New models - Mercedes-Benz - SLK-class - SLK300 convertible
Mid-range 3.0-litre V6 for Merc SLK
Mercedes adds SLK300 model to roadster line-up, offering 3.0 V6 and a $98,600 price
29 Apr 2010
By TERRY MARTIN
MERCEDES-BENZ has introduced a mid-series SLK300 model variant to its SLK-class two-seater roadster range in Australia, bridging the circa-$28,000 price gap between the entry-level SLK200 Kompressor and mid-range SLK350.
Priced from $98,600, the SLK300 picks up the German prestige marque’s familiar 170kW/300Nm 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, slotting neatly between the $90,100 135kW/250Nm 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder SLK200K and the $118,000 224kW/360Nm 3.5-litre V6 SLK350.
At $175,000, the SLK55 AMG continues to top the range with a 265kW/510Nm 5.5-litre AMG V8 petrol engine.
Fitted standard with Mercedes’ 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission, the new 2996cc V6 – which develops its peak power at 6000rpm and torque from 2500-5000rpm – can return 9.1L/100km on the ADR 81/02 fuel consumption standard, and 211g/km in CO2.
This is a significant improvement over the 3.5-litre version, which even in standard six-speed manual form consumes 9.6L/100km and emits 229g/km of CO2. The seven-speed auto is available as an option.
The big V8, which also combines with a seven-speed auto, returns 12.0L/100km and 288g/km, while at the other end of the scale the blown 1.8 four, which comes standard with a six-speed manual, manages 8.0L/100km and 190g/km. A five-speed self-shifter remains available as an option on the 200K.
Other performance benchmarks for the SLK300, which tips the scales at 1485kg, include standing-start acceleration from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds, 0.8 seconds behind the 3.5 manual (which has the same kerb weight). Top speed for both is electronically limited to 210km/h.
Specification and pricing for the wider SLK range remains unchanged, with the SLK300 arriving with a level of standard befitting the price tag, including four airbags (dual front and head/thorax side airbags), ESC, ABS with BA, metallic paint, electric seats (with driver’s memory, including steering wheel placement), Comand APS satellite-navigation, a single-CD stereo and an AMG Sports package comprising a range of interior and exterior items.
The latter includes an AMG front and rear apron, side skirts and bootlid spoiler, while interior highlights include black roof lining, red top-stitching on the seats, door armrests, gearshift and the leather-clad steering wheel, plus carbon-fibre-look plastic trim in other areas and, on the floor, velour mats with red edging.
A space-saving spare wheel for emergency use only is also fitted, and, interestingly, 18-inch alloys at each corner (with a five twin-spoke wheel design) and 225/40-section tyres up front and 245/35 at the rear.
For customers shelling out an extra $19,400 for the SLK350, the standard wheels are 17-inch alloys on 225/45 (front) and 245/40 (rear) rubber.
Options on the 300K include the Airscarf neck-level heating system and a six-disc in-dash CD/DVD stereo.
As per the remainder of the SLK range since the 2008 upgrade, the 300 comes equipped with an Australian-developed ‘direct-steer’ system which combines a variable steering ratio with speed-sensitive power assistance, which Mercedes claims results in a more agile steering feel.
Suspension is via a three-link MacPherson strut front and multi-link arrangement at the rear.
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