Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster
2nd June, 2008
The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadsters have long captured the hearts of sports car enthusiasts. Incorporating around 650 newly developed parts, the new SLK models are even more dynamic and now offer an even more exciting driving experience. 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. Technical and feature enhancements are numerous and include a new direct-steer system for all models and a fast-running V6 sports engine developing 224 kW for the SLK 350, bringing the bold, dynamic character of the two-seater SLK roadster to the fore. Furthermore, the four- and six-cylinder engines in the line-up are now far more economical on fuel and, therefore, emit even less CO2, despite increases in their output. The new SLK models will be available locally from next month, priced at $86,780 (RRP) for the stylish SLK 200 Kompressor roadster, $112,380 (RRP) for the powerful SLK 350 roadster and $164,900 (RRP) for the breathtaking SLK 55 AMG roadster.
Since their first appearance in 1996, the compact SLK Roadsters have come to symbolise the dynamic brand image of Mercedes-Benz. Already a familiar sight on our roads, the second-generation two-seater is now further optimised with a raft of enhancements for this year, the aim being to further emphasise the car's sporty character and continue the SLK-Class success story by introducing new, dynamic, and powerful elements.
Globally, some 310,000 first-generation roadster models were sold between 1996 and 2004. And around 185,000 customers – some 2,500 of them in Australia – have already purchased the second-generation model since its international launch in March 2004 (figures at year-end 2007). This means that total unit sales of the SLK Roadster are now approaching the half-million mark.
The new SLK displays new sporty highlights, further enhancing the appeal of the successful two-seater with the trendsetting vario-roof that transforms the car from a roadster into a weatherproof coupé in a matter of seconds.
Distinctive character: even more pronounced arrow shape at the front end and a diffuser-style rear end
The designers have given the already dynamic-looking two-seater model an even sportier appearance. 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 make it even more distinct.
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.
High-quality cockpit and new three-spoke sports steering wheel
Many of the interior details have also been redesigned and upgraded following a careful process of material selection. Particular importance was attached to optimising the interior in order to make it even more driver-oriented. Centrepieces 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.
Enhanced audio and telematics systems
Mercedes-Benz has installed 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. Also now fitted as standard equipment to the new SLK is a new media interface, which is located in the glove compartment. This allows 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 part of the COMAND navigation and entertainment system. This is the first time that this has been offered in the SLK-Class.
Voluminous surround sound even when the roof is open
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 (fitted as standard equipment in the SLK 55 AMG). 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 sporty credentials of the 2008 SLK generation are further enhanced by two modified powerplants that consume less fuel and, therefore, emit less CO2.
The four-cylinder motor in the SLK 200 Kompressor and the six-cylinder sports engine in the SLK 350 both offer substantially more power and torque. Only the SLK 55 AMG retains its familiar powerplant – an eight-cylinder unit that has lost none of its mesmerising performance and remains a unique selling point in the SLK segment.
The Mercedes-Benz engineers paid special attention to the fast-running V6 sports engine that makes its debut in the new SLK, totally altering the six-cylinder unit's character by making sweeping changes to the mechanical set up.
Although the displacement remains the same at 3,498 cc, the engine now develops 224 kW at 6,500 rpm – some 24 kW more than its predecessor. The peak torque has also been boosted, by 10 Nm, and now stands at 360 Nm when the engine is running at 4,900 rpm.
This result was achieved by raising the engine speed limit to 6,800 rpm; it can even be increased to 7,200 rpm for a brief period – oil temperature and other engine parameters permitting.
Other changes introduced include a higher compression ratio, a new intake manifold and an extensively modified valve train.
Further aspects which add to the emotionally-charged appeal of the new engine include deliberately powerful sports engine acoustics with a strikingly emotive sound design when decelerating.
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 calibre performance, the SLK 350 consumes considerably less fuel. With the standard-fitment six speed manual transmission, combined fuel consumption is just 9.5 litres per 100 km, a remarkable reduction of 2.3 litres per 100 km. Lower fuel consumption means that CO2 emissions are also reduced – by 54 g/km to 227 g/km (manual transmission).
Three further engines to choose from
The engine line-up for the second generation of the successful SLK-Class is being augmented by three further variants:
The 3.0-litre petrol V6-powered SLK 280 has been removed from the SLK-Class model catalogue.
Standard equipment for the three new SLK models has also been enhanced. The following features have now been fitted as additional standard equipment, further increasing the value of this iconic roadster.
Two new paint colours (Palladium Silver metallic and Prehnite Green metallic) have also been added to the SLK-Class colour catalogue, as have two new upholstery finishes (Gullwing Red leather and Natural Beige nappa leather).
Customers considering either an SLK 200 Kompressor or SLK 350 can now configure the interior of their new sports car with the choice of two new interior timber trims. They are listed below.
New direct-steer system for outstanding agility and tangible driving pleasure
A newly developed direct steering system with variable steering assistance, fitted as standard equipment on all three new SLK-Class roadster models, further highlights the dynamic qualities of the sporty chassis, combining agility and manoeuvrability when driving on twisting rural roads with steering comfort when parking and assured steering characteristics when travelling at high speed.
The direct- steer system is based on the previously installed speed-sensitive power steering system and operates by purely mechanical means, meaning that there is no need for elaborate actuators and complex sensors.
At its heart is a new rack with slick gearing, which ensures that the steering gear ratio changes in tune with the steering angle. The ratio is indirect when the steering is in or around the central position so as to ensure excellent straight-line stability and, therefore, a high degree of assuredness when travelling at high speed.
At a steering angle of just 5 degrees, the ratio starts to increase extremely rapidly and the steering feels much more direct. As a result, the number of steering wheel revolutions from lock to lock is reduced by around 25 percent with this new direct steering fitted. This means that, even in city traffic, relatively little steering wheel movement is required to correct the car's path. Fast sequences of bends on rural roads can be negotiated almost intuitively with relatively small steering movements – with assurance, precision and a healthy dose of driving enjoyment.
Visually enhanced SLK 55 AMG
On a technical level, the SLK 55 AMG remains almost unchanged. The only differences are a few visual enhancements. The front end of the AMG model now features a new apron with a black-painted cross strut and side air outlets as well as darkened headlamps.
The trendsetting SLK
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 sidebars, adaptive front airbags and two-stage belt-force limiters.
The new SLK-Class roadsters: key facts at a glance
*All prices quoted do not include dealer delivery and the various state/territory statutory charges; prices for SLK 200 Kompressor and SLK 350 are based on standard-fitment manual transmission.
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