Mercedes-Benz has announced that they will be debuting their updated model for their flagship SLK convertible at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but with an unprecedented twist by the German luxury brand: it’s a diesel.
That’s right, for the first time, the SLK will feature a turbocharged-four diesel engine. The 2012 SLK 250 CDI comes full of new features and a few drips of technology including their 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission, magic sky roof, and the airscarf.
More than just a few upgrades, the new super-sleep SLK offers an elongated ride lending to more cabin and trunk space, an improved steering control and braking system to handle the diesel oomph, and three other petrol engines if you so choose.
At $60,065, it’s one of the more expensive roadsters in its market, but promises to be fun, and of course, luxurious.
Hit the jump to read on about the 2012 SLK 250 CDI.
The SLKs of old looked like the incestual creation of an SL and a cardboard box, with some styling help from a baseball bat. The front end was mangled and out of proportion and the overall shape was uninspiring. But now, the SLK bears a much stronger resemblance to its older brother, the SL—a fantastic looking car right now. The front grill has been pushed up a bit and angled slightly, creating a strong presence. In conjunction with the new headlamps, the front of the car has an identity, a far cry from its old predecessor. The LED light bar in the lower front-grill adds a bit of flare and is more subtle than the Porsche or Audi LEDs. Moving backwards, the angled lines begin to soften and the body curves beautifully. It is a captivating and alluring look. The A-pillars are unobtrusive and provide a wide viewing angle. The back of the car is an incredible improvement from what it used to look like. Instead of a chopped up nightmare, the SLK has developed its own rear-end, differing slightly than its big brother, while retaining a similar conceptual design. The dual exhaust looks classy and refined.
The Mercedes also comes with a slew of safety features that are found in their higher-tier models, like Pre-Safe Brake. This feature will automatically apply the brakes if it senses a rear-end collision. It is also equipped with Speed Limit Assist to make sure you don’t miss any of the speed limit signs.
The interior of the SLK is comfortable and luxurious in typical Merc fashion, accommodating two in elegant style. The innovative cabin comes with a fancy bit of kit called Airscarf, which will help keep occupants warm and snug by gently blowing warm air around their head and neck when the roof is open. Additionally, the SLK comes with a slick glass-folding roof, dubbed the ‘Magic Sky Roof.’ This tricked out roof can change from dark to transparent at the touch of a button—perfect for stargazers who wish to enjoy the view in the cold. The cabin is a nice place to be with firm, yet comfortable seats that feature plenty of legroom which make long journeys not only bearable, but enjoyable thanks to the open air.
The 2012 SLK will waft the privileged from A to B in usual luxurious style, but for the first time it will be done so by 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.
In regular diesel fashion, the torque figures are stupendous and with the help of the turbo, the horsepower isn’t all that bad either. Buying a diesel doesn’t mean sacrificing fun—especially if you get to experience it in the open air. If you still believe diesels are coal-burning canoe boats, then prepare to stand further back in more amazement. The new SLK is ready and willing to take you from 0-60 in 6.7 seconds and will keep trundling along to 151 mph. Wunderbar!
Price and Competition
This is Mercedes’ first foray into the diesel roadster market, but that shouldn’t make a buyer weary. Mercedes has a history of making quality diesel power plants with plenty of zip and reliability. Their SLK brand is famously fun as well. Combining the two is a no brainer and should provide for plenty of enjoyment.
Its competition, the Nissan 370z and the BMW Z4 roadster, should be worried considering the amount of inside and out upgrades to the Merc. However, the price point is steep. While the Nissan is easily the least expensive option at $31,450, the SLK is more expensive than the BMW base model Z4, at $60,065 and $47,450 respectively. Neither of the two alternatives offers a diesel variant of their model, so the SLK is in a class of its own.
Wrapping It Up
The SLK CDI is a great car and an impressive first attempt into the diesel roadster market that will leave BMW and Audi scratching their heads and scrambling to come up with some competition. But you do pay a pretty penny for the technology and luxury that come with the Mercedes. But until Mercedes’ counterparts come up with an adversary, the 250 SLK CDI is your best bet if you want to enjoy top-down fun with impressive fuel mileage.
Mercedes has not announced if there is going to be a SLK CDI arriving stateside, we can only hope.
Fantastic new exterior modifications
Diesel engine doesn’t sacrifice great performance