The new Mercedes Benz SLK offers more than merely individual highlights. It assumes a leading position in every discipline and offers fun at the wheel in every respect, with no half-hearted compromises. It impresses with characteristics which are generally deemed to be irreconcilable: it succeeds in uniting excellent comfort and high-quality equipment and appointments with a decidedly sporty flair. At the same time the new roadster is one of the most economical and environmentally friendly in itS-Class and sets new safety standards. All-weather driving enjoyment - with the roof open and closed, in leisure-time and everyday use - is firmly anchored in the Mercedes Benz SLK's genes.
The designers have tailor-made a body for the new Mercedes Benz SLK which emphasises itS-Classic roadster proportions and puts them in the spotlight to thrilling effect. Behind the long bonnet is a compact passenger compartment positioned far back, and a short tail end. The Mercedes Benz SLK will tempt potential customers with the key attributes that characterise all the classic roadsters from Mercedes Benz and that have also made many of them automotive icons of the brand.
With the most compact dimensions in itS-Class, the new Mercedes Benz SLK has an interior whose generous size is exemplary. To achieve this, the designers have developed interior appointments which offer the driver and passenger the highest degree of perfect perceived quality and puristic precision. The interior is characterised by stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials which have been processed with perfect precision and skilled craftsmanship. The centre console and other trim parts gleam in brushed aluminium. Wood can be selected as an option in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash. Four round, galvanised air outlets integrated in the dashboard emphasise that this model well and truly belongs to the Mercedes Benz sports car family, their shape being a nod to those in the Mercedes Benz SLS.
For the first time Mercedes Benz is offering a choice of three variants of the lightweight-construction vario-roof for the new Mercedes Benz SLK: In just a few seconds this feature transforms the roadster into a coupe with a "fixed" roof at the touch of a button - and vice versa:
- The standard version is a roof painted in the vehicle colour
- Alternatively there is the option of a dark tinted panoramic vario-roof
- The third variant is a world premiere - the panoramic vario-roof with Magic Sky Control. This glass roof switches to light or dark as you wish at the press of a button. When light it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up when the sun’s rays are very intense. In other words: a feel-good atmosphere at the touch of a button
There will initially be three models of the Mercedes Benz SLK available at its market launch, all of them powered by new engines with direct injection. The four-cylinder engines in the Mercedes Benz SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY develop 184 hp and 204 hp respectively from a displacement of 1796 cubic centimetres. The Mercedes Benz SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY is the most economical roadster in its segment. With the enhanced, optional seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-Tronic Plus it returns 46.3 mpg on the combined cycle. The frugal model sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.0 seconds, and achieves its top speed at 147 mph (150 with manual transmission).
The Mercedes Benz SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped as standard with the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission and returns 45.5 mpg on the combined cycle. From a standstill it reaches 62 mph in 6.6 seconds, and it has a top speed of 150 mph.
The V6 engine in the Mercedes Benz SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY draws 306 hp from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement, using this power to accelerate in 5.6 seconds from 0 to 62 mph (top speed 155 mph). It returns 39.7 mpg on the combined cycle. The new V6 engine has been developed from the ground up and its most important hallmarks are its 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.
The exemplary efficiency, with fuel consumption improved by up to a quarter compared with the predecessor models, is also due to the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models.
The new Mercedes Benz SLK will launch in the UK in June 2011. Pricing and UK specifications are still to be confirmed.Published 13 January 2011