With its sleek lines, sophisticated ergonomics and drop top vario-roof, the Mercedes-Benz SLK is the car of choice as thoughts turn to summer days
As warmer days approach the prospect of drop-top motoring increasingly appeals – the wind in your hair and the sun on your back! The sporty Mercedez- Benz SLK is a feature-packed choice that appeals to both the heart and the brain with both good looks and fuel efficiency. Style is something the SLK isn’t short of. One look is all it takes: the forward thrust is signalled loud and clear. Long bonnet, short overhangs, the visual focus far back. And as you drive, the roadster delivers what its design promises. Dynamism and agility are unparalleled, courtesy of the suspension with its sporty tuning, a body designed to meet discerning requirements and the utmost attention to detail when it comes to the teamwork carried out by the engine and transmission. Powerful engines place high torque at your disposal. Alongside the good response, impressive acceleration and ability to perform, the car is characterised by a high level of efficiency, whilst the comfort and quality feel are hallmark Mercedes-Benz.
The interior of the SLK-class is nothing short of luxurious, giving its rivals a real run for their money. The interior sparkles with high-quality materials displaying meticulous workmanship and sophisticated ergonomics. The SLK’s sports seats offer excellent lateral support, stabilising the body even at high speeds on winding roads. They also offer exceptional comfort on longer journeys. With their head restraints integrated in the backrests, the seats are both a safety element and a design feature. They emphasise the high quality of the vehicle design, forming a sporty, stylish focus – particularly when you look into the open vehicle. Open-top motoring needn’t mean frozen ears! The roadster offers optional technical and aerodynamic features to ensure virtually draughtfree motoring. And if it should rain, the optional panoramic vario-roof enhances transparency even after closing time, letting in plenty of light and making the interior seem even lighter and roomier. The addition of MAGIC SKY CONTROL allows the roof’s transparency to be tweaked at the touch of a button.
PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY
The SLK’s lightweight construction and optimised engine technology ensure more pleasure per tank. The four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines use start-stop technology that automatically switches off the engine at traffic lights or in a jam. Fuel is used more efficiently by the direct petrol injection system thanks to almost complete combustion, while the variable valve timing allows optimum cylinder charging and thus reduces fuel consumption. The roadster also offers sporty driving enjoyment even when fuelled by diesel. The 204 hp four-cylinder power unit of the SLK 250 CDI gives fuel consumption of just 56.5 mpg on the combined cycle – one of the most economical roadsters in its segment. Thanks to its enormous torque of 500 newton metres it manages 0-62 mph in a zippy 6.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150 mph. The result is superior driving enjoyment both on winding country roads and on long motorway stretches. There are also three suspension versions available: a conventional steel suspension, a sports suspension with a stiffer spring and damper setup or a suspension with an electronically controlled, fully automatic damping system. The latter is part of the Dynamic Handling package, which also includes the Direct-Steer system and the Torque Vectoring Brake developed by Mercedes-Benz for particularly agile and predictable handling characteristics.
The good looks and performance of the SLK do not come at the expense of Mercedes-Benz’s legendary safety features. As well as a full suite of airbags and anti-skid technology, the SLK includes as standard a drowsiness detection system, particularly useful on long trips. At speeds of between 50 and 111 mph, ATTENTION ASSIST can warn the driver as soon as it identifies typical signs of drowsiness or inattention. Several sensors analyse the driver s behaviour and can detect any changes compared with the individual driver profile determined previously. There’s even an active bonnet function that minimises the risk of injury to pedestrians in the event of an accident by causing the bonnet to spring up. Martin Brown, General Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Peterborough, is passionate about the SLK: ‘The SLK symbolises roadster genes and sports car evolution, progress with maturity, style and intensity.’ And if you thought all this technology and performance was unaffordable, it’s time to think again. ‘With summer just round the corner and prices starting from £299 per month – just £30 more than the A class – now is the right time to come along and see the SLK for yourself,’ adds Martin.
MERCEDES-BENZ OF PETERBOROUGH