This is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK, the third-generation of the popular coupe-cabriolet from the German manufacturer, which promises to deliver an improved driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment. For those who don’t know, the Mercedes-Benz SLK made quite a buzz back in 1996, when the first generation was introduced, due to the vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupe.
The second generation introduced the warm AIRSCARF around the neck and shoulders of the occupants. Now, the third generation comes with the impressive panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL which can be quickly switched to light or dark at the press of a button. As you can see from the photos, the new car follows the same design philosophy introduced by the SLS AMG and the 2012 CLS, which means you will find a big grille showing the well-known Mercedes-Benz star.
The new headlights are inspired by the the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many as being the original “SLK”. The new design also improves the Coefficient of drag (Cd), which has been cut to just 0.30 from 0.32. The profile of the car shows the classic roadster proportions, while the fine details and quotes show the care that has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz designers.
The new ventilation grilles found on the front wings are inspired by the famous Mercedes-Benz roadsters of the 1950s. Regarding the rear end, we can see that Mercedes-Benz introduced a new type of tail lamps carrying the LED technology. The interior of the car is characterized by stylish sportiness and high-quality, completed by brushed aluminum accents (wood can also be selected as an option in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash).
Other highlights of the interior include the multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened bottom section, optional sun-reflecting leather, , impressive ambient lighting and the innovative neck-level heating system AIRSCARF. As we said, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz introduces the MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which means that you will find a glass roof than can be switched to light or dark as you wish at the press of a button.
There will initially be three models of the SLK available when the car will be launched, all of them powered by new engines with direct injection. The four-cylinder engines will be available in the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY delivering 135 kW (184 hp) and 150 kW (204 hp) respectively from a displacement of 1796 cubic centimetres.
Mated to the 7G TRONIC PLUS transmission, the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY is the most economical roadster in its segment, delivering a fuel consumption of 6.1 litres of premium petrol (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (that corresponds to 142 g of CO2 per kilometre). Still, the car can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.0 seconds while the top speed is limited at 237 km/h or 147 mph (240 km/h or 149 mph with manual transmission).
The SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped as standard with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and has a fuel consumption of 6.2 litres (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (144 g of CO2 per kilometre). It can sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 243 km/h or 151 mph.
The most powerful model will be the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY, powered by a V6 engine delivering 225 kW (306 hp) from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement. This engine can push the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.6 seconds and to a top speed of 250 km/h or 155 mph. Its fuel consumption is 7.1 litres (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (167 g of CO2 per kilometers).
The new 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.
Just as it did with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz is also offering an “Edition 1” special model of the SLK painted in glacier grey and offered as standard with 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.