The New Mercedes Benz SLK-Class | Part Four

The 120 kW/163 hp engine in the SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR is also celebrating a premiere status in this range of Mercedes models. This is one of the new generation of four-cylinder engines from Mercedes Benz featuring the unique TWINPULSE system which offers further advances in terms of performance, torque, smoothness and fuel economy. The TWINPULSE system combines a range of different technologies such as a compressor, balancer shafts, charge-air cooling, variable camshaft adjustment and four-valve technology. This high-tech package makes the new SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR eight per cent more fuel-efficient than its equally powerful predecessor. The NEDC overall fuel consumption rating is just 8.7 litres of fuel over a distance of 100 kilometres.

As standard equipment, the SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR and SLK 350 are going to the starting grid with a six-speed transmission equipped with short, fast shift lever strokes and high levels of shift precision. As an option, the four-cylinder engine can be twinned with the tried and tested five-speed automatic transmission while the new six-cylinder can be paired up with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission. To reflect the dynamic character of the new SLK-Class, drivers can operate both automatic transmissions using gearshift buttons mounted on the steering wheel (as an optional extra) to select the desired ratio. Specification details on UK models will be announced nearer the summer 2004 introduction.

The distinguishing features of the sports-tuned suspension are the new design of three-link front axle, the rack-and-pinion steering unit and an even more powerful braking system than the previous model. Mercedes engineers have modified many details of the multi-link independent rear suspension unit and have adapted it to suit the increased track width of this new model. Depending on the choice of model, standard equipment in the new SLK-Class can include 16, 17 or even 18-inch alloy wheels. Low-slung sports suspension is also available as an option.

Comfort: AIRSCARF – a world first for even greater top-down driving pleasure

Longer and more often is the clear message from the new Mercedes Benz SLK-Class to fans of top-down driving. AIRSCARF is a world first which allows drivers to lower the vario-roof even when there is a real chill in the air. Owners can now enjoy the true roadster experience more frequently than ever before. AIRSCARF is an innovative heating system located in the seat headrests: at the touch of a button, temperature-controlled air flows out of special vents in the headrests to keep the shoulders, neck and heads of SLK occupants warm on the road – acting just like an invisible scarf.

This new development is a unique option in the open-top car market. It operates in three stages and is equipped with an electronic control unit. It controls head-level heating to suit ambient conditions – depending on road speed and temperature - and adapts the fan speed continuously to ensure that the best possible distribution of hot air is delivered in any given situation.

The THERMATIC system represents a further innovation for perfect in-car climate control and is standard equipment on the SLK 350 and the SLK 55 AMG. For even more demanding car drivers, Mercedes Benz has developed the THERMOTRONIC luxury climate control system, equipped with solar and pollutant sensors.

To keep SLK driver and passenger entertained and informed, optional equipment includes the Audio 20 CD stereo car radio, the Audio 50 APS with integrated colour display and a navigation system or COMAND APS, which features a DVD/CD player, colour display and separate DVD drive for the navigation system. Another option is the surround sound system with eleven speakers and a 380 watt amplifier for that ultimate acoustic experience.

Published 8 January 2004 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Mercedes Benz SLK-Class news article may have changed since publication on the 8 January 2004. 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. © 2018