Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - SLK-class - 200 roadster
The stylish Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 roadster impresses on almost every level
17 Feb 2012
CHIEF Jaguar designer Ian Callum once said it is no longer possible to make a car beautiful because of modern safety, packaging and aerodynamics constraints.
No-one seems to have told the people who shaped Mercedes-Benz’s latest SLK, which unlike other Daimler models is gorgeous from every angle.
The SLK triumphantly melds modern and retro, starting with a beautifully rendered 21st-century version of the classic 1950s SL grille.
The three most compelling elements of the SLK story are heritage, style and a folding metal roof: the SLK200 delivers all this, plus brilliant dynamics and a fair turn of speed.
Model release date: 1 September 2011 to 1 September 2016
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SLKReleased: August 2004
Ended: August 2011
Family Tree: SLK-class
THE R171 SLK arrived locally in August 2004 to supersede the original SLK, first seen here in November 1997. Neither of these quite hit the spot. The 1997 car was beautiful but did not deliver a rewarding driving experience, while the R171 lost the visual charisma but was a superior car with much improved dynamics and performance. It was also much more refined. Nevertheless, by 2008 when the SLK was freshened, the model’s age was showing. Tough competition from the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4 had greeted the second series SLK from its debut and perhaps encouraged the product planners to make significant changes for the third, which is more focused, looks more masculine and offers superior value.
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