Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Roadster

The 2012 SLK-Class unites premium comfort and high-quality equipment with an especially athletic flair. At the same time the new roadster is the most fuel efficient in its class matched with segment-leading safety. All-weather driving enjoyment - open or closed, during weekends or the daily commute - is built-in to the SLK's genes.

The best or nothing - this motto is at the heart of the Mercedes-Benz philosophy, and also the guiding theme for the new SLK. From the start the roadster was designed to provide top performance in all areas, and Mercedes-Benz engineers have rigorously translated this requirement into reality giving the SLK attributes that provide the roadster with a peak position in its segment. Among them are extremely compact dimensions combined with a generous interior with numerous practical features. Outstanding performance and sporty, agile handling are also major characteristics of the new SLK. The new SLK is also the safest roadster with its unrivalled range of safety features.

The designers have tailor-made a body for the new SLK that emphasizes its classic roadster proportions. Behind the long hood is a compact passenger compartment and a short rear overhang - key attributes that characterize all the classic roadsters from Mercedes-Benz.

The first eye-catching feature is an upright radiator grille that bears the new Mercedes-Benz brand look. The grille emphasizes the long and well-proportioned hood, and with its light-catching contours it already hints at the roadster's dramatic qualities. The wide radiator grille bears the Mercedes-Benz star in a prominent central position and displays a powerfully contoured chromed fin at the front. The clearly defined headlamps complete the look of the new SLK's face and resemble that of the legendary 190SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many as being the original "SLK". However, the designers did not just focus on the past; with the new SLK's front end they also intentionally created a close visual link with the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG "gullwing" and the new CLS-Class.

The timeless, classic shape of the side profile with the classic roadster proportions embodies aesthetics of the highest caliber and is a visual cue to the vehicle's sportiness and driving pleasure. Fine details show the care that has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz designers. For example, a molding conceals the trunk joint, so that the side line doesn't interfere, as it usually does with similar roof designs. The ventilation grilles in the front fenders with a chromed fin are reminiscent of the famous Mercedes-Benz roadsters of the 1950s. In the new SLK, they form the perfect starting point for a feature line, which flows to the muscular rear fender, using light and shadow to add style and timeless aesthetics to the sides. Meanwhile, the upper edge of the wide headlamps - which for the first time feature LED technology - also appears to flow into the feature line.

This line is emphasized by the stemmed exterior mirrors, which are positioned on the beltline where they allow a better forward view to the side with their very narrow stems painted in the vehicle color. Their sophisticated aerodynamics also helps to keep the side windows practically dirt-free, while ensuring a low level of wind noise.

An ambient lighting system available for the first time as an option in the Sport Package creates an impressive effect in the interior of the new SLK. It consists of discreet optical fibers in SOLAR RED, which produce a pleasant yet dramatic lighting effect in the door panels, around the door pulls and on both sides of the center console. This mood-enhancing ambient lighting is activated when the doors are opened ("welcome home" effect), and its intensity can be individually varied by a dimmer.

The 2012 SLK350 is powered by a redesigned direct-injection V6 engine developing 302 hp/273 lb-ft. of torque from its 3,498 cubic-centimeter displacement, using this power to accelerate in 5.4  seconds from 0 to 60 mph (top speed 155 mph). Its fuel consumption is estimated at 20 city/29 hwy mpg thanks to its 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.

Launching later on in the model year, the SLK250 goes on-sale with a turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection engine developing 201 hp/229 lb-ft of torque from a displacement of 1,796 cubic centimeters. The SLK250 is equipped with a standard 6-speed manual transmission and consumes an estimated 23 city/31 hwy mpg. From a standstill it reaches 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and it has a top speed of 155 mph.

The improved seven-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment for the Mercedes-Benz SLK350 (optionally available on the SLK250). The transmission has undergone extensive further development to achieve decreased torque converter slip, a significant reduction in internal losses and optimized efficiency. Mercedes-Benz developers reduced vibration in the transmission by incorporating a new torsion damper which makes low speed operation more comfortable.

Source: Mercedes-Benz press

Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Roadster