The New Generation Mercedes Benz SLK | Part Three

Mercedes Benz SLK

Mercedes Benz SLK

Three further engines to choose from

The engine line-up for the second generation of the successful SLK-Class is being augmented by three further variants:

  • The output of the four-cylinder supercharged engine has been boosted by
    15 kW/21 hp (to 135 kW/184 hp), while its torque has been increased from 240 to 250 Nm. Combined fuel consumption has been reduced to 36.7 mpg whilst CO2 emissions have been reduced by 27 g/km to 182 g/km.
  • The SLK 280 has also been further improved with respect to fuel economy and, therefore, CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption has been cut to 30.4 mpg (if an automatic transmission is fitted, the figure is 31.0 mpg), while CO2 emissions have been reduced by 11 g to 220 g/km (if an automatic transmission is fitted, the figure is 6 g lower at 216 g/km).
  • The SLK 55 AMG is still equipped with the familiar 5.5-litre V8 powerplant developing 265 kW/360 hp and a peak torque of 510 Nm.

Standard equipment for the three new SLK models includes a precise six-speed manual gearshift, while the SLK 55 AMG still comes with the 7G‑TRONIC Sport seven-speed automatic transmission fitted as standard. Optional extras available include a five-speed automatic transmission for the SLK 200 and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission or, alternatively, the 7G-TRONIC Sport with shift paddles on the steering wheel for the six-cylinder SLK 280 and SLK 350 models.

New direct-steer system for outstanding agility and tangible driving pleasure

A newly developed direct steering system with variable steering assistance, available as an optional extra (standard for the SLK 55 AMG), further highlights the qualities of the sporty chassis, combining agility and manoeuvrability when driving on twisting rural roads with steering comfort when parking and assured steering characteristics when travelling at high speed.

The direct-steer system is based on the previously installed speed-sensitive power steering system and operates by purely mechanical means, meaning that there is no need for elaborate actuators and complex sensors. At its heart is a new rack with slick gearing, which ensures that the steering gear ratio changes in tune with the steering angle. The ratio is indirect when the steering is in or around the central position so as to ensure excellent straight-line stability and, therefore, a high degree of assuredness when travelling at high speed. At a steering angle of just 5 degrees, the ratio starts to increase extremely rapidly and the steering feels much more direct. As a result, the number of steering wheel revolutions from lock to lock is reduced by around 25 per cent if the new direct steering is fitted. This means that, even in city traffic, relatively little steering wheel movement is required to correct the car's path. Fast sequences of bends on rural roads can be negotiated almost intuitively with relatively small steering movements – with assurance, precision and a healthy dose of driving enjoyment.

Visually enhanced Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG

On a technical level, the SLK 55 AMG remains almost unchanged. The only differences are a few visual enhancements. The front end of the AMG model now features a new apron with a black-painted cross strut and side air outlets as well as darkened headlamps.

The trendsetting Mercedes Benz SLK

As trendsetters and technology leaders, the SLK-Class Roadsters have long enjoyed the image of a modern cult car. Even after the extensive modifications, the familiar outstanding qualities remain, for example, the vario-roof that transforms the roadster into a coupé in 22 seconds, not to mention the extensive standard-equipment package, including head/thorax sidebags, adaptive front airbags and two-stage belt-force limiters. Plus the roadster also comes with the option of the unique AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, which allows open-top driving pleasure all year round, even in winter.

Published 22 December 2007 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Mercedes Benz SLK-Class news article may have changed since publication on the 22 December 2007. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Mercedes Benz dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017