Mercedes-Benz Unveils The SLK 55 AMG

BY Burnpavement

The most powerful SLK of all time certainly has lots to shout about.

With an engine based on the V8 that powers the E 63 AMG, CLS 63 AMG, S 63 AMG and CL 63 AMG but without the turbo charging business, the SLK's naturally aspirated V8 delivers a peak output of 310 kW (422 hp) and maximum torque of 540 Nm.

With such power, it is a wonder how Mercedes-Benz and AMG have boasted a fuel consumption of just 11.9km/l. The trick is the cylinder shut-off function, activated when the driver selects transmission mode "C" - Controlled Efficiency (not that we would). This leaves about 230 Nm of torque on tap. Further aiding the fuel frugal-ness is the start/stop function which is active in the fuel economy transmission mode "C".

For drivers who don't really care about treating the SLK 55 like a Prius, there is plenty to love. For the first time AMG is using a sports exhaust system featuring an exhaust flap on each side. At low loads and engine speeds below 2000 rpm the flaps remain closed. This causes the exhaust gases to cover a longer distance and flow through an additional damping element. When the driver accelerates, the flaps open gradually , flicking fully open under full load at higher engine speeds for that signature roar of the AMG V8.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels by means of the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission which features three transmission modes: "Controlled Efficiency" (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). Control comes from the AMG sports suspension with Torque Vectoring Brakes and AMG Direct-Steer system. 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. The AMG-exclusive 3-stage ESP gives the driver three choices: "ESP ON", "SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF".

The optionally available AMG Handling package enhances the vehicle's sportiness even further with stiffer suspension, an AMG rear axle differential lock, composite brake discs at the front and a three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel finished in nappa leather with Alcantara inserts in the grip areas.

The SLK 55 AMG comes with standard safety equipment which includes new, fibre-reinforced roll-over bar, two-stage driver and front passenger airbags, headbags, thorax airbags, seat belt tensioner with degressive belt force limiters, NECK-PRO crash-active head restraints, automatic child seat recognition, three-stage ESP® and also ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection.

To help the SLK 55 AMG stand out from the crowd, it features a bespoke body kit and badging. The new SLK 55 AMG will hold its market launch in January 2012. We'll update you as soon as we get hold of local availability information!