Revised Mercedes SLK hits the road with new roof option and more for 2012


Mercedes' SLK Roadster was a game changer, sort of a mini SL when it was introduced. Now the SLK has a new version for 2012 that has a new look, a new roof option, and some new engines. While info on the US SLK hasn't been released, the Euro version is about to hit the road. In the US we can expect the SLK 350 with the 306-hp V6 and possibly the SLK 250 BlueEfficiency with the 204-hp inline-four (BMW is putting their new 245-hp turbo four in the Z4 and other models in the near future) mated to the seven-speed automatic. In Europe there is even talk of a diesel-engined version. The good stuff that we like about the last version is still here like the folding hardtop, AirScarf (that blows warm on your neck when the top is down), comfort for two lucky folk, premium materials and build, and more. One interesting new option is the Magic Sky


Control for the "glass" roof. Magic Sky Control allows the driver to change the opacity of the panoramic vario-roof . This glass roof switches to light or dark as you wish at the press of a button. When in the light setting the glass roof is virtually transparent, yet in its dark state the roof provides shade and prevents the interior from heating up when the sun’s rays are intense. Also new this year is the AirGuide that stops drafts. AirGuide consists of clear panels that are connected to the roll-over hoops that flip out when needed meaning no need to store any extra pieces like in other convertibles. The new look is an evolution of previous models with the front fascia mirroring the new SLS supercar. The 2012 SLK should be at your local dealer soon. I've included several (global) press releases and pics after the jump to give you all the info you might need on the new SLK. Enjoy!

Source: Mercedes Benz - Press releases (6) and pics (9) after the jump.



Press Release:
The new Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster: Passion, style and innovative technology - the new SLK sets standards

With the completely newly developed SLK, one of the most exciting and successful sports cars ever built is entering its third generation. The new roadster uncompromisingly takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. It blends light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports-car design with total suitability for everyday use, top performance with exemplary ecology. What’s more, the SLK is proud to present the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which switches to light or dark at the touch of a button. Exemplary efficiency and sporty flair come courtesy of powerful new 4- and 6-cylinder engines featuring the standard-specification ECO start/stop function. With their superb levels of performance, they are up to 25 percent more economical than their predecessors. With a unique set of safety equipment and a wealth of technical innovations, the SLK is once again the benchmark in its class.


“The new SLK embodies the role of the trend-setter like no other car”, says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “I am convinced that with its passionate design, its high-quality interior and its modesty at the filling station it will continue to provide an enormous amount of fun on the road in future, too, consolidating its status as a cult roadster.”
Innovations are part of the successful history of the Mercedes-Benz SLK:
  • In 1996 the first generation caused a sensation with the vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupé with a fixed roof at the touch of a button in just a few seconds;
  • the second generation placed the warm AIRSCARF around the neck and shoulders of the occupants as needed, ensuring pleasurable open-top motoring even in cooler temperatures;
  • now the third generation is presenting one of its unique highlights – the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. It can be quickly switched to light or dark at the touch of a button

But the new Mercedes-Benz SLK offers more than merely individual highlights. It assumes a leading position in every discipline and offers fun at the wheel in every respect, with no half-hearted compromises. It impresses with characteristics which are generally deemed to be irreconcilable: it succeeds in uniting excellent comfort and high-quality equipment and appointments with a decidedly sporty flair, for instance. At the same time the new roadster is the most economical and thus the most environmentally friendly in its class, also setting new safety standards. And all-weather driving enjoyment – open and closed, in leisure-time and everyday use – is firmly anchored in the SLK’s genes.

A distinctive design creates a sporty presence
The designers have tailor-made an outfit for the new SLK which emphasises its classic roadster proportions and puts them in the spotlight to thrilling effect. Behind the long bonnet is a compact passenger compartment positioned far back, and a short tail end. The SLK will tempt potential customers with the key attributes that characterise all the classic roadsters from Mercedes-Benz and that have also made many of them automotive icons.

The first feature to catch the eye is an upright radiator grille that stands proud and confident in the wind. It facilitates the long and well-proportioned bonnet and with its rearward light-catching contours it already hints at the roadster’s dynamic qualities. The wide radiator grille bears the Mercedes-Benz star in a prominent central position and displays a powerfully contoured fin, chromed at the front. The clearly defined headlamps complete the look for the new SLK’s face, which resembles that of the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many as being the original “SLK”. But it was certainly not just the past that the designers were focusing on; with the new SLK’s front end they also intentionally created a close visual link with the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG “gull-wing model” and the new CLS.

The amazing and measurable proof of the meticulously detailed work that has been carried out is that in spite of the more striking, steeper front and the larger frontal area, the Cd value has been cut to just 0.30 – a brilliant achievement (the preceding model’s Cd value was 0.32).

The closed, elegant shape of the side view with the classic roadster proportions quickens the pulse and is a visual promise of the sportiness and driving pleasure in store. Fine details show the care that has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz designers. For example, a fillet conceals the boot joint, so that it does not disturb the side aspect as with similar roof designs. The ventilation grilles in the front wings with a chromed fin are reminiscent of the famous Mercedes-Benz roadsters of the 1950s. In the new SLK they form the perfect starting point for a feature line which flows to the muscular rear wing, using light and shadow to add style and elegance to the sides. Meanwhile the upper edge of the wide headlamps – which boast all-LED technology for the first time – also appears to flow into the feature line.

Interior with style and a feel-good atmosphere
With the most compact dimensions in its class, the new SLK has an interior whose generous size is exemplary. To achieve this, the designers have developed interior appointments which offer the driver and passenger a real feel-good ambience. The interior is characterised by sporty refinement, well-thought-out ergonomics and high-quality, authentic materials which have been processed with painstaking attention to detail and skilled craftsmanship. Even in the base version the centre console and other trim parts gleam in brushed aluminium. Wood can be selected as an option in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash. Four round, galvanised air outlets integrated in the dashboard emphasise that this model well and truly belongs to the Mercedes-Benz sports car family, their shape being derived from those in the SLS.

