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by George Skentzos

For those who can’t quite stretch the budget for the new SL-Class, the next-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster offers a more conventional balance of price, performance and luxury.

Following an extensive facelift incorporating around 650 newly developed components, the updated SLK three-model range begins at a far more obtainable $86,780.

The range begins with the SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR, which boasts a four-cylinder supercharged engine producing 135kW and peak torque of 250Nm.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster

Engine refinements see fuel consumption drop by a substantial 1.2-litres to just 8.0L/100km, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions by 30 g /km to 190 g/km.

The mid-range SLK 350 is powered by a high-revving 3.5-litre V6 engine developing 224kW and 360Nm, hitting red line at 7200rpm.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster

When coupled with the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, the SLK 350 consumes just 9.2-litres per 100km – 1.9-litres less than the previous model.

The pinnacle of the range is the SLK 55 AMG which features a familiar 5.5-litre V8 power plant delivering 265 kW of power and 510Nm.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster

The two new models in the SLK range all come with a precision six-speed manual gearshift while the SLK 55 AMG retains the 7G-TRONIC Sport seven-speed automatic transmission.

A newly developed direct-steer system with variable power assistance also makes its debut as standard on the SLK range.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster

The direct-steer system is derived from the previous speed-sensitive power steering and operates purely mechanically, adjusting the steering gear ratio in tune with the steering angle.

Pricing and Specifications

Model Power Torque 0-100km/h Price
SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR 135 kw 250 Nm 7.6 seconds $86,780
SLK 350 224 kW 360 Nm 5.4 seconds $112,380
SLK 55 AMG 265 kW 510 Nm 4.9 seconds $164,900



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