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Published on March 28th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Mercedes Gives Us An All New SLK to enjoy in Tenerife Spain

Mercedes will sell the all new SLK with 3 engine choices. A 4-cylinder SLK200, 250 and a V6 powered SLK350. Despite the numbers on the badge after the words SLK, the SLK 200 and 250 are both powered by Mercedes new 1.8-litre turbocharged engine (with different boost settings) mated to their new 7-GTronic gearbox, which is an engine and gearbox that has found its way into the family of Benz sedan cars starting with the current C-Class and ending most recently with the latest E-Class. This version has the same engine specs as the two popular sedans.

We were in the holiday playground of Tenerife (which is part of Spain) which is some 100 kilometers off the western coast of northern Africa. Quite close to where all the civil unrest is going on.
The all new automatic vario roof comes with a ‘magic roof’ (with a transition glass shade that changes from ‘light’ to a ‘dark’ shade at a touch of a button) that can be dropped and stored with a simple movement of a lever in a closed capsule located below the gearshift in just 20 seconds and this is the best way to enjoy this car. It is even worthwhile to do in the middle of the day when the sun is scorching. With the roof up, you get near-coupe levels of quietness and refinement, and visibility.
The cabin is a high grade product with an audio system that will keep even the most critical of concert conductors happy during the drive journey. There is simply nothing lacking from the Harmon Kardon system and it comes with a long list of features.

On the drive along a stretch of mountain roads leading up to the highest point of Tenerife the SLK accelerated with minimal fuss and the roar of the 4-cylinder under heavy throttle was very audible (this is good for the enthusiasts driver and gives better driver enjoyment) with a sexy resonating growl as Benz engineers have installed a ‘sound resonator’ into the engine bay to give the 4-cylinder near V8 notes on hard low gear acceleration.

With the vario roof down the ‘blurps’ and ‘growls’ were even more intoxicating.

The in-gear acceleration and seven-speed automatic shift change was smooth all the way with only some niggle hesitation when we met with the hard and tight mountain roads curves that had the 4-cylinder engine looking for the best gear selection to extract the most torque. The engine is strong with a wide spread of torque and willingness to rev cleanly to its redline are its assets.

On the V6 powered SLK350 the somewhat unappealing exhaust note at higher revs reminded us that it did not have the same character of the segment competing Munich built roadster. Instead it returns a more refined muted rumble on full throttle. On undulating, snaking roads up the mountain we met a telling test of a car’s handling prowess. The SLK 250 proved to be an entertaining companion.

This SLK 250 definitely feels more athletic than before, with improved steering and stability, especially when the roads opened up and we stormed again and again to double-digit speeds along narrow mountain roads initially built before WW1 for small, narrow vehicles. It provided better agility on the twists and managed to rush up the speedometer range when called upon. Overall, this third-generation SLK is an improvement over its predecessor. And the V6 350 doesn’t disappoint and will keep most owners adequately happy as the purchase decision for a car like this starts with its looks and ends with its curbside appeal.

Arrival in Malaysia is just months away and with it being fully imported, the range of interior options and AMG designed DESIGNO accessories leaves us to believe that Mercedes in Malaysia will have no worries selling this roadster to both sexes. It’s no longer a roadster just for the fairer sex.

Mercedes SLK 250 Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder DOHC 16-Valve
Capacity: 1796cc                                                             
Max power: 184hp @ 5800rpm
Max torque: 270Nm @ 1800-4600rpm
Top Speed: 237km/h
0-100km/h: 7.0secs
Transmission: 7-speed Semi-Auto G-Tronic
Price: To be announced
Mercedes SLK 250 Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder DOHC 16-Valve
Capacity: 1796cc
Max power: 204hp @ 5500rpm
Max torque: 310Nm @ 2000-4300rpm
Top Speed: 243km/h
0-100km/h: 6.6secs
Transmission: 7-speed Semi-Auto G-Tronic
Price: To be announced
Mercedes SLK 350 Specification
Engine: V6-cylinder DOHC 24-Valve
Capacity: 3498cc
Max power: 306hp @ 6500rpm
Max torque: 370Nm @ 3500rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h
0-100km/h: 5.6secs
Transmission: 7-speed Semi-Auto G-Tronic
Price: To be announced

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