The SLK’s generous dial instruments are flanked by a display for the information generated by the online computer. The colour display for the communications and entertainment functions is housed in the centre of the dashboard, and can be easily read by both the driver and passenger. On the top of the dashboard, also in the centre, sits a fine analogue clock – an unusual detail which subtly underlines the roadster’s stylish character.

Other high-quality items of equipment include a multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened lower section and a thick leather rim, plus optional sun-reflecting leather which noticeably reduces the degree to which the surfaces it covers heat up, impressive ambient lighting which for the first time has a red colour tone, and the innovative neck-level heating system AIRSCARF familiar from the preceding model.

Unique feature: MAGIC SKY CONTROL
For the first time Mercedes-Benz is offering a choice of three variants of the lightweight-construction vario-roof for the new SLK. In just a few seconds this feature transforms the roadster into a coupé with a “fixed” roof at the touch of a button – and vice versa:
  • The base version is a roof painted in the vehicle colour
  • Alternatively there is the option of a panoramic vario-roof with tinted glass.
  • The third variant is a world premiere – the panoramic vario-roof with 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. In other words: a feel-good atmosphere at the touch of a button

Innovative draught-stop system AIRGUIDE
A comfortable alternative to the conventional draught-stop is a new, pivoting draught-stop for the new SLK which has been invented by Mercedes-Benz aerodynamics engineers. It consists of pivoting, transparent perspex sections which are attached to the reverse of the roll-over bars. The driver or passenger can pivot them to the centre of the vehicle in a flash, thus taming turbulent air flow. When the pivoting draught-stops are not required, they disappear almost invisibly behind the roll-over bars. There is no awkward disassembly and removal as with other draught-stops.

Spirit and efficiency
There will initially be three models of the SLK available at its market launch, all of them powered by new engines with direct injection. The four-cylinder engines in the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY develop 135 kW (184 hp) and 150 kW (204 hp) respectively from a displacement of 1796 cubic centimetres. The SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY has the lowest CO2 emissions in its segment. With the enhanced, optional seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS it consumes just 6.1 litres of premium petrol (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres, corresponding to 142 g of CO2 per kilometre. This sporty model sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 237 km/h (240 km/h with manual transmission).

The SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is initially equipped with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission (a six-speed manual transmission will become available at a later date) and consumes only 6.2 litres (NEDC, combined) per 100 kilometres (144 g of CO2 per kilometre). From standstill it reaches 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, and it has a top speed of 243 km/h.

The V6 engine in the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY generates 225 kW (306 hp) from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement, using this power to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds (top speed 250 km/h). Its consumption is 7.1 litres (NEDC, combined) per 100 kilometres (167 g of CO2 per kilometre). The V6 engine has been completely newly developed. Its most important hallmarks are 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.

The exemplary efficiency, with fuel consumption reduced by up to a quarter compared to the preceding model, is also due to the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models.

Suspension for the closest connection to the road
There are also three suspension versions to choose from:
  • A conventional steel suspension comes as standard
  • A sports suspension with harder springs and dampers ensures a systematically sporty driving experience
  • As an alternative a Dynamic Handling package is available. This includes an electronically controlled, fully automatic damping system. This means that the vehicle has excellent suspension comfort even on poor road surfaces, but still offers high driving dynamics
Also included in the Dynamic Handling package are a Direct-Steer system and the Torque Vectoring Brakes developed by Mercedes-Benz. The Direct-Steer system offers more handling and agility than the standard steering, whilst also reducing the amount of physical effort required when parking. In critical conditions the Torque Vectoring Brakes produce a defined rotational movement of the vehicle about the vertical axis in fractions of seconds through selective brake actuation at the rear wheel on the inside of the bend. This results in the SLK stabilising without any compromises where dynamism is concerned, and it steers into the bend precisely and under full control.

Ingenious material mix and high levels of safety
The new SLK’s bodyshell structure has been further refined, with the bonnet and wings now made of aluminium. The new Mercedes-Benz SLK also sets new benchmarks in terms of safety. The third generation of the powerful trend-setter will make use of a whole host of the latest assistance systems to support the driver, including the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, developed by Mercedes-Benz and fitted as standard; the optional anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, which is unique in the world; and the PRE-SAFE® Brake, which can apply the brakes autonomously in the event of an impending rear-end collision. This means that with the SLK too, Mercedes-Benz is consistently and significantly exceeding the requirements imposed by safety standards.
Further assistance systems are available on request:
  • DISTRONIC PLUS: this proximity control system automatically maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead, braking the roadster to a standstill if necessary and accelerating the SLK again.
  • The Intelligent Light System provides five lighting functions (cornering light function, country mode, motorway mode, active light function and enhanced fog lamps), which are activated depending on the driving conditions
  • Speed Limit Assist is able to detect speed limit signs using a camera on the inside of the windscreen, and indicate the detected speed limit in the instrument cluster or central display.
The market launch date for the SLK is 26 March 2011. Prices incl. 19% VAT:
SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY: 38,675 euros,
SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY: 44,256.10 euros,
SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY: 52,300.50 euros.


Model range - 
The SLK as a character: lively, passionate and refined

The new SLK raises driving pleasure to a new level, and will continue to set the trend in this segment. In its third edition the roadster excels with attributes that are normally considered to be irreconcilable: it combines lightfooted sportiness and exciting open-air enjoyment with stylish comfort, a striking sports car design with full day-to-day suitability and peak performance with exemplary environmental compatibility.

