WITH a revised Porsche Boxster and new BMW Z4 now on sale, Mercedes-Benz has sharpened its popular SLK two-seater roadster with about 650 fresh parts, including more power and better economy for the SLK350.
The result is a charming and unexpectedly involving luxury convertible with impressive road manners and a sweet drivetrain.
Better still, the makeover helps the SLK seem a lot younger.
Model release dates: June 2008 - July 2011
MERCEDES’ second-generation SLK was a far-more accomplished performer than its timelessly beautiful predecessor, thanks to a concerted effort to improve the two-seater roadster’s on-road dynamics.
Rack-and-pinion steering led the charge, but it was the inclusion of a strong and smooth 200kW/350Nm 3.5-litre quad-cam 24-valve V6 – mated to the firm’s innovative 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual gearbox – that really shone.
And while sports suspension aided the SLK350’s tidy handling, it was the inclusion of all the usual luxury accoutrements that made this a highly polished all-rounder.
Topping it all off (quite literally) was the folding hardtop roof – an idea reintroduced in the 1997 R170 SLK after decades of neglect – that reliably provided all-year motoring pleasure for those who could afford this stirring and rewarding grand touring convertible.