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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - SLK-class - SLK230K convertible

The Car

17 May 2001

Power comes from a supercharged 2.3-litre, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine. It produces 142kW at 5300rpm and 280Nm of torque between 2500rpm and 4800rpm

An adaptive five-speed automatic transmission is standard

The front suspension uses double wishbones with separate coil springs and shock absorbers

A five-link rear suspension is used at the back

Two bonnet "power domes" hark back to the 300SL from the 1950s

Roll-over protection bars are mounted behind the seats

The SLK has a magnesium partition between the fuel tank and the boot. It is the first time the company has used it as a construction material in standard production

The power-operated, folding steel Vario roof takes 25 seconds to open or close

Mercedes claims the steel roof gives buyers the best of both worlds. The car can be transformed from coupe to convertible at the touch of a button

The boot lid folds backwards so the roof has enough clearance when it lowers into the boot

A plastic cover separates the roof from the luggage compartment

When the roof is open the boot has 145 litres of luggage space

A fine mesh draught stopper can be placed between the headrests to minimise unwanted air flow into the cabin

Attention to detail such as mini spoilers at the leading edge of the front wheel arches cut drag and minimise lift

For the first time Mercedes has used colour trim on the dash, console, seats and steering wheel

Thin seats maximise interior space

At 3995mm, the SLK is about 500mm shorter than a C-class or SL but it is wide at 1715mm

Chrome surrounds and ivory-coloured dials give the interior a retro look

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Did you know?

Mercedes developed an "ellipsoid bulkhead" to enlarge the front crumple zone on the SLK230 by 50mm. It also helps spread crash impact across the car

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