"The new SLK embodies the role of the trend-setter like no other car," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "I am convinced that with its passionate design, its high-quality interior and its modesty at the filling station, it will also continue to provide an enormous amount of fun on the road in future, consolidating its status as a cult roadster."
Innovations are part of the successful history of the Mercedes-Benz SLK:
  • In 1996 the first generation caused a sensation with the vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupé with a fixed roof at the touch of a button in just a few seconds;
  • The second generation placed the warm AIRSCARF around the neck and shoulders of the occupants as needed, ensuring pleasurable open-top motoring even in cooler temperatures;
  • For the very first time, the third generation offers a choice between three variants of the much-imitated vario-roof. One of these is celebrating its world premiere - the transparent panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which can be switched to light or dark. It therefore offers a choice of an open-top feeling even when the roof is closed, or provides shade in strong sunshine and prevents the interior from heating up. Alternatively the vario-roof is available in painted or glass versions.
The highlights of the new Mercedes-Benz SLK also include a striking and masculine sports car design, a sporty and refined interior with authentic, high-grade materials and a choice of three suspension variants – a standard suspension, a sports suspension or a suspension with automatically adjustable damping.

Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Development, Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the SLK we offer a wide range of technical alternatives to give customers a personal choice. Among them are a number of unique innovations. Moreover, the SLK is a prime example of how impressive performance, stylish driving comfort and high ecological standards can go hand in hand. In the 125-year history of the automobile, we have never experienced such major leaps in efficiency. Lower fuel consumption and even more driving pleasure – a formula we certainly translate into reality in the SLK."

Outstanding on all fronts
The best or nothing – this motto is at the heart of the Mercedes-Benz philosophy, and also the guiding theme for the new SLK. The original book of specifications already laid down that the design characteristics of the new roadster must not be one-sided, but must ensure top performance in all major disciplines. Mercedes-Benz engineers have rigorously translated this requirement into reality, and given the SLK attributes that guarantee the roadster a peak position in its segment in multiple respects. Among them are extremely compact dimensions combined with an extremely generous interior providing a feel-good atmosphere and numerous practical features. Naturally outstanding performance and sporty, agile handling are also major characteristics of the new SLK. Moreover, the new SLK is the most economical
  • petrol model in its class, with three new, efficient and powerful direct-injection engines plus the ECO start/stop function,
  • and also the safest roadster with its unrivalled range of safety features.
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars: "Firmly embedded in the genes of the SLK is exhilarating driving pleasure in any weather conditions, open or closed, for recreation or day-to-day motoring. It combines its decidedly sporty character with outstanding comfort and high-grade appointments. The new SLK also sets new standards among the compact roadsters where fuel economy and environmental compatibility are concerned. A wealth of outstanding attributes and technical innovations will once again make it the benchmark in its class – and undoubtedly also a success for our brand. The SLK is a roadster with a character, and everyone will want it."

A look back at the success achieved by the preceding models. Since the first generation was launched, the SLK has won the enthusiasm of more than half a million customers.

Even more features
The new SLK has a wealth of new features compared to its already well-equipped predecessor.

New standard equipment
  • New-generation 4 and 6-cylinder engines with direct injection
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • Audio 20 CD with 5.8-inch colour display, Bluetooth hands-free system, central head unit and USB connection
  • NECK-PRO head restraints
  • ECO start/stop function
  • Electric parking brake (EPB)
  • Headbags in the doors
  • LED tail lights
  • Air conditioning
  • Boot with reversible floor and two elastic straps to secure luggage
  • Optimised seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission in the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY
  • Tyre pressure loss warning system
  • Daytime running lamps
  • Integrated aerials, also for GPS
  • Brushed aluminium trim even for the basic version
New optional extras
  • Ambient lighting with colour tone "SOLAR red"
  • AMG Sports package
  • Analogue clock on the dashboard
  • Illuminated door sill panels
  • COMAND Online with internet access, 7-inch colour display and central controller
  • DAB tuner (Digital Audio Broadcast)
  • DISTRONIC PLUS including PRE-SAFE® Brake
  • Dynamic Handling package with adaptive damping, Torque Vectoring Brake and Direct-Steer system
  • Entry-level navigation package "Becker®MAP PILOT"
  • Speed Limit Assist
  • Intelligent Light System with bi-xenon
  • KEYLESS-GO
  • Exclusive nappa leather
  • PARKTRONIC with Parking Guidance
  • PRE-SAFE®
  • Sun-reflecting leather for cooler seats in strong sunshine
  • Panoramic vario-roof
  • Flex bottleholder
  • Panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL (switchable transparency)
  • Roll-over bars with anodised aluminium inserts
  • AIRGUIDE draught-stop


Vario-roof and body: 
Innovative technology with a unique roof concept

Driving a roadster is a wonderful emotional experience. Gliding through the landscape and its many sounds and smells at the wheel of an agile sports car, with the top down and the sun shining, awakens intensive and joyous feelings. In a Mercedes-Benz SLK, even rainy weather does little to mar this pleasure. Ever since the launch of the first SLK in 1996, this has been ensured by a vario-roof which converts the roadster into a coupé with a fixed roof at the touch of a button, and in just a few seconds. Since then, Mercedes-Benz engineers have constantly refined the vario-roof even further and maintained the SLK's pioneering role in this technology.

Unique item of equipment: MAGIC SKY CONTROL
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz is offering a choice between three variants of the lightweight vario-roof for the new SLK:
  • The base version is a roof painted in the vehicle colour
  • Alternatively there is the option of a panoramic vario-roof with tinted polycarbonate.
  • The third variant is a world premiere – the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. This glass roof switches to light or dark as required 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. In other words: a feel-good atmosphere at the touch of a button
The operating principle is based on the physics of a plate condenser: if the glass structure is subjected to an electrical voltage, particles in the structure position themselves so that light is able to pass through the glass. If the voltage remains switched off, however, the particles position themselves randomly. This partially blocks the light, and the glass remains dark. The control unit and converter are integrated into the front section of the roof, and the switch is in the overhead control console.

In addition to the unique panoramic effect and transparency at the touch of a button, MAGIC SKY CONTROL also provides a top-class feel-good atmosphere. UV and infrared light are also effectively blocked in transparent mode, while insulation increases even more significantly and noticeably in darkened mode, thereby helping to keep the temperature on interior parts such as armrests cooler by up to 10 degrees Celsius compared with conventional tinted glass.

