Key visual enhancements include new-look front and rear sections as well as a meticulously modified interior with a new instrument cluster and three-spoke sports steering wheel. A fast-running V6 sports engine developing 305 hp and an optionally available direct-steer system truly bring the bold, dynamic character of the two-seater SLK 350 to the fore.
Since their first appearance in 1996, the compact SLK Roadsters have come to symbolize Mercedes-Benz' dynamic brand image. Already a familiar sight on our roads, the second-generation two-seater is to be further enhanced with the implementation of a raft of measures in 2008, the aim being to further emphasize the car's sporty character and continue the SLK-Class success story by introducing new, dynamic, powerful elements.
The new-generation SLK displays new sporty highlights, further enhancing the appeal of the successful two-seater with the trend-setting vario-roof that transforms the car from a roadster into a weatherproof coupé in a matter of seconds.
Eye-catching features include the new-look front bumper with a modified air-dam arrangement and a more pronounced arrow shape. Plus the area around the Mercedes star has been restyled to render it even more succinct.
In addition, the designers have modified the rear end by introducing a diffuser-style lower section that makes the Roadster appear more powerful when viewed from behind – an effect that is enhanced considerably by the trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes and the AMG-inspired darkened tail lights. The now larger exterior mirrors feature LED indicators with a pronounced arrow shape, while the range of light-alloy wheels is also almost entirely new.
Many of the interior details have also been redesigned and upgraded following a careful process of material selection. Particular importance was attached to optimizing the interior so as to make it even more driver-oriented. Centerpieces include a new three-spoke sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and a new instrument cluster with captivating dial surrounds.
New "gullwing red" leather appointments will be available – reminiscent of the interior appointments in the legendary 300 SL gullwing model. Further new additions include nappa leather appointments in "natural beige", which complement the new "pale burr walnut" and "black ash grain" wood trims perfectly.
Mercedes-Benz is installing the new NTG 2.5 audio and telematics generation in the SLK for the first time. It is easier to operate and offers an even wider range of useful functions. Standard features integrated in every radio include a hands-free system with Bluetooth technology and a new media interface in the glove compartment, allowing the full integration of mobile audio devices such as an iPod, which can then be operated via the audio system's user interface.
Together with the new telematics generation, Mercedes-Benz is also offering the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system as an optional extra in the SLK-Class for the first time.
Passengers can enjoy a unique listening experience, regardless of whether the vario-roof is open or closed, thanks to the optionally available Harman Kardon® Logic7® sound system. Rich and voluminous surround sound makes for crystal-clear listening pleasure, the like of which has never before been associated with a roadster. Fast-running sports engine: higher output and much lower fuel consumption
The Mercedes-Benz engineers paid special attention to the fast-running V6 sports engine that makes its debut in the new-generation SLK, totally altering the six-cylinder unit's character by making sweeping changes to the mechanical setup.
Although the displacement remains the same at 3498 cc, the engine now develops 305 hp at 6500 rpm – some 33 hp more than its predecessor. The peak torque has also been boosted.
In combination with the 7G TRONIC automatic transmission, the engine management system also blips the throttle automatically during downshifts. As well as producing an extremely sporty sound, this throttle-blipping function reduces load alteration effects.
Despite the higher output and high-caliber performance, the SLK 350 consumes considerably less fuel. Lower fuel consumption means that CO2 emissions are also reduced – by 23 g/km to 219 g/km in the automatic version and by 28 g/km to 227 g/km in the manual version.
The SLK 280 has also been further improved with respect to fuel economy and, therefore, CO2 emissions.
The SLK 55 AMG is still equipped with the familiar 5.5-litre V8 power plant developing 360 hp and a peak torque of 510 Nm.
Standard equipment for the three new SLK models includes a precise six-speed manual gearshift, while the SLK 55 AMG still comes with the 7G TRONIC Sport seven-speed automatic transmission fitted as standard. Optional extras available include a five-speed automatic transmission for the SLK 200 and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission or, alternatively, the 7G-TRONIC Sport with shift paddles on the steering wheel for the six-cylinder SLK 280 and SLK 350 models.
A newly developed direct steering system with variable steering assistance, available as an optional extra (standard for the SLK 55 AMG), further highlights the qualities of the sporty chassis, combining agility and maneuverability when driving on twisting rural roads with steering comfort when parking and assured steering characteristics when traveling at high speed.
As trendsetters and technology leaders, the SLK-Class Roadsters have long enjoyed the image of a modern cult car. Even after the extensive modifications, the familiar outstanding qualities remain, for example, the vario-roof that transforms the roadster into a coupé in 22 seconds, not to mention the extensive standard-equipment package, including head/thorax side bags, adaptive front airbags and two-stage belt-force limiters.
Plus the roadster also comes with the option of the unique AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, which allows open-top driving pleasure all year round, even in winter.
For more information please call Mercedes Benz of Fremont
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