With the completely newly developed Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, one of the most exciting and successful sports cars ever built is entering its third generation. The new roadster uncompromisingly takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. It blends light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports-car design with total suitability for everyday use, top performance with exemplary ecology. What's more, the Mercedes-Benz SLK is proud to present the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which switches to light or dark at the touch of a button. Exemplary efficiency and sporty flair come courtesy of powerful new 4- and 6-cylinder engines featuring the standard-specification ECO start/stop function. With their superb levels of performance they are up to 25 percent more economical than their predecessors. And a unique set of safety equipment bestows role-model status on the SLK in this segment. With its wealth of technical innovations the Mercedes-Benz SLK is once again the benchmark in its class.
But the new Mercedes-Benz SLK offers more than merely individual highlights. It assumes a leading position in every discipline and offers fun at the wheel in every respect, with no half-hearted compromises. It impresses with characteristics which are generally deemed to be irreconcilable: it succeeds in uniting excellent comfort and high-quality equipment and appointments with a decidedly sporty flair, for instance. At the same time the new roadster is the most economical and thus the most environmentally friendly in its class, also setting new safety standards. And all-weather driving enjoyment - open and closed, in leisure-time and everyday use - is firmly anchored in the SLK's genes.
Interior with style and puristic good looks
With the most compact dimensions in its class, the new Mercedes-Benz SLK has an interior whose generous size is exemplary. To achieve this, the designers have developed interior appointments which offer the driver and passenger the highest degree of perfect perceived quality and puristic precision. The interior is characterised by stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials which have been processed with perfect precision and skilled craftsmanship. Even in the base version the centre console and other trim parts gleam in brushed aluminium. Wood can be selected as an option in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash. Four round, galvanised air outlets integrated in the dashboard emphasise that this model well and truly belongs to the Mercedes-Benz sports car family, their shape being a nod to those in the SLS.
The SLK's generous round dials are flanked by a display for the information generated by the online computer. The colour display for the communications and entertainment functions is housed in the centre of the dashboard, and can be easily read by both the driver and passenger. On the top of the dashboard, also in the centre, sits a fine analogue clock - an unusual detail which subtly underlines the roadster's stylish character.
Other high-quality items of equipment include a multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened bottom section and a thick leather crown, plus optional sun-reflecting leather which noticeably reduces the degree to which the surfaces it covers heat up, impressive ambient lighting and the innovative neck-level heating system AIRSCARF, familiar from the predecessor.
Unique item of equipment: MAGIC SKY CONTROL
For the first time Mercedes-Benz is offering a choice of three variants of the lightweight-construction vario-roof for the new SLK: In just a few seconds this feature transforms the roadster into a coupé with a "fixed" roof at the touch of a button - and vice versa:
- The base version is a roof painted in the vehicle colour
- Alternatively there is the option of a panoramic vario-roof with dark-tinted windows
- The third variant is a world premiere - the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. This glass roof switches to light or dark as you wish at the press of a button. When light it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up when the sun's rays are very intense. In other words: a feel-good atmosphere at the touch of a button
Innovative draught-stop system AIRGUIDE
A comfortable alternative to the conventional draught-stop is a new pivoting draught-stop for the new Mercedes-Benz SLK which has been invented by Mercedes-Benz aerodynamics engineers. It consists of pivoting transparent plastic layers which are attached to the reverse of the roll-over bars. The driver or passenger can swing them to the centre of the vehicle in a flash, thus taming turbulent air flow.
Spirit and efficiency
There will initially be three models of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class available at its market launch, all of them powered by new engines with direct injection. The four-cylinder engines in the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY develop 135 kW (184 hp) and 150 kW (204 hp) respectively from a displacement of 1796 cubic centimetres. The SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY is the most economical roadster in its segment. With the enhanced, optional seven-speed automatic transmission 7G‑TRONIC PLUS it consumes just 6.1 litres of premium petrol (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (that corresponds to 142 g of CO2 per kilometre). The frugal model sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds, and achieves its top speed at 237 km/h (240 km/h with manual transmission).
The SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped as standard with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and consumes only 6.2 litres (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (144 g of CO2 per kilometre). From a standstill it reaches 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, and it has a top speed of 243 km/h.
The V6 engine in the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY draws 225 kW (306 hp) from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement, using this power to accelerate in 5.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (top speed 250 km/h). Its consumption is 7.1 litres (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (167 g of CO2 per kilometre). The V6 engine has been completely newly developed. Its most important hallmarks are its 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.
The exemplary efficiency, with fuel consumption reduced by up to a quarter compared with the predecessor models, is also due to the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models.
Suspension for the closest link with the road
There are also three suspension versions to choose from:
- A conventional steel suspension comes as standard
- A sports suspension with harder springs and dampers ensures a systematically sporty driving experience
- As an alternative a Dynamic Handling package is available. Its merits include a suspension with continuous adjustable damping. It has an electronically controlled fully automatic damping system, so the vehicle rolls away gently even on poor road surfaces, but still offers high driving dynamics
Also included in the Dynamic Handling package are a Direct-Steer system and the Torque Vectoring Brakes developed by Mercedes-Benz. The Direct-Steer system offers more handling and agility than the standard steering, whilst also reducing the amount of physical effort required when parking. In critical conditions the Torque Vectoring Brakes produce a defined rotational movement of the vehicle about the vertical axis in fractions of seconds through selective brake actuation at the rear wheel on the inside of the bend. This results in the Mercedes-Benz SLK stabilising without any compromises where dynamism is concerned, and it steers into the bend precisely and under full control.
Ingenious material mix and high levels of safety
The new SLK's bodyshell structure has been further refined, with the bonnet and wings now made of aluminium.
The new Mercedes-Benz SLK also sets new benchmarks in terms of safety. The third generation of the powerful trend-setter will make use of a whole host of the latest assistance systems to support the driver, including the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, developed by Mercedes-Benz and fitted as standard; the optional anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, which is unique in the world; and the PRE-SAFE® Brake, which can apply the brakes autonomously in the event of an impending rear-end collision. As such, with the SLK too Mercedes-Benz is consistently and significantly exceeding the requirements imposed by safety standards.
Those wishing to do so can extend the host of assistance systems in the new SLK even further:
- The Intelligent Light System provides five lighting functions (cornering light function, country mode, motorway mode, active light function and enhanced fog lamps), which are activated depending on the driving conditions
- The Speed Limit Assist is able to detect speed limit signs using a camera on the inside of the windscreen and indicate the respective detected speed limit on a display in the instrument cluster
The new Merceses SLK can be ordered from 17 January 2011. The prices including VAT are as follows:
- SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY: 38,675 euros,
- SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY: 44,256.10 euros,
- SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY: 52,300.50 euros.
To mark the launch of the new SLK, Mercedes-Benz is offering an "Edition 1" special model with the special paint finish SHAPE in glacier grey. The "Edition 1" is opulently appointed and its standard specification includes the panoramic vario-roof, the Dynamic Handling package, AMG bodystyling, two-tone designo nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, AIRSCARF, ambient lighting and more. The additional charges range from 8490 to 8990 euros, depending on the base model.