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Mercedes introduces cut-price roadster, £32k SLC 180 coming late summer

Written by: Neil

The warm weather has officially arrived and as always, so has our desire to drive a convertible. There’s nothing like seeing other motorists cruise around with their roof down, wind in their hair, basking in the glorious sunshine.

The second-hand market is littered with hundreds of Mazda MX-5s you can pick up for little more than a couple of grand.

However, if you fancied a roadster with a fancy badge at an affordable price, options have been limited. Until now that is.

Mercedes-Benz has introduced a new entry-level SLC, which makes the prospect of owning a premium-badged drop-top more likely for many motorists.

Admittedly, with a starting price of £32k, you won’t find the cash for the SLC 180 AMG Line down the back of the settee, but the reduced price is certainly a step in the right direction.

A lot of the SLC’s figures and spec makes it highly comparable to the current fourth-gen Mazda MX-5. It is driven by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine with 143bhp and up to 250Nm of torque.

Linked to a six-speed manual transmission, the car can race from nought to 62mph in just under eight seconds and it’ll keep picking up speed until you reach 140mph. A nine-speed automatic gearbox is also available for those willing to pay an extra £1,600.

The car has been priced to be as affordable as possible and actually running the thing won’t cost the earth either, with a combined fuel consumption of 48.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 134g/km. This makes it narrowly more efficient that the current 1.5-litre MX-5.

Don’t assume Merc has been stingy with kit either, standard spec includes 18-inch alloy wheels, artico seats, active brake assist, cruise control, air conditioning, sports suspension and a sports braking system.

You can order an SLC 180 now and expect to have it sitting on your driveway before summer is over.

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “With temperatures rising, this affordable and well-specced SLC 180 has arrived at just the right time.”

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