VATH has taken the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG and has given it a tuning package that brings up its performance to a whole new level. Rebranded as VATH V58, this supercar has had its 5.5 liter V8 engine tweaked. From being capable of producing only 360hp and 510 Nm, the engine now offers 565hp and 770 Nm of torque.
The engine's capacity has been extended to 5.8 liters and it now uses forced induction via a supercharger. In addition, the unit received a long list of upgraded internals and an ECU remap. However, this upgrade comes at a hefty price -- the package costs $42,000.
Be the judge on whether its other improvements justify this astonishing price tag. While, VATH has yet to release acceleration details for the car, it has mentioned that the V58 stops gathering speed at 193 mph (310 km/h).
The car uses a bespoke threaded sports chassis. VATH also gives owners the choice on what level of height reduction they prefer, ranging from 20 to 65 mm.
The supercar is fitted with a high performance braking system that features six piston calipers and 378 mm rotors for the front axle.
Those who wish to slide the V58 through the bends would have to pay extra for a limited slip differential. A fuel cooling system, which was developed in-house, is optional. VATH also offers a carbon aerodynamic package that consists of a front spoiler lip and a read diffuser with three fins.
Sports car enthusiasts have long admired the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadsters. It boasts of about 650 parts, all of which have been newly developed. For the 2008 year model, the SLK was made not only more dynamic but boasting of a driving experience that is expected to be more emotionally charged.
Significant visual improvements done for the new model include having a new look for both its front and rear parts. Even the interior was enhanced with the new instrument cluster and the inclusion of a sports three-spoke steering wheel. Powering the SLK 350 is a V6 sports engine with output at 224 kW/305 hp. Offered as an option is the direct-steer system that brings forward this two-seater’s dynamic and strong character. In addition, all of the engines used for this line-up deliver higher power but have better fuel economy and with it, less CO2 emissions.
This new-generation SLK models are scheduled to be released to the market by April 2008 with the pricing expected during the early 2008. Compact SLK Roadsters were first launched by Mercedes-Benz back in 1997 and since then, they have embodied the brand’s dynamic image.
While this model has indeed been a staple on the highway, for 2008 the new second-generation two-seater is improved even further by applying a number of measures with the aim of underlining its already sporty characteristics.
With these enhancements, the brand also hopes to pioneer powerful and dynamic elements that will continue the already successful story of the SLK-Class. Figures show that the number of SLK-Class Roadster units sold is almost close to half a million, just a little above 495,000.
It is estimated that in excess of 40,000 units alone have been sold in the U.K. market. While the first two-seater version has already appealed to a number of customers, the new-generation version will not only show a sporty highlight but will have the addition of the trendsetting vario-roof, increasing its appeal even further as it converts this roadster to a weatherproof coupé in seconds.
These different changes appear to be not enough as designers made sure that this two-seater continues to have an even sportier appearance. This includes giving the front bumper a new look. It also now has an improved air-dam arrangement with its arrow shape being more pronounced. In addition, the designers also gave the region around the Mercedes star a new style making it more succinct.
The rear end was modified as well with the lower section now having a diffuser style. While this, the new SLK Roadster gets a more powerful appearance when looked at from its rear. This effect is enhanced even further by the trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes and the darkened tail lights that are clearly AMG-inspired. Its exterior mirrors have been made larger and with the LED indicators, it gets a more pronounced arrow shape. The addition of the light-alloy wheels is also something new.