The second generation of the Mercedes compact two-seater also boasts an exquisite overall design, several details of which take their cue from Formula 1. The SLK thus remains true to its reputation as a trendsetter and technological leader in this category of sports cars. The further developed varioroof, which transforms the roadster into a coupé in just 22 seconds, is joined on the list of standard equipment by head/thorax sidebags, adaptive front airbags and two-stage belt force limiters. The car’s chassis, steering and manual transmission have been given an even sportier edge.
Plus, Mercedes-Benz is presenting a world first, in the shape of the innovative AIRSCARF neck-level heating system. At the touch of a button AIRSCARF generates warm air, which flows out from the head restraints. This allows the SLK passengers to keep the roof down even when the outside temperatures drop and to enjoy the open-top roadster experience the whole year round. Automatic climate control, bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light function, COMAND APS and the unique seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC are among the other technical innovations offered as options for the first time in the SLK-Class.
The new Mercedes Roadster replaces a successful first-generation model enjoyed by over 308,000 delighted owners since autumn 1996. The global number one in its market segment, it serves as a symbol for the new, dynamic brand image of Mercedes-Benz.
The second generation of the SLK-Class has an even sportier edge in terms of both its design and engineering and, with its powerful engines, newly developed chassis, direct steering and precise six-speed manual transmission, delivers an even more agile driving experience. The body is 72 millimetres longer and 65 millimetres wider than the outgoing model, providing the SLK’s passengers with more space and even greater comfort.
The design of the car reflects the sporty and powerful character of the new SLK-Class. A long bonnet, flat windscreen, wide doors and a short rear represent typical roadster characteristics given extra emphasis by the new SLK. This extra forcefulness is underpinned by a 30-millimetre longer wheelbase, clear tapering of the front and rear ends and a wedge-shape silhouette.
A range of captivating details inspired by racing cars – such as the arrow-shaped nose, wing profiles in the radiator grille and the twin-tailpipe system – underline the origins of the SLK in a company which can point to an illustrious sports-car tradition.
The interior has also been completely redesigned and upgraded through the use of carefully selected materials. The design concept is distinguished by switches, buttons and trim elements with silver-coloured surfaces, which form a striking contrast to the dark tones of the dashboard. Plus, customers can choose from a range of six shades for the leather trim, or any one of twelve designo appointment colours.
The beautifully sculptured bodywork is also an achievement in terms of its technical prowess. The Cd value (0.32) is a good example, as are the rigidity of the body and the fuel tank capacity (70 litres). The Sindelfingen engineers have further optimised and perfected the technology behind the innovative varioroof, which marked the SLK out as a trendsetter on its arrival in 1996. The roof now opens and closes even more quickly and takes up even less space in the boot – thanks to the pivoting rear window. With the varioroof open, boot capacity stands at 208 litres according to the VDA method - 63 litres more than in the outgoing model. A further new feature now makes it possible to operate the varioroof by a remote control function in the car key (optional).
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