The new Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 and SLK 350 ($118,900) will start the line up before the SLK 250 and SLK 55 AMG arrive early next year.
Having been in the Mercedes lineup for 15 years, the SLK name badge has well and truly earned its place as a reputable roadster. Even so, the two previous generation SLKs have arguably portrayed a more feminine appeal. The new one however, is far more aggressive than ever before.
Taking styling ideas from Mercedes-Benz’s SLS, the new SLK can be described as a “baby SLS”. Although photos don’t do it justice, its rough and rugged edges and wider stance give it a far more dominating road presence. Compared to the previous generation, it measures 33mm wider, 31mm longer and just 5mm higher. It’s also about $8,500 cheaper for the entry model.
Apart from a whole new exterior look, Mercedes-Benz has added a great deal of new features to the updated SLK. For example, the new “Vario-roof” is constructed from a magnesium frame (saving 6kg as a result) and is now much quieter but also 2 seconds faster to operate (20 seconds to close/open).
The roof’s design has also allowed for 35L more boot space over the previous model. However it still requires the vehicle to remain stationary for operation.
If you want to give it a little more character, then the new magic sky transparency roof which uses a ‘suspended particle device layer’ that can go clear with a press of a button (which sends electric charge), is definitely the way to go.
The Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 is powered by a 1.8-litre direct injection turbo four-cylinder providing 135kW and 270Nm (same engine found in C200). That results in a very respectable 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds, whilst consuming just 6.9L of fuel per 100ks.
The current range-topper, the Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 makes use of a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol that pumps out 225kW and 370Nm of torque. It consumes 8.3L of fuel per 100km and dashes from 0-100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.
Both variants push their power to the rear wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission and come equipped with six airbags.
CarAdvice has just spent a day with the new SLK range so expect a full review in the next 48 hours.