After quite a long time now, and many teaser images, Mercedes has finally dropped the official details on the 2012 Mercedes SLK Roadster. The model gets a totally new design, inspired by the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, an innovative interior with features like Magic Sky Control.
The US market will get two petrol models - SLK 350 and SLK 250 - and, for the first time, a new 250 CDI model. Depending on the trim the new SLK will get a V6 or a four-cylinder engine, or the brand new diesel variant. The diesel powered Merc will get a 2.1 liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine dishing out 204 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque. These engines will be mated to a six-speed manual or a 7G‑TRONIC PLUS transmission. The fuel economy has been considerable improved, while the top speed is limited as usual at 155 mph.
UPDATE 10/13/2011 : Mercedes has unveiled new images of the new generation SLK-Class. Check them out in the gallery provided!
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Mercedes SLK Roadster.
The new SLK Roadster keeps its classic roadster proportions, but features a totally new design that resembles the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s. The front is distinguished by upright radiator grille with contoured chromed fin, a long and well-proportioned hood with light-catching contours and wide headlamps – which for the first time boast all-LED technology. The front is generally more striking, steeper front and larger, with the Cd cut to just 0.30.
The SLK’s side profile is also defined by fine details that embodies aesthetics of the highest caliber and is a visual cue to the sportiness and driving pleasure in store. The ventilation grilles in the front fenders also get chromed fin, reminiscent of the famous Mercedes-Benz roadsters of the 1950s. The rear is dominated by a muscular wing.
Like with the exterior, the interior is also characterized by stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials: the center console and other trim parts are brushed in aluminum, or on client’s request in high quality wood offered in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash. The round dials are flanked by a display for the information generated by the online computer, while the top of the dashboard gets a fine analogue clock. The multifunction sports steering wheel and the sun-reflecting leather are covered in leather.
Of course one of the most important features of the new SLK Roadster is the 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.
But if this feature is just to expensive for you, there is also a roof painted in the vehicle color or a panoramic vario-roof with dark-tinted windows.
The US Market will receive two SLK models in its first year. First is the SLK350 powered by a 3.5 liter direct injected engine that delivers a total of 302 HP. The SLK350 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, while top speed will be limited to 155 mph and has a fuel consumption of 7.1 liters (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometers (167 g of CO2 per kilometer). 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 second model is a SLK250 powered by a 1.8 four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 201 mph. This engine will be mated to a a 6-speed manual transmission and and delivers an estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg (combined). It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6,5 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph.
Next to these two models, the European market will also get a SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY - the most economical roadster in its segment. It is powered by the same 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine as the SLK250, but only delivers 184 HP. When equipped with a 7G‑TRONIC PLUS it consumes just 6.1 liters of premium petrol (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometers (that corresponds to 142 g of CO2 per kilometer). The sprint from0 to 60 mph is made in 7.0 seconds, while top speed is 149 mph.
For the first time, Mercedes will also be offering a diesel variant for the Mercedes SLK roadster. The SLK 250 CDI will be powered by a a 2.1 liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel dishing out 204 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque. The small and mighty engine has been coupled with Mercedes-Benz’s smooth 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. With Mercedes’ fourth generation common rail injection, the environment and its occupants can breath easy. The emission rate is only 132 grams/4.66 oz of CO2 per km/.62 miles. This gives the SLK an impressive 56.5 mpg of fuel-sipping fun. Stand back in amazement.
The 2012 SLK-Class makes its U.S. showroom debut in Summer 2011, with prices starting at $54,800 for the SLK350 roadster. We’ll have to wait on prices for the SLK250 as they will be announced at a later date. At $60,065, the SLK 250 CDI is one of the more expensive roadsters in its market, but it promises to be fun, and of course, luxurious.
On the European market, orders have been accepted since January 17, 2011. Prices are as follows: SLK 200 38,675 euros; SLK 250 44,256.10 euros; SLK 250 CDI 41,828.50 euros; and SLK 350 52,300.50 euros.
With all the changes made to the new SLK, models like the BMW Z4 and the Nissan 370Z Roadster are in lots of trouble. The SLK has the advantage that it will offer a four-cylinder engine right from the beginning, while the Z4 will have to wait until 2012 for that kind of offering. The Nissan 370Z Roadster, on the other hand, has the advantage of being cheaper than both of the other options.
Impressive exterior design
Improved fuel economy, better performance numbers
Both automatic and manual
No SLK 200 for the US market
Less expensive prices on competition models