Shortly after the release of the 2012 Mercedes SLK-Class, members of the automotive community began wondering what the AMG versions would be carrying under their bonnets. After a few months of teasing and spying, Mercedes has finally released the details surrounding the 2012 Mercedes SLK55 AMG leading up to its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
With all the details and information we received about the car, it seems that most of them will come with the version we’ll see in Frankfurt, including changes like an improved hood/nose shape with a new front spoiler, a new air dam with larger intake inlets, and rectangular quad-tipped tailpipes. The Mercedes will also get its usual array of large and shiny forged alloy wheels, big brakes, AMG badging, and color options.
The 2012 Mercedes SLK55 AMG is powered by a new 5.5-liter V8 engine that will deliver 422 horsepower with a peak torque of 398 lbs/ft. This engine will be mated to a 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic with AMG SpeedShift technology.
UPDATE 12/29/2011: Mercedes has unveiled yet another new video of their latest SLK 55 AMG in action. Enjoy!
More details on the 2012 Mercedes SLK55 AMG after the jump.
The new SLK55 AMG comes with the same design elements as that of the new SLK Roadster that was first introduced earlier this year, except for a couple of additions courtesy of AMG. The front is distinguished by an upright radiator grille with a contoured chromed fin, a long and well-proportioned hood with light-catching contours, and wide headlamps that now boast of LED technology. The side of the car features ventilation grilles in the front fenders, and a chromed fin that harkens back to the day of Mercedes roadsters of the 50s. The exterior design of the SLK 55 also lends itself a number of AMG elements, including body styling, a spoiler lip, two chrome-plated twin tailpipes, and a set of light alloy wheels.
Similar to the exterior, the interior of the SLK55 AMG also bears some similarities to the 2012 SLK-Class in that it’s characterized by stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials. For one, the center console and other trim parts are brushed in aluminum with the round dials flanked by a display that carries all the information sent out by the sports car’s online computer. The SLK55 AMG also carries a multifunction sports steering wheel and seats covered in sun-reflecting leather.
One of the main characteristics of the car is the standard retractable hardtop that can be opened and closed in less than twenty seconds, capable of turning the roadster into a closed-top coupe and vice versa if the driver sees fit. If soft tops aren’t to your preferences, you can opt for a panorama roof panel in tinted polycarbonate or a panorama roof with Magic Sky Control. With this option, the glass roof switches to light or dark as required at the press of a button and when activated, the entire glass roof is turned virtually transparent.
As an AMG vehicle, the SLK55 can also be bought with an AMG Handling Package that comes with an AMG Performance suspension with stiffer tuning, an AMG rear axle differential lock, two-piece brake discs at the front, and a three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel finished in premium leather with Alcantara inserts.
The 2012 Mercedes SLK55 AMG will be powered by a new 5.5-liter V8 engine mated to a 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic with AMG SpeedShift technology. This combination will deliver 422 horsepower with a peak torque of 398 lbs/ft, making it “the most powerful SLK of all time." With these numbers, the SLK55 AMG can now hit 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Also, it delivers a fuel economy of 8.5 liters per 100 kilometers - 27 US mpg - or about 3.5 liters less than that of the preceding model. The engine will be combined with an efficiency stop/start function and with a sports exhaust system featuring an exhaust flap on each side.
The 2012 Mercedes SLK55 AMG is expected to retail for €72,590, which is about $104,000 based on current exchange rates. Sales will begin in early 2012.
Don’t get us wrong, the new Mercedes SLK55 AMG is beautiful and one that we expect will get its share of attention from would-be customers, but there still appears to be something missing. It doesn’t scream sexy at all, especially when you line it up against the Audi R8 V8, which roughly carries the same performance figures as that of the SLK55 AMG. Actually, the 2012 R8 has yet to be announced, but the early word is that the output of the 4.2-liter V8 will jump to 444 horsepower, which only makes the SLK55 AMG pout in dismay.
As it stands though, the SLK55 will probably be cheaper than the new R8, but for all the benefits of having an unmistakable Audi supercar compared to a Mercedes sports car makes the added costs that much more bearable.
Interior technology looks top-notch
Improved fuel economy should mean better performance numbers
New 5.5-liter V8 is not as powerful as we’d hope
AMG design isn’t as extensive
For a little more, you can get something better