Measurements using a device called a star pyranometer in Death Valley, one of the world's hottest places, impressively demonstrated the effect. This device measures the intensity of exposure to sunlight. With an open roof, the thermal load from the sun in the heat of Death Valley reached 1000 to 1100 W per square metre. With the transparent glass roof it dropped to 200 W, and when the roof was switched to darkened mode with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, it dropped to 40 to 50 W – one 20th of the original value and less than a 60 watt bulb.

Since the innovative glass also shields against the sun's rays far more effectively than conventional thermal insulation glass or sunblinds, the occupants of the new SLK also enjoy the highest level of climatic comfort. When driving with the roof open would be unpleasant owing to intense heat, the driver and front passenger are able to relax under the MAGIC SKY CONTROL roof – an important contribution to onboard comfort and the driver-fitness safety typical of a Mercedes. Even when the vehicle is at a standstill the interior does not overheat, since the roof is switched to darkened mode when powered off.

But MAGIC SKY CONTROL not only benefits passengers. Some of the strain is also taken off the air-conditioning system, thereby saving on CO2 emissions.

In addition, the frame of the three roof variants is now of magnesium. This makes each roof around six kilograms lighter than in the previous model, giving the car a lower centre of gravity.

The engineers have also refined the operating mechanism for the roof and boot lid. It now takes less than 20 seconds to open or close the roof completely. The improved mechanism mainly benefits the boot capacity.


Boot fully suitable for everyday use
The luggage capacity with the vario-roof closed is 335 litres (in conjunction with TIREFIT). This is enough to accommodate two crates of soft drinks and two crates of beer, or four of either, without difficulty. A golf bag or a large suitcase are also no problem.

When the roof is opened, the capacity is reduced by 110 to 225 litres. This includes 51 litres of luggage box capacity under a reversible floor (the box is omitted if a collapsible spare wheel is chosen instead of TIREFIT). In any case there is sufficient space for two large sports bags, for example with tennis equipment.

The luggage box or collapsible spare wheel is accessible if the variably usable reversible floor is removed. Depending on the application, it provides a level surface or a recess for carrying e.g. high drinks crates. The draught-stop or an umbrella can be secured with elastic straps on either side of the reversible floor.

To prevent luggage items from colliding with the roof components while these are being deposited in the boot, there is a luggage cover in the boot which can be pivoted longitudinally. The vario-roof can only be opened if this cover is pivoted to the rear, and when the roof is closed the cover can be easily pivoted forward by hand. This facilitates loading and unloading, and makes the full boot capacity available.

Bodyshell structure with aluminium components
The bodyshell structure already proved highly successful in the preceding model, and was weight-optimised still further for the new SLK. Accordingly the bonnet and front wings are of aluminium for the first time, as are the dashboard cross-members and the rear end. The rear bulkhead module of fibre-reinforced plastic is a new feature. The torsional rigidity of this optimised lightweight steel construction was improved even further compared to the already very rigid preceding series. Thanks to the intelligent use of lightweight construction methods, the bodyshell weight was reduced by around 13 kilograms.

The doors are a completely new development, with reinforcement at the beltline and at the lower edge. A section of high-strength steel ensures good side impact protection. The well-proven A-pillars with welded-in oval tubes of hot-formed ultra-high-strength steel and a robust nodular connection to the side members remain unchanged.

To keep the cost of minor damage caused by a frontal impact at speeds up to
15 km/h reasonable, the front side members have a prescribed cutting point for a sectional repair, and their shape causes them to bend ahead of this area in the event of a collision.


Exemplary aerodynamics
Despite the more striking, steeper front and the just under three percent larger frontal area compared to the previous model, the Cd value for the new SLK has been cut to just 0.30 – a very good figure for a roadster (the preceding model had a Cd value of 0.32). This improvement has enabled CO2 emissions to be reduced by roughly one to two grams per kilometre. Once again this shows that the engineers at Mercedes-Benz have made good use of many possibilities to enable SLK owners to enjoy the fun factor in the new roadster with an easy conscience - thanks to its high environmental compatibility.



The aerodynamic data for the new SLK-Class
New SLK-Class*
Previous model*
Drag coefficient Cd
0.30
0.32
Frontal area (A) sq. m.
1.98
1.93
Wind resistance Cd x A sq. m.
0.59
0.62
*with vario-roof closed

In addition to familiar features such as a spoiler lip on the upper edge of the boot lid, wheel spoilers in front of the front and rear wheels, and a full engine compartment and underbody cladding concept, the excellent drag coefficient is especially due to:
  • A radiator shutter for demand-related control of the cooling airflow,
  • highly aerodynamic tyres,
  • newly designed exterior mirrors and
  • painstaking modifications to the A-pillar cladding.
The A-pillar cladding is a good example of meticulous development work. It took more than one year to develop a plastic cover that would combine high design requirements with exemplary functioning perfection. The result is a pillar cover with a fine front edge and a drainage channel on the upper surface. This ensures a very close airflow and therefore a significant reduction in air resistance, as well as very good results in terms of draught protection, aeroacoustics and reduced soiling of the exterior mirrors and side windows.

Innovative draught-stop system AIRGUIDE
To reduce draughts when driving with the roof open, the SLK can be fitted with a draught-stop. This consists of a net with a fixed frame which is installed between the head restraints. When not in use it can be stowed in the boot, where it occupies little space.

A comfortable alternative to the conventional draught-stop is a new pivoting draught-stop for the new SLK which has been invented by Mercedes-Benz aerodynamics engineers. It consists of pivoting transparent plastic layers which are attached to the reverse of the roll-over bars. This is the world's first draught protection system that enables different comfort levels to be selected for two occupants, as the driver and passenger can individually pivot the units to the centre of the vehicle in a flash, thus taming turbulent air flow from the rear. Advantage: no installation or removal effort is required.

