Targeting the Audi TT, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, the SLC features a redesigned front end with a "diamond" radiator grille and an upgraded interior with a new instrument cluster and sport steering wheel.
Buyers can choose from two versions: the sporty 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 or the high-performance 2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43.
"The renamed compact roadster remains an ideal combination of passion and common sense, appealing to both the heart and mind," said Ola Kallenius, a member of Daimler AG's management board, in a statement.
The SLC300 is equipped with a 241-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, while the SLC43 gets the 362-hp 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine.
Both feature the nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission as standard.
The SLC accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds; the SLC43 makes the 0-60-mph sprint in 4.6 seconds.
A new feature for the SLC is standard Active Brake Assist or autonomous braking. This feature automatically slows the vehicle if a rear-end crash is imminent. Blind-spot assist and lane-keeping assist are available as optional equipment.
Mercedes-Benz said the electrohydraulic roof is easier to operate and can be opened at speeds of up to 25 mph.
Other optional features include Dynamic LED headlights, ambient lighting and a Comand infotainment system.
Edmunds says: A name change and lots of upgrades should make the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC a compelling choice for car shoppers in the spring.