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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - SLK-class

Mercedes lops the drop-top price

Top down: Mercedes-Benz is set to make open-top motoring more affordable for three-pointed star drivers.

Benz to launch SLK roadster with $10,000 price cut when it lands in August

Mercedes-Benz logo23 Jun 2011

By RON HAMMERTON

MERCEDES-BENZ has lopped a cool $10,000 from the starting price of its third-generation SLK roadster that is due to start cruising the boulevards of Australia from August.

The SLS-inspired drop-top that made its formal public debut at the Geneva motor show in March will land in showrooms at $82,900 (plus on-roads) for the entry-level SLK200 BlueEfficiency, compared with $92,540 for the outgoing model, representing a 10.8 per cent cut.

The savings will be slightly less on the SLK350, with the new model – also now wearing the BlueEfficiency enviro-tag – arriving at $118,900, down $2160.

Pricing has been withheld for two more variants – the SLK250 BlueEfficiency (replacing the SLK300) and the AMG-enhanced SLK 63 – that will follow about six months later, in the first quarter of 2012.

The base SLK200 will swap the old supercharged Kompressor four-cylinder petrol engine for the new turbo-pumped 1.8-litre powerplant, producing the same 135kW of power.

Thanks to a higher proportion of aluminium to cut mass and sleeker aerodynamics, the new model achieves a slightly faster zero-to-100km/h sprint (7.0 seconds).

Its biggest gain will be in fuel efficiency which has been sliced from the current 8.0 litres per 100km to just 6.1L/100km.

When it arrives, the SLK250 will use the same four-cylinder turbo engine as the 200, but boosted to 150kW.

4 center imageLeft: Mercedes-Benz SLK. Below: Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupe front and rear shots.

The SLK retains its folding metal roof – which it pioneered in the first generation – but gains sunroof options, including one with electro-magnetic variable tint glass.

While the SLK will be even better value, buyers of Mercedes-Benz small coupes will have to pay more when the C-class Coupe replaces the CLC from late August.

More substantial than the outgoing model and with a vastly expanded range – including a stonking AMG version – the new two-door Benz will now be aligned more closely with the C-class sedan, with the five variants priced at a $2000 premium over the four-door equivalents.

The range will kick off with the C200 BlueEfficiency turbo coupe at $58,900 (plus on roads) – $6780 more than the outgoing entry-level CLC ($52,120).

The two-door C-class line-up will continue upwards with the C250 BlueEfficiency ($69,900), C250 CDI BlueEfficiency ($69,900), C350 BlueEfficiency ($99,900) and flagship C63 AMG ($154,800).

Also in the pipeline from the Stuttgart company for a busy August launch schedule is the C350 CDI in the C-class sedan, marking the arrival of Mercedes’ glorious 195kW/620Nm high-performance V6 turbo-diesel – fresh from the E-class and CLS – in the top-selling Benz class.

The upgraded C350 CDI will go on sale for $95,150, compared with $67,900 for the C250 CDI.

2011 SLK pricing:
200 BlueEfficiency $82,900
350 BlueEfficiency $118,900
2011 C-class Coupe pricing:
200 BlueEfficiency $58,900
250 BlueEfficiency $69,900
250 CDI BlueEfficiency $69,900
350 BlueEfficiency $99,900
63 AMG $154,800

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