Modern headlamp technology and LED daytime running lamps
In the base version the new Mercedes-Benz SLK is equipped with single-tube H7 headlamps. These are combined with round daytime running lamps with chromed surrounds in the bumper. On request, horizontally arranged, elongated LED daytime running lamps with four LEDs can be fitted in a chrome clasp to give the SLK an even more striking front. If the vehicle is equipped with the Intelligent Light System or the AMG Sports package, these LED daytime running lamps are included. A manually operated and electrically activated headlight beam control system is standard equipment with halogen headlamps. The Intelligent Light System has automatic headlight beam control.

Alternatively the new SLK can be equipped with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) developed by Mercedes-Benz.The Intelligent Light System provides five lighting functions (cornering light function, country mode, motorway mode, active light function and enhanced fog lamps), which are activated depending on the driving conditions. In this case the main headlamps are twin-tub units, and for the first time the indicators and position lights are in LED technology.

The ILS headlamps automatically feature dynamic headlamp range control. This automatically adjusts the angle of the light beam to changes in the car's attitude – for example pitching movements when braking and accelerating – and when the attitude changes if a load is carried.

The wide tail lights of the new SLK are for the first time in full-LED technology. This not only ensures an unmistakable night design, but also enables LEDs to shine with different intensities in specific areas of the tail light cluster, depending on their lighting function. LED technology has other advantages: compared to conventional bulbs they light up around 150 milliseconds faster, and also have a considerably longer operating life – a safety aspect that should not be underestimated.


Drive system: Sporty spirit and ecological efficiency
The engines for the new SLK excel with a considerably lower fuel consumption combined with a comparable or higher output than those in the preceding series, as well as sporty and emotional appeal. There will initially be three models of the SLK available at its market launch, all of them powered by new engines with direct injection. The four-cylinder engines in the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY develop 135 kW (184 hp) and 150 kW (204 hp) respectively from a displacement of 1796 cubic centimetres. The SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY has the lowest CO2 emissions in its segment. With the enhanced, optional seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS it consumes just 6.1 litres of premium petrol (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres, corresponding to 142 g of CO2 per kilometre. This sporty model sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 237 km/h (240 km/h with manual transmission).

The SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped with an automatic transmission as standard, and consumes only 6.2 litres (NEDC, combined) per 100 kilometres (144 g of CO2 per kilometre). From standstill it reaches 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 243 km/h.

The V6 engine in the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY generates 225 kW (306 hp) from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement, using this power to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds (top speed 250 km/h). Its consumption is 7.1 litres (NEDC, combined) per 100 kilometres (167 g of CO2 per kilometre). The V6 engine has been completely newly developed. Its most important hallmarks are 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition. 
Key engine data for the new SLK-Class:
SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY
SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY
SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY
Cylinders
4/in-line
4/in-line
V6
Displacement
1796 cc
1796 cc
3498 cc
Output, kW/hp
135/184 at
5250 rpm
150/204 at
5500 rpm
225/306 at
6500 rpm
Max. torque at
270 Nm at 1800-4600 rpm
310 Nm at 2000-4300 rpm
370 Nm at 3500-5250 rpm
Fuel consumption (NEDC, combined), l/100 km
6.1 – 6.5
( 6.4 – 6.86)*
6.2 - 6.6
7.1
CO2 g/km
142-151
(149-158)*
144 - 153
167
0 - 100 km/h
7.0 (7.3)*
6.6
5.6
Top speed
237 (240)*
243
250**
* with six-speed manual transmission
** governed
Thanks to the great efficiency, it was possible to reduce the tank capacity of the new SLK-Class to 60 litres (a 70-litre tank is available as an optional extra). Nonetheless the operating range is more than 900 kilometres, or more than 800 kilometres for the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY.

From autumn 2011 the new SLK will also be available with a powerful diesel engine.

Four-cylinder with a bite
The four-cylinder engines for the new SLK follow the so-called downsizing principle, with the reduced cubic capacity compensated by homogeneous direct injection and turbocharging. This leads to advantages such as lower weight and reduced in-engine friction. A smaller engine also moves the operating range of the characteristic map towards more favourable values, with consequent fuel consumption benefits.

The direct injection system of the four-cylinder engines has an injection pressure of up to 140 bar. In the interests of improved efficiency, this allows the compression ratio to be increased versus a conventional duct injection system. The fuel evaporating directly in the combustion chamber also lowers the temperature in the combustion chamber, reducing the engine's tendency to knock. The engine is homogeneously charged.

The same turbine rotors are used to generate charge pressure in both output variants of the four-cylinder engine. The single-flow turbocharging of the four-cylinder units operates more efficiently than a mechanical charger, as no engine output needs to be devoted to the charger.

Other characteristics of the four-cylinder engines include a four-valve concept with forged intake and exhaust camshafts, as well as camshaft adjustment on the vane-cell principle. This enables the valve timing to be rapidly and variably adjusted. The result is high torque even at low engine speeds, and a higher specific output.

The crankcase and cylinder head are cast from aluminium alloy. The crankshaft is likewise cast, and has eight counterweights. To compensate the secondary masses inherent to a four-cylinder in-line engine, two Lanchester balancer shafts rotate within the crankcase at twice the crankshaft speed.

An electronically controlled thermostat ensures logic-controlled engine warm-up (no coolant flows through the cylinder head when the engine is cold), and therefore intelligent thermal management. The warm-up phase is shortened as a result.

Sporty engine note
A sporty engine note produced by a new sound generator lends an acoustic backdrop to the 4-cylinder variants of the new SLK. This generator is located immediately in front of the throttle flap, and "enriches" the engine note with elements of the intake noise. It filters out certain frequencies from the intake noise and conducts them into the vehicle interior via a pipe connection – an ingeniously simple and very convincing solution for a sporty and emotionally appealing engine sound.

New V6 engine with innovative technology
The six-cylinder engine is a member of the new V6 family for which Mercedes-Benz has developed the currently most efficient form of direct injection. Known as BlueDIRECT, this innovation establishes the V-engines from Mercedes-Benz as worldwide benchmarks and makes a further reduction in fuel consumption by 20 percent possible by in-engine measures alone.

