With the completely newly developed SLK, one of the most exciting and successful sports cars ever built is entering its third generation. The new roadster uncompromisingly takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. It blends light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports-car design with total suitability for everyday use, top performance with exemplary ecology. What’s more, the SLK is proud to present the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which switches to light or dark at the touch of a button. Exemplary efficiency and sporty flair come courtesy of powerful new 4- and 6-cylinder engines.With their superb levels of performance they are also more economical than their predecessors. And a unique set of safety equipment bestows role-model status on the SLK in this segment. With its wealth of technical innovations the SLK is once again the benchmark in its class.
“The new SLK embodies the role of the trend-setter like no other car”, says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of
Mercedes-Benz Cars. “I am convinced that with its passionate design, its high-quality interior and its modesty at the filling station it will continue to provide an enormous amount of fun on the road in future, too, consolidating its status as a cult roadster.”
Innovations are part of the successful history of the Mercedes-Benz SLK:
· In 1996 the first generation caused a furore with the vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupé with a fixed roof at the touch of a button in just a few seconds
· The second generation placed the warm AIRSCARF around the neck and shoulders of the occupants as needed, ensuring pleasurable open-top motoring even in cooler temperatures
· Now the third generation is presenting one of its unique highlights – the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. It can be quickly switched to light or dark at the press of a button
But the new Mercedes-Benz SLK offers more than merely individual highlights. It assumes a leading position in every discipline and offers fun at the wheel in every respect, with no half-hearted compromises. It impresses with characteristics which are generally deemed to be irreconcilable: it succeeds in uniting excellent comfort and high-quality equipment and appointments with a decidedly sporty flair, for instance. At the same time the new roadster is the most economical and thus the most environmentally friendly in its class, also setting new safety standards. And all-weather driving enjoyment – open and closed, in leisure-time and everyday use – is firmly anchored in the SLK’s genes.
Timeless aesthetics embodies hallmark sports-car sensuality
The designers have tailor-made a body for the new SLK which emphasizes its classic roadster proportions and puts them in the spotlight to thrilling effect. Behind the long hood is a compact passenger compartment positioned far back, and a short tail end. The SLK will tempt potential customers with the key attributes that characterize all the classic roadsters from Mercedes-Benz and that have also made many of them automotive icons of the brand.
The first feature to catch the eye is an upright radiator grille that stands proud and confident in the wind and bears the new Mercedes-Benz brand look. It facilitates the long and well-proportioned hood and with its rearward light-catching contours it already hints at the roadster’s dynamic qualities. The wide radiator grille bears the Mercedes-Benz star in a prominent central position and displays a powerfully contoured fin, chromed at the front. The clearly defined headlamps complete the look for the new SLK’s face, which resembles that of the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many as being the original “SLK.”
However, it was certainly not just the past that the designers were focusing on; with the new SLK’s front end they also intentionally created a close visual link with the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG “gullwing model” and the new CLS.
The amazing and measurable proof of the meticulously detailed work that has been carried out is that in spite of the more striking, steeper front and the larger frontal area, the Cd value has been cut to just 0.30 – a brilliant achievement (the predecessor model’s Cd value was 0.32).
The timelessly classic shape of the side view with the classic roadster proportions embodies aesthetics of the highest calibre, and is a visual promise of the sporti-ness and driving pleasure in store. Fine details and quotes show the care that has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz designers. For example, a fillet conceals the boot joint, so that the side line cannot get in the way, as it usually does with similar roof designs. The ventilation grilles in the front wings with a chromed fin are reminiscent of the famous Mercedes-Benz roadsters of the 1950s. In the new SLK they form the perfect starting point for a feature line which flows to the muscular rear wing, using light and shadow to add style and timeless aesthetics to the sides. Meanwhile the upper edge of the wide headlamps – which boast all-LED technology for the first time – also appears to flow into the feature line. (NOTE: Consider re-wording the last sentence. It makes it sound as though the headlamps are LED, which they are not)
Interior with style and puristic good looks
With the most compact dimensions in its class, the new SLK has an interior whose generous size is exemplary. To achieve this, the designers have developed interior appointments which offer the driver and passenger the highest degree of perfect perceived quality and puristic precision. The interior is characterized by stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials which have been processed with perfect precision and skilled craftsmanship. Even in the base version the centre console and other trim parts gleam in brushed aluminium. Wood can be selected as an option in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash. Four round, galvanized air outlets integrated in the dashboard emphasize that this model well and truly belongs to the Mercedes-Benz sports car family, their shape being a nod to those in the SLS.
