The second generation of the globally successful Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is ready for launch, and Mercedes-Benz is set to present the new sports roadster to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show '04.
The new model offers a choice of three new engines with a performance range extending from 163 bhp to 360 bhp. This includes – for the first time in this vehicle class - an eight-cylinder supplied by Mercedes-AMG. The SLK 350 is powered by a new 272 bhp V6 engine delivering dynamic driving pleasure.
The second generation of this two-seater again captivates the eye with its sophisticated design featuring details reminiscent of Formula motor racing. This quality enables the SLK to uphold its reputation as a trendsetter and a tech-nology leader among the sports cars in this class. A further development of its vario-roof transforms this roadster into a coupe in just 22 seconds. The range of standard equipment also includes head-thorax sidebags, adaptive front air-bags and two-stage belt force limiters. Mercedes engineers have added even more sports refinement to the suspension, steering and manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
As a global first, Mercedes-Benz is offering the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system. This delivers a flow of warm air from the headrests at the touch of a button, thereby enabling SLK occupants to keep the roof down even when there is a chill in the air. This extends the top-down driving season to the full calendar year. Automatic climate control, bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light, COMAND and the unique 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission add to the technological innovations which can now be supplied as options to the SLK-Class for the first time.
The new Mercedes roadster is now taking the place of its predecessor, a car which has delighted more than 308,000 owners since it first appeared in the autumn of 1996. Worldwide, this model holds the number one position in this market segment and has already established itself as a symbol for the new, dynamic brand image of Mercedes-Benz.
The design and technology employed in this second generation of the SLK-Class place even greater emphasis on sports performance. With more powerful engines, redesigned suspension, direct steering feel and a responsive six-speed manual shift system, the new model offers an even more athletic driving experience than ever before. The body size has grown by 2,8 inches in length and 2,5 inches in width, affording driver and passenger more space and even higher standards of comfort than the previous model.Design
From an initial glance, the design of this car reflects the sporty and altogether more powerful character of the new SLK-Class. A long bonnet, steeply raked windscreen, wide doors and short boot are the typical characteristics of a roadster and the new SLK underlines these even more emphatically than its predecessor. The extra 1,2 inches on the wheelbase, the distinctive arrow-like tapering at the front and rear and the wedge-shaped silhouette all contribute to this impression.
With attractive geometry details like the strikingly sharp nose section, special fins on the radiator grille and the twin exhaust system reminiscent of a racing car, the design of the new SLK recalls the fact that this two-seater is the child of a company with a long and illustrious tradition of sports car production.The SLK 55 AMG With Eight-Cylinder Dynamics
With the SLK 55 AMG, the second generation of Mercedes' compact roadster has produced a car which gives the sports car elite a run for their money. No other model in this vehicle class can compete with the 360 bhp output and 376 lb-ft of torque generated by the top-of-the-range SLK. The V8 engine at the source of this prodigious power also has the distinction of being the only eight-cylinder unit available in this market segment. The standard equipment package for the AMG model is equally as exclusive.
The distinguishing features of the sports-tuned suspension are the new design of three-link front axle, the rack-and-pinion steering unit and an even more powerful braking system than the previous model. Mercedes engineers have modified many details of the multi-link independent rear suspension unit and have adapted it to suit the increased track width of this new model. Depending on the choice of model, standard equipment in the new SLK-Class can include 16, 17 or even 18-inch alloy wheels. Low-slung sports suspension is also available as an option.
The new Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class will arrive at Mercedes-Benz' European sales and service outlets and dealerships on March 27, 2004.Source - Mercedes