The V-angle of the new V6 engine is only 60 degrees. This enables the balancer shaft for primary vibrations to be omitted. As a result, the driver notices an excellent level of comfort.

The crankcase, pistons and cylinder heads of the V6 are of aluminium. The crankshaft, connecting rods and valves are of special forged steel.

The technology package in the new engine generation includes a number of new developments that are unique in this combination:
  • In combination with multi-spark ignition, a further developed,
  • third-generation spray-guided direct fuel injection system with piezo-electric injectors offers further possibilities for fuel savings by means of a new, stratified combustion process with a considerably extended characteristic map and fuel-efficient lean-burn technology.
  • Power consumption by ancillary units has been reduced. These include an optimised water pump with 2nd-generation thermal management, a demand-controlled oil pump, a volume-controlled high-pressure fuel pump and an intelligent generator management system.
Lightweight construction techniques and detailed improvements have also reduced in-engine friction considerably compared to the previous engine.

Third-generation direct-injection system
Spray-guided direct petrol injection, which Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to introduce in series production, has been developed further as a third generation. The system pressure is up to 200 bar, the pressure being variably optimised according to the engine's characteristic map. Completely newly developed piezo-electric injectors allow up to five injections per intake stroke for the best possible mixture formation.
The crystalline structure of the piezo-ceramic changes in microseconds under an electric voltage, and with a precision of just a few thousandths of a millimetre. The central component of a piezo-electric injector is the piezo-stack, which directly controls the metering needle. With a response time of just 0.1 milliseconds, the fuel injection can be very sensitively and precisely adjusted to the current load and engine speed, with a beneficial effect on emissions, fuel consumption and combustion noise.

In the V6 unit, the multiple injections even in tiny quantities made possible with piezo-electric injection technology were used by Mercedes-Benz engineers to control a wider, usable characteristic map with the efficient lean-burn process, and to provide the conditions for further functions.

As the first new operating mode, Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed "Homogeneous stratified combustion" (HOS). As the name implies, HOS is a combination of homogeneous lean-burn and classic stratified combustion. With the engine unthrottled, the first injection is sprayed into the intake stroke, forming a homogeneous basic mixture. Actual "stratified" injection takes place during the compression stroke before ignition, and is a single or double injection depending on the characteristic map.

Another new operating mode is known as "Homogeneous Split" (HSP). In this homogeneous combustion process, more than 95 percent of the fuel is singly or multiply injected, followed a very small "ignition" injection to stabilise combustion. This is used when combustion conditions are difficult.

The characteristic map of the new Mercedes-Benz V6 engine is therefore basically divided into up to four areas:
  • idling range àhomogeneous
  • low partial load up to 4 bar and 3800 rpm àstratified
  • medium partial load 4 to 8 bar and up to 4000 rpm àHOS
  • high load and entire engine speed range àhomogeneous or HSP
Multi-spark ignition for optimal efficiency
The third-generation direct injection system also features rapid multi-spark ignition (MSI). Following the first spark discharge and a brief combustion period, the coil is rapidly recharged and a further spark is discharged. The MSI system enables up to four sparks to be discharged in rapid succession within one millisecond, creating a plasma with a larger spatial expansion than conventional ignition. Controlling this rapid multi-spark ignition enables both the time lapse before the next spark and the combustion duration for the relevant operating point to be optimally adjusted. This provides scope for optimising the centre of combustion and improving residual gas compatibility, especially during stratified charge operation. Fuel consumption can be reduced by roughly two percent in this way.

Fuel savings of up to 4 percent are possible alone by the use of piezo-electric injection technology in combination with multi-spark ignition, depending on the driving cycle.

Cylinder head with new camshaft adjuster
Mercedes-Benz engineers modified the variable, hydraulic vane-type camshaft adjusters for the intake and exhaust sides using the basic architecture of the preceding engine. These now have a larger adjustment range of 40 degrees with reference to the crankshaft. They were also able to improve the functionality, achieving a 35 percent greater adjustment speed and adjustability at an oil pressure as low as 0.4 bar. Despite the better performance, this new development excels with significantly smaller dimensions and low weight. For this reason the installation space on the longitudinal and vertical axes of the engine was able to be reduced by around 15 millimetres.

Two-stage chain drive for low noise
The extreme compactness of the camshaft adjusters was achieved by the new, two-stage chain drive. This drives two secondary chains – one per cylinder bank – via a primary chain and an intermediate gear. All three chains can be individually adjusted via a chain tensioner. This results in low tensioning forces and low chain dynamics, ensuring consistent timing and outstanding acoustic properties, with friction reduced even further. In short, the new chain drive is compact and ensures low-noise operation.

Exhaust system for stringent emission standards
The exhaust systems for the SLK were developed to meet the exhaust emission standards Euro 5 and ULEV, as well as noise emission standards. The exhaust system for the 4-cylinder petrol engine consists of a firewall catalytic converter, a centre muffler and two rear mufflers.

The emission control system for the V6 petrol engine has a firewall catalytic converter for the right and left cylinder banks. The exhaust gases then flow into storage-type NOx catalytic converters. These are followed by a twin-pipe centre muffler and rear mufflers designed as reflection/absorption mufflers on the left and right. The system is rounded off by two exhaust tailpipes on the right and left.

ECO start/stop function with intelligent direct-start
The exemplary efficiency, with fuel consumption reduced by up to a quarter compared to the preceding model, is also due to the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models – now also with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission.

Realising an auto-stop and auto-start function at the high comfort level of a Mercedes-Benz requires complex control logic, a number of new or modified components and a heavy-duty starter motor. Operating principle:
  • As a general principle, the engine is switched off every time the vehicle comes to a standstill (auto-stop function)
  • With an automatic transmission, there is always an automatic restart when one of the following conditions is met – the driver operates the accelerator, the transmission is shifted to R, the transmission is shifted from P, the driver releases the brake pedal and Hold is not activated.
  • With a manual transmission, there is always an automatic restart when one of the following conditions is met – the driver operates the accelerator, the driver operates the clutch.
Restarting the engine (auto-start function) takes place almost imperceptibly; and moving off without any noticeable time lag compared to a stationary vehicle with its engine running. This is because the new start/stop system uses starter-supported direct-start. This means that when the engine stops, a new crankshaft sensor identifies the rotational position of the crankshaft and enables the engine control unit to identify the cylinder in which the piston is ideally positioned for restarting. The fuel is injected into this cylinder first, thereby speeding up the starting process. The engine is then briefly turned over by the starter, immediately making reliable injection, ignition and combustion possible. On restarting, a reduced fuel quantity can be injected directly into the first cylinder to ensure a fast starting procedure, e.g. at traffic lights.

