According to recent international reports, the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG will get a naturally-aspirated 5.5-litre V8. The engine will be based on the new twin-turbo unit seen in the new CL63 AMG.
Retaining the twin-turbo setup would have placed the new SLK ahead of the SL in terms of performance, so Mercedes-Benz have had to remove the turbochargers. Another reason the turbochargers will be removed is because they would make the hand-built engine a lot more difficult to shoehorn into the small sports drop-top.
The new unit won't be a fresh engine just for the sake of it though. Mercedes-Benz engineers have been hard at work to reduce the overall emissions of the AMG version compared to the outgoing model. Average fuel economy is said to be rated as low as 7.0L/100km, while CO2 emissions will be 199g/km.
Helping the new SLK55 achieve these figures will be the addition of stop-start technology as standard, as well as a unique new technology to Mercedes-Benz inspired by F1 engineering called the AMG Cylinder Management. This system cuts off four cylinders in certain situations where ultimate torque and power isn't required. As soon as the accelerator or engine loads reach a point, all eight cylinders are seamlessly fired back up.
As for the power of the new beast, official specifications are yet to be announced, even so, rumour has it the new unit will produce 310kW and 539Nm of torque. This should help the new SLK55 AMG achieve the 0-100km/h sprint in under the 5.0-second range.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG will be unveiled in full at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.