The SLK’s generous round dials are flanked by a display for the information generated by the online computer. The colour display for the communications and entertainment functions is housed in the centre of the dashboard, and can be easily read by both the driver and passenger. On the top of the dashboard, also in the centre, sits a fine analog clock – an unusual detail which subtly underlines the roadster’s stylish character.
Other high-quality items of equipment include: a multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened bottom section and a thick leather crown, and sun-reflecting leather which noticeably reduces the degree to which the surfaces it covers heat up, impressive ambient lighting and the innovative neck-level heating system AIRSCARF, familiar from the predecessor.
Unique item of equipment: MAGIC SKY CONTROL
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz is offering a choice of three variants of the lightweight-construction vario-roof for the new SLK: In just a few seconds this feature transforms the roadster into a coupé with a “fixed” roof at the touch of a button – and vice versa:
· The base version is a roof painted in the vehicle colour
· Alternatively there is the option of a panoramic vario-roof with
· The third variant is a world premiere – the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. This glass roof switches to light or dark as you wish at the press of a button. When light it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up when the sun’s rays are very intense. In other words: a feel-good atmosphere at the touch of a button
Innovative draft-stop system AIRGUIDE
A comfortable alternative to the conventional draft-stop is a new pivoting draft-stop for the new SLK which has been invented by Mercedes-Benz aerodynamics engineers. It consists of pivoting transparent plastic layers which are attached to the reverse of the roll-over bars. The driver or passenger can swing them to the centre of the vehicle in a flash, thus taming turbulent air flow.
Spirit and efficiency
There will initially be one model of the SLK available at market launch, powered by a new engine with direct injection. The V6 engine in the SLK 350 draws 302hp) from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement, using this power to accelerate in an estimated 5.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (top speed 250 km/h). The V6 engine has been completely newly developed. Its most important hallmarks are its 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.
The exemplary efficiency, with fuel consumption reduced by up to a quarter compared with the predecessor models, is also due to the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models.
Suspension for the closest link with the road
The standard Dynamic Handling package includes a suspension with continuous adjustable damping. It has an electronically controlled fully automatic damping system, so the vehicle rolls away gently even on poor road surfaces, but still offers high driving dynamics.
Also included in the Dynamic Handling package are a Direct-Steer system and the Torque Vectoring Brakes developed by Mercedes-Benz. The Direct-Steer system offers more handling and agility than the standard steering, whilst also reducing the amount of physical effort required when parking. In critical conditions the Torque Vectoring Brakes produce a defined rotational movement of the vehicle about the vertical axis in fractions of seconds through selective brake actuation at the rear wheel on the inside of the bend. This results in the SLK stabilizing without any compromises where dynamism is concerned, and it steers into the bend precisely and under full control.
Ingenious material mix and high levels of safety
The new SLK’s bodyshell structure has been further refined, with the bonnet and wings now made of aluminium.
The new Mercedes-Benz SLK also sets new benchmarks in terms of safety. The third generation of the powerful trend-setter will make use of a whole host of the latest assistance systems to support the driver, including the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, developed by Mercedes-Benz and fitted as standard; the optional anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, which is unique in the world; and the PRE-SAFE® Brake, which can apply the brakes autonomously in the event of an impending rear-end collision. As such, with the SLK too Mercedes-Benz is consistently and significantly exceeding the requirements imposed by safety standards.
To mark the launch of the new SLK, Mercedes-Benz is offering an “Edition 1” special model with a special matte paint finish in glacier grey. The “Edition 1” is opulently appointed and comes fully equipped with features such as: the panoramic vario-roof, the Dynamic Handling package, AMG bodystyling, two-tone designo nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, AIRSCARF, ambient lighting and much more.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the four brands within the Mercedes-Benz Group in Canada: Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMG, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,250 people in 19 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 14 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 31,651 vehicles in 2010, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.
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