An additional electric transmission oil pump supplies the clutches of the automatic transmission with oil pressure prior to starting, so as to enable a swift resumption of the journey after direct starting of the combustion engine via the ECO start/stop function. The starter motor (starter) has also undergone thorough modification: it is now designed to cope with eight times as many starting procedures, ensuring that it will last a car's lifetime in continuous urban driving involving frequent auto-starting. In addition, the on-board electrical system is supported by a second battery.

Automatic transmission with fuel economy benefits
The SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped with the familiar 6-speed manual transmission, which excels with a short, sporty shift travel. The improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission is available for this model as an option, and is standard equipment for the other two engine variants (a 6-speed manual transmission will be available as an alternative for the SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY at a later date). It has undergone extensive further development with the aim of achieving an engine connection with further decreased torque converter slip, a significant reduction in internal losses and therefore optimised efficiency. Mercedes-Benz developers subdued eccentricities and vibrations in the transmission by incorporating a new torsion damper, for example. This is designed as a twin-turbine damper, and also makes comfortable vehicle operation possible at low engine speeds.

In ECO mode this has enabled engine speeds to be reduced as a result, with a considerable contribution to fuel economy (up to seven percent). It also allows an even faster response to accelerator commands. A new hydraulic circuit and optimised torque converter mapping also contribute to better start-off performance. As a further fuel economy measure, a new transmission fluid with a lower viscosity and a long service life for the same cooling performance is used. This means that replacement of the transmission fluid is only necessary every 125,000 kilometres.

The optimised electrohydraulic control unit of the transmission and new reduced-friction materials in various parts of the transmission in combination with optimised software result in improved shifting comfort. Owing to an optional, additional demand-controlled ATF pump, 7G-TRONIC also can feature a start/stop function for the first time. This pump ensures readiness to move off when the internal oil pump is not operating.

Adjustable radiator shutter not only saves fuel
For the first time in a sports car, and depending on the engine variant and country version, Mercedes-Benz uses an adjustable radiator shutter in the SLK. This enables the airflow through the engine's cooling module and engine compartment to be variably controlled. A circular, louvred shutter arranged parallel to the fan improves the aerodynamics, which in turn lowers fuel consumption. The engine also reaches its normal operating temperature more rapidly, heating comfort is improved and engine noise is suppressed even more.

Diesel variant and an AMG version to follow
In the fourth quarter of 2011 a powerful four-cylinder diesel engine will be available for the new SLK. In 2012 the SLK 55 AMG will follow with a new V8.


Communication and entertainment: 
A mood-maker and constant helper
A radio and other entertainment media are a matter of course in today's vehicles, electronic navigation systems have meanwhile almost as common, and it must be possible to integrate a mobile phone easily into the onboard network. To meet these requirements in the best possible way, Mercedes-Benz has equipped the new SLK with latest-generation telematics. The top-of-the-range COMAND Online is even internet-capable, and enables the driver to enjoy the benefits of the World Wide Web in the car.

The high performance of the head units available is immediately apparent from the large colour display. This monitor is positioned in the upper section of the centre console, so that the driver is able to see the information provided without taking his eyes fully off the road. It can also be easily viewed by the passenger.

All the head units also share a common control unit known as the "controller". In the interests of relaxed and ergonomical operation, it is located within easy reach in front of the centre armrest. This extremely sophisticated, metal rotary/pressure control can be moved in eight directions, and can also activate or confirm additional functions by rotating or pressing it. Navigating through the main menus and sub-menus is effortless and easy, and thanks to new, user-friendly logic the system is quickly and intuitively mastered.

Head units available for the new SLK
  • Audio 20 CD,
  • COMAND Online.
The head units are connected to eight loudspeakers and feature speed-sensitive volume control from 20 km/h, which increases the radio volume with the vehicle speed. All the units are also protected against theft by electronic assignment to the specific vehicle.

Audio 20 CD
The basic Audio 20 CD radio is combined with a large TFT colour display with a screen diagonal of 14.7 centimetres and a resolution of 400 x 240 pixels as a head unit. Audio 20 features
  • integrated FM twin tuner,
  • audio amplifier with 4x25 watts,
  • MP3-capable CD player or optionally a 6-disc CD changer and AUX connection in the glove compartment, as well as
  • a Bluetooth interface for hands-free telephoning.
Available for the first time, the Becker® MAP PILOT upgrades the basic Audio 20 radio into a fully-fledged navigation unit. The additional unit contains the GPS receiver and the processor required for navigation. The colour map and additional information are shown on the colour display of the Audio 20 head unit, and the Becker® MAP PILOT's acoustic driving recommendations are issued via the onboard loudspeakers. The driver is also able to have a direction arrow and distance information shown in the multifunction display of the instrument cluster. The navigation has a clearly laid-out user interface and can be operated intuitively using the central controller in front of the centre armrest.

Data covering Europe are pre-installed in the Becker® MAP PILOT. It offers the latest navigation technology, and includes the following features:
  • map-based navigation including 3D view,
  • lane recommendation,
  • display of speed limits for many roads, as well as other traffic information,
  • information on the remaining distance, ETA or street names,
  • address input possible with a single voice command,
  • calculation of the most economical route (fuel savings through an ideal compromise between travel time and fuel consumption),
  • display of alternative routes,
  • TMC for dynamic tailback avoidance,
  • display of brand logos to mark special destinations such as filling stations or restaurants,
  • map and functional software updates plus other features and services available via the internet, and additional map updates available from dealers on SD memory cards.
The Becker® MAP PILOT is fitted into the glove compartment, and can be easily removed at any time. Updating the map material via a PC and the internet therefore presents no problems.

