Mercedes-Benz reveals their newest SLK roadster vehicle. Dubbed R172, the new roadster from Stuttgart-based company is a direct competitor to BMW’s Z4 Roadster. The SLK offers in its third generation a metal folding roof and the world premiere of Magic Sky Control. This feature allows the glass part of the roof to switch from light to dark with a touch of a button.
The new SLK follows the same design language seen lately in all the new Mercedes vehicles. The svelte and athletic body is complemented by a vertical standing front. At the back, the designers managed to make the trunk sit lower than the rear fender, a nice visual touch.
As seen in any roadster, the SLK offers exactly like the Z4, a long hood, a compact and well set back green house and a short tail.
Inside, the SLK offers the typical Mercedes sports car look. Above the central infotainment system, there is an optional analog clock, with the single purpose to underline the stylish character of the vehicle. Large round gauges and brushed aluminum provide the sporty flair. Wood trim can also be fitted in the interior design.
As with its predecessor, the new SLK includes a system called Air Scarf, which is integrated into the headrests of the sport seats and protects the neck of the driver and front passenger with warm air from cold drafts.
In the power department, the SLK range starts with the 184 horsepower SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY, a four-cylinder 1.8 liter engine which takes the car to 62 mph in 7.0 seconds. Standard consumption is 6.1 liters per 100 km, the most fuel efficient vehicle in its class of four cylinders. Next in the line-up is the SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY, 204 horsepower, 0 to 62 mph in 6.6 seconds and 6.2 liter per 100 km. The equivalent in the BMW line-up would be the Z4 sDrive23i (8.2 liter per 100 km).
The only six-cylinder vehicle is the 350 BlueEFFICIENCY, a V6 naturally aspirated engine with direct injection. The 3.5 liter engine produces 306 horsepower and accelerates to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds. With standard consumption of 7.1 liters, this model offers significantly better fuel consumption than the BMW Z4 sDrive35i that requires 9.0 liters.
The impressive fuel consumption numbers are direct related to the use of a 7G-Tronic automatic transmission that offers start-stop functionality. Consumption values for models with manual transmissions have not yet been communicated, but they are probably a little higher.
Prices for the new R172 start at 38,675 euros for the SLK 200, 44,256 euros for the SLK 250 and 52,300 euros for the top model SLK 350. At a later point in time, an AMG version is expected to be powered by a naturally aspirated V8 engine.
As with any new direct competitor to BMW, we decided to offer a photo comparison from different angles.[poll id=”70″]