|2010 SLK Class|
Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.
2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class news, pictures, and information
MERCEDES-BENZ LAUNCHES RESTYLED 2009 SLK ROADSTERMercedes-Benz is rolling out its facelifted SLK coupe/roadster for the 2009 model year. The new SLK features a redesigned front end wîth a stronger influence from the world of Formula 1 racing and a revised rear apron incorporating an air diffuser and trapezoidal exhaust outlets, plus new wheels.
Inside, the 2009-model SLK showcases newly designed chronometer-type gauges wîth aluminum accents, as well as a new three-spoke §teering wheel, revised climate control buttons and push-pull window controls. The 2009 SLK also features a new audio system wîth an in-dash six-disc CD/DVD changer and a Bluetooth interface that allows a cellular phone still in a pocket or purse to be operated through the car's audio system. The SLK is available wîth a new optional multimedia package that includes a harmon/kardon premium audio system, GPS navigation wîth a larger display, a voice control system, an SD memory card slot and a hard drive for storing music and GPS navigation maps.
The 2009 SLK line includes the high-value SLK300, powered by a 228-horsepower 3.0-liter V6; the SLK350, now wîth a 300-hp version of the popular 3.5-liter V6; and the high-performance SLK55 AMG, fitted wîth a 355-hp AMG V8.
New Direct-Steer System
For 2009, all three SLK models boast even more athletic performance, thanks to a clever new direct-steer system. Variable-ratio rack gearing provides impressive on-center §teering feel wîth even higher responsiveness beyond the first five degrees of §teering angle. Direct Steer minimizes §teering input during cornering and in low-speed maneuvers such as parking.
SLK350 Engine Now Boasts 300 Horsepower
Both the SLK300 and SLK350 use advanced V6 engine technology that includes four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. The 3.0-liter twin-cam V6 develops more than 80 percent of its maximum torque at only 1,500 rpm. While variable valve timing gets much of the credit for the SLK300's unusually broad torque curve, a two-stage intake manifold plays a key role as well. Other high-tech engine features include tumble flaps that increase gas mileage by creating more turbulence in the intake passages at part throttle.
With a higher-revving, 7,200-rpm redline, the new SLK350 engine features more horsepower and torque, thanks to specially shaped pistons that produce a higher 11.7-to-1 compression ratio, a modified camshaft for higher valve lift, heavy-duty conical valve springs and special lightweight valves made of high-temperature steel as well as sodium-cooled exhaust valves.
To counteract high-speed camshaft chain vibration, the higher-revving SLK350 Sport engine comes wîth tri-oval chain sprockets. Above 6,300 rpm, the tri-oval sprockets generate inversely phased pulses that tend to neutralize the usual vibration. For maximum air flow at high rpm, the Sport engine also makes use of a single-stage intake manifold, and valve timing has been advanced slightly to preserve its broad power range.
The SLK350 can be ordered wîth a Sport package that includes AMG body styling, sport suspension, §teering-wheel gearshift paddles and 18-inch AMG wheels. The Sport package includes AMG's automatic 'throttle-blipping' feature for virtually jolt-free downshifting, which reduces load-change handling response, and for motorsports-minded drivers, improves braking before turn-in.
Coupe to Topless Roadster in Only 22 Seconds
With the first retractable hardtop in modern times, the SLK started an trend toward hardtop convertibles that's still going strong. After shaking up the small roadster market when it was introduced more than ten years ago, the second-generation SLK wowed the public again when it hit Ú.S. streets in 2004. The retractable hardtop of the SLK sets it apart from the competition. With the top up, it's a quiet coupe – push a button, and the car goes topless.
The SLK roof goes up or down in 22 seconds, and the folded roof takes up surprisingly little trunk space – thanks to its pivoting rear window. Like the retractable hardtop of the larger SL model, the rear window of the latest SLK swivels to match the curvature of the top, providing nearly three more cubic feet of trunk room than its predecessor.
One of the Safest Open Cars
The SLK is considered one of the safest roadsters in the world. In addition to its integrated roll bars and two-stage front air bags for both the driver and passenger, the SLK is also equipped wîth dual knee bags and head-thorax air bags which are located in the seat backs and can deploy above the top of the seat back to help provide better head and neck protection, similar to the curtain-type air bags on hardtop Mercedes models.
Like all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, the SLK comes equipped wîth ESP stability control, a Mercedes innovation that can help prevent slides and spins, especially in slippery weather. ESP can detect an impending spin or slide and prevent it by applying the brakes to individual wheels or reducing engine power. In addition, full-range traction control helps to provide safer travel on slippery road surfaces.