It is also possible to order a pre-installation kit for the Becker® MAP PILOT ex factory, without the unit itself.

COMAND Online - onboard internet access
On request Mercedes-Benz will equip the new SLK with a COMAND Online head unit using the voice-operated control system LINGUATRONIC. The control and information interface for this unit is a high-resolution TFT colour display with a 17.8 cm screen diagonal capable of representing 800 x 480 pixels.
The COMAND Online multimedia system offers internet access for the first time. Customers can either surf freely on the internet when at a standstill or to a Mercedes-Benz online service while driving; the latter’s pages can be called up particularly quickly and it is simple to operate. The integral services planned include Google™ Local Search and further online services from other suppliers such as the weather. It is also possible to send individual destinations and routes to the vehicle via Google Maps. More Mercedes-Benz online services will be introduced gradually and then all customers will be able to use them.

The high-resolution colour display measures 17.8 cm. Photos can be shown on the large screen and turned over manually, as in a slide show. Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new types of representation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The new Cover Flow function, for instance, sorts the title images of the music albums stored in a carousel-like form, so that the SLK driver can easily leaf through their music collection – even if it is rather on the large side: the memory for compressed audio files (mp3, wma and aac formats) now comprises as much as 10 GB. As an option COMAND Online is available with a 6-disc DVD changer.

Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.

The fast hard-disc navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the current maps for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years. The authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers upload the updates for navigation data in 39 European countries into the navigation system when the customer visits their premises.

In Europe COMAND Online also comprises the Speed Limit Assist, which receives its information for traffic sign recognition via a camera and navigation database. COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new “One Shot” input for the navigation is particularly convenient, whereby the place and road can be said directly after one another.

COMAND Online is also equipped with the following features:
  • internet browser,
  • FM radio twin tuner with additional RDS/TMC tuner for traffic information,
  • audio signal amplifier 4 x 25 W,
  • DVD player for audio and video (optionally also with 6-disc DVD changer),
  • integrated navigation system with map display (including birdview, 3D map and 3D landmarks),
  • integrated hard disc for navigation data and additional functions (e.g. music server); this means that the DVD player is available to play music during a journey,
  • SD card slot.
The voice-operated control system LINGUATRONIC enables all town and street names to be input into the navigation system by voice command. The audio systems can also be voice-controlled, and the global address book accessed. LINGUATRONIC recognises commands without prior training, and these can be entered by any speaker. The system prompts the user to repeat the process if it detects an error or fails to recognise a command.

Naturally the COMAND Online system can also be combined with the convenience telephony function.

Sound system – striking the right note
Customers who attach importance to a quality of sound approaching concert-hall standards in the SLK are able to choose the optional Harman/Kardon® surround sound system for either Audio 20 CD or COMAND Online. This features an additional MOST amplifier with DSP and an output of 10 x 50 watts plus eleven high-quality, high-performance loudspeakers. All the amplifier channels of the sound system are equipped with frequency compensation individually suited to the vehicle acoustics. Bass, treble, volume, balance and fader can be individually adjusted.

Aerials – first-class reception
The radio reception aerials are integrated into the windscreen, with their aerial amplifiers in the A-pillar area. A so-called phase diversity function obtains the maximum reception strength from both aerial signals. To this end it mainly reduces interference caused by multi-channel reception (interference due to reflections). The maximum specifications include:
  • two FM aerials in the windscreen for the diversity functionality,
  • an AM aerial in the rear window or parcel shelf/roof compartment cover,
  • an aerial for the telephone/GPS and DAB L-band (digital radio)
Telephony – reachable at any time
Both the Audio 20 CD radio and the COMAND Online system have an integrated hands-free system for mobile phones using a Bluetooth interface. Even in the basic telephony version, the hands-free system can be operated via the multifunction steering wheel and the keys on the head unit. Bluetooth can also be used to transfer contact data from a mobile phone to the head unit. SMS messages can also be downloaded if the mobile phone supports MAP (Message Access Profile).

A convenience telephony function is also available as an optional extra, and this can likewise be combined with all available head units. It consists of a phone cradle for the centre console with a phone charging function, and uses the vehicle aerial via a serial interface. A cradle suitable for the relevant phone model is separately available as a Mercedes-Benz accessory.
AMG Sports package: Power made apparent
Even in the base version, the new SLK has an eye-catching appearance with its exciting design, stature and high-class interior. Even more dynamic highlights can be added with the optional AMG Sports package.
The AMG Bodystyling package adds a further sporty and businesslike touch. This includes a muscular front apron, prominent side skirts and a new rear apron that suggests sheer power. Headlamps with dark surrounds and dark-tinted tail lights provide further visual distinctions.

The seats with their specific vertical fluting and red topstitching emphasise their sporty nature, and are also available in grey as an alternative. There is also red topstitching on the door armrests (if an Exclusive nappa leather interior is specified, also on the centre armrest, the upper dashboard section and the beltlines), the leather gaiter on the shift/selector lever and the steering wheel with its grippy, perforated leather. Red seat belts provide yet another visual highlight. In models with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, steering wheel shift paddles facilitate sporty gearshifts.

An instrument cluster in a "chequered flag" design, black velour floor mats with red piping and the AMG logo round off the exclusive interior.

The technical basis for models with the AMG Sports package is provided by a lowered sports suspension with a stiffer, sportier spring and damper setup. Contact with the road surface is established by 18-inch 5-twin-spoke high-sheen light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tyres (front 225/40, rear 245/35) from sports car specialist AMG. A braking system with perforated 17-inch brake discs and callipers bearing the lettering "Mercedes-Benz" ensures outstanding deceleration.

The four-cylinder roadsters equipped with the AMG Sports package also express their special character acoustically – with an even sportier engine sound.