Mercedes-Benz SLK

BY Joel Tam

Mini SLS AMG anyone? Mercedes-Benz's new SLK roadster may not have gullwing doors, but it does have a neat trick up its sleeve.

The new Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster is pretty much a mini SLS AMG. What it lacks in gullwing doors, it makes up for by having a trick panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL - a cool glass roof that 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 the rain. In its dark state, the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up when the sun\'s rays are intense.

The interior is a nice place to be, with stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials. The four round, galvanised air outlets integrated in the dashboard are similar to those in the SLS.

Powered by three new engines with direct injection for a start, the SLK will not just be quick, but frugal as well. The four-cylinder engines in the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY develop 184 bhp and 204 bhp respectively from a displacement of 1796 cc. The SLK 200 will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds, while the 250 will do it in 6.6 seconds.

The top-of-the-range V6 engine in the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY draws 306 bhp from its 3498 cc unit, using this power to accelerate in 5.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h with a top speed of 250 km/h. While this engine unit may seem familiar, it has actually gone through a thorough redevelopment - with 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.