2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK received an Environmental Certificate for lower CO2 emissions

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 9, 2011

Daimler announced that the new Mercedes-Benz SLK, which offers 20% lower CO2 emissions than its predecessor, has received an Environmental Certificate in accordance with the ISO 14062 standard. A lifecycle assessment was conducted on the sporty roadster. The results reveal that it emits a lower amount of CO2 through its entire life cycle, from production to operation of more than 200,000 kilometers up to recovery.

In terms of overall energy balance, it saves 18% more energy compared with the predecessor, corresponding to the energy generated by 4100 liters of petrol. Mercedes said that the SLK complies with the mandatory recycling rate of 95% by weight that will be implemented starting January 1, 2015.

The vehicle uses 68 components with a combined weight of 35.4 kg that are built from high-quality recycled plastics. This means that the mass of approved recycled components has been raised by 5% over the previous model.

Professor Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG, said that the company has been improving its efficiency unlike anything it has ever achieved. He explained that they study the environmental compatibility of models throughout their entire life cycle and so it goes beyond mere compliance with legal requirements.

While the new Mercedes-Benz SLK clearly has the proportions of the classic roadster, designers made sure that it had a customized body in order to highlight this particular attribute. By doing this, they also managed to put the focus on it, to exciting effect.

Under its long bonnet is a compact passenger compartment that has been placed farther back and given a short tail end. The company hopes that the SLK will attract new customers especially with the essential qualities that have symbolized its classic roads. These are the same qualities that have turned many of these roadsters into automotive icons. When looking at the SLK, the first feature that is sure to catch one’s attention is the upright radiator grille.

This new grille is confident and clearly stands proud in the wind and thus, is able to display the new look of the brand. It even helps with the well-proportioned and long bonnet. When paired with the light-catching contours of its rear, it provides a clue on the dynamic qualities of this roadster. On the center of this radiator grille is the Mercedes-Benz star with the contoured and powerful chromed fin. Headlamps of this SLK are indeed clearly defined and completes the new look. The new face is in fact the same as the legendary 190 SL, the same one from the 1950s.

This is the same model that many consider as the original SLK. However the designers did not focus solely on the past. Since the front end of the SLK has a new appearance, it creates a close visual link with the new CLS and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG gullwing model. Another example of the amount of meticulous work that went into the SLK is that even with a larger area on the front and a steeper front, the Cd stands at 0.30. It’s truly an excellent accomplishment considering that the previous model has a 0.32 Cd value.

By giving a classic form to the profile display and combining it with the proportions of the classic roadster, aesthetics is of the highest quality and gives that promise of driving pleasure and sportiness. Indeed, designers took extra effort in the use of fine details as well as quotes. Take for instance the boot joint which hides the fillet. It was done this way to make sure that its side line is not in the way, which is typically what happens in vehicles with the same roof design. The front wings have ventilation grilles and with the chromed fin, they’re reminiscent of the 1950s roadsters Mercedes-Benz is known for.

For the new SLK, they provide that perfect starting point as a feature line that appears to flow to its muscular rear wing. By properly utilizing light and shadow, it adds that timeless aesthetic, and even style, to the sides. Its wide headlamps make use of all-LED technology on its upper edge, a first for the company.

Considering that the new SLK is the most compact unit in its segment, the interior offers a rather generous size. In order to make this possible, the designers made sure to develop interior appointments that would give the driver, as well as passengers, that highest level of quality and precision. Enhancing the interior is the use of authentic and high quality materials, created using skilled craftsmanship and perfect precision.

The interior also boasts of having a sporty style. The center console, even under the base version and the other trim parts, has been brushed in aluminum. Offered as an option is wood, which can be chosen as either high-gloss black ash or dark brown walnut. Integrated to the dashboard are four galvanized and round units, underscoring the fact that the SLK is indeed part of the brand’s sports car family as the share remains to be a tribute to the SLS models. On the sides of the round dials are displays specifically for the information obtained by its online computer.

Meanwhile, the color display not just of the communication function but also that of the entertainment function has been placed on the dashboard’s center, making it easier to be read by both the driver and the passenger. Above the dashboard and still in the center is an analogue clock, which comes with a rather unusual detail, providing a subtle hint to the stylish quality of the roadster.

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