  • Lou_BC Once again, Mustang is the last pony car standing. Camaro RIP, Challenger RIP.
  • FreedMike Next up should DEFINITELY be the Cadillac Eldorado. On the subject of Caddies, I saw a Lyriq in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I'm changing my tune on its' styling. In person, it works quite well, and the interior is very nicely executed.
  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars