Cars - Mercedes Benz

Road tests and reviews of the latest Mercedes Benz models available in South Africa

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK

By Franky Johnson

The Mercedes-Benz SLK is the perfect car for the summer roadster season. The two-seater sports car now boasts powerful new engines and transmissions, and excels with exemplary efficiency. The new model year SLK is now available to order.

In 1996 Mercedes-Benz redefined the roadster with the innovative vario-roof, and combined open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather. For the new model year of the SLK, Mercedes-Benz has once again combined passion with good sense to appeal to both the heart and mind.

This is impressively demonstrated by the four-cylinder SLK models, a new engine generation with 3rd-generation direct injection and multi-spark ignition ensures sporty driving enjoyment. In the SLK 200, the four-cylinder engine generates 135 kW from a displacement of 1991 cc and torque of 300 Nm - this is 30 Nm more than the preceding model. The new SLK 300 replaces the SLK 250. The output from the same displacement increases by 30 kW, versus the preceding model, to 180 kW. At the same time torque is increased by 60 Nm to 370 Nm.

As standard, Mercedes-Benz combines the SLK 200 with a new 6-speed manual transmission which excels with a high level of gearshift comfort and precise travel. The new SLK 300 is equipped with the new nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard. This allows very fast gear changes - especially in Manual mode - and also lower engine speeds. This has a particularly beneficial effect on efficiency and noise comfort. Optionally the SLK 200 is also available with the innovative 9G-TRONIC.

The 9G-TRONIC transmission comes with a newly designed, sporty DIRECT SELECT lever on the centre console, as well as steering wheel gearshift paddles.

All the SLK engines feature the ECO start/stop function and meets stringent emission standards. This also applies to the six and eight cylinder engines of the SLK 350 and SLK 55 AMG, which round off the SLK family.

The extended standard equipment of the SLK includes LED daytime running lamps in a rod design. An LTE-capable exterior onboard aerial is also new in conjunction with the optionally available convenience telephony. The high transfer rates of this new, high-performance mobile radio standard allow an even better quality of reception and transmission. This also benefits the performance of the COMAND Online multimedia system with extremely fast internet access and intuitive operation.

The range of assistance and safety systems, from ATTENTION ASSIST to DISTRONIC PLUS incl. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, is likewise impressive. The latter system features automatic proximity control, a collision warning function including Adaptive Brake Assist and initiation of autonomous partial braking if the driver fails to react. Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist are also optionally available.

A feature that continues to be unique to the SLK is the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL - this glass roof is lightened or darkened at the touch of a button. This means that it provides an open-air feeling at any time, but when required gives welcome shade under a hot sun.

The classic strengths of the SLK also include its well-designed boot, which at 335 litres has easily the highest capacity in this segment, and a very sporty suspension which demands no compromises in terms of comfort. The standard suspension already ensures agility and comfort on long journeys. The optional Dynamic Handling package with adaptive damping system, Direct-Steer system, ESP® Dynamic Cornering Assist and suspension lowered by ten millimetres all enable outstanding handling dynamics and make sure that the SLK not only excels on the handling circuit, but also when it comes to comfort.

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