The SLK's unibody uses an impressive amount of high-strength steel alloy – 42 percent of the total structure – and the entire body shell is zinc-coated for long-term corrosion protection. The SLK also makes use of a scratch-resistant clearcoat paint that was initially developed in the nano-technology sector.
AIRSCARF For An Extended Driving Season
|Engine : 5.5 L., 8-cylinder|
Power: 382 hp
Torque: 391 ft-lbs
Engine : 5.5 L., 12-cylinder
Power: 510 hp
Torque: 612 ft-lbs
The optional AIRSCARF system can extend the open-air driving season into the cooler months. Built into the seatbacks of the SLK, the neck-level heating system blows warm air from the head restraints of the driver and passenger seats, allowing occupants to cruise comfortably wîth the retractable hardtop open in cooler weather. AIRSCARF even compensates automatically for changes in vehicle speed.
For 1998 Mercedes Benz chose to unveil something different; a 2-passenger sports car with a supercharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine. Rather than a soft top though, the SLK featured a metal roof that powered down at the touch of a button into the trunk for stowage. Taking only 25 seconds, the trunklid opened forward for cargo, and tilted from the rear to raise or lower the top.
SLK stands for sporty, light, and compact in German. The design work behind the SLK stemmed from the compact C-Class sedan. The presence of the supercharged engine was marked with a 'Kompressor' badge on the front fenders. The Mercedes SLK only offered a 5-speed automatic transmission. Traction control, door-mounted side airbags and antilock brakes were standard features. When a special Mercedes child seat was installed, a 'BabySmart' feature automatically deactivated the right-side airbags. For 1997 the SLK was on Car and Driver's Ten Best list.
For the second year, the Mercedes-Benz SLK received a 5-speed manual transmission as standard, and the previously standard automatic transmission was now an option. A new Sport package was offered and included 'aero' lower-body cladding and performance tires on 17-inch wheels rather than the usual 16-inch wheels. Also becoming standard on the SLK was Mercedes 'Brake Assist' feature that automatically provided full braking force in emergency stops.
Not many changes were made for the 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK except for the addition of free scheduled maintenance to the SLK's warranty coverage.
For 2001 the SLK added the SLK320 into its lineup. The SLK320 featured a 215-hp V6 engine with an additional 5 horsepower and standard 6-speed manual transition. The following year a new SLK32 AMG model was unveiled. A supercharged version on the V6, the SLK32 AMG featured modifications to suspension, bodywork, transmission and interior by Mercedes AMG performance team. The SLK32 AMG had a 3.2 liter engine and was available in limited qualities in the U.S. and went from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The SLK 32 AMG was the best-performing SLK ever, and was direct competition to the BMW M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S. The SLK 32 AMG was only offered with automatic transmission and came with a hand built engine.
The SLK 320 was built in South Africa, rather than in Bremen, Germany. On January 29, 1997, the very first R170 Mercedes SLK was completed, while the last was built on April 7, 2004.
The SLK230 and 320 Sport package now mimicked the SLK32's lower-body aero trim, projector-beam fog lamps and wheels. For 2003 the Mercedes SLK remained unchanged. In 2004 the SLK featured a special edition package that was only available for the year for the SLK230 and the SLK320. This special edition package included 17-inch wheels, exterior chrome accents, a body-colored grille and Nappa leather sports seats and roll bar. The SLK200 wasn't available for sale or purchase in the U.S., but overseas- and those who utilized the gray market in the U.S. – received a more economic and fuel efficient and slightly toned down 2.0 136 horsepower engine that was found in the SLK200.
The second generation of the SLK was unveiled in 2005, the R171. The retractable hard top SLK350 was returned to the market with enhanced handling, the power of a 3.5 liter V6, and a more uses friendly and elaborately detailed interior. The SLK350 Roadster was featured in 2006 along with the SLK280. Keeping most of the same features and options as the SLK350, the 280 was offered as a less costly option for a 3.0 V6 engine.
In 2007 the SLK55 AMG was released and built in very limited quantities and for high performance drivers. This version came equipped with a 5.4 liter V8 engine, 18 inch chrome wheels, and a sports car designed suspension with brakes and tires to match. The interior of the SLK55 AMG featured heated Napa leather upholstery and detailed luxury sport trim and control panels.
For this same year, no major changes were made to the Mercedes Benz SLK 350 or SLK 280 cabrioles or coupes. The public weighed in and the overwhelming review was that the SLK was spectacular with invigorating and responsive handling.By Jessica Donaldson
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|2010 SLK Class|