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2008 Detroit Auto Show: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK
What it Is
2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK -- 2008 Detroit Auto Show: With a new SLK three years away, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK needs only to hold serve, tweak interest and keep the plate warm for the real update. Thanks to a bump in horsepower, a very SLR-esqe snout and a new rear, the SLK should do exactly that, though Mercedes fans will soon be clamoring for more.Why it Matters
It's the new look that will get most people buzzing. The front has strong SLR McLaren dna, and the back is revised to include trapezoidal tailpipes.Of course, the modest horsepower boost helps as well, but what this refresh really achieves is to get us thinking about what's in store three years from now.
What’s Under the Hood
Improvements in the power department should keep things interesting for now, with the SLK350 enjoying a boost in horsepower, to 305, slong with 266 lb.-ft. of torque. The 1.8-liter supercharged engine in the SLK200 Kompressor goes to 184 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Also new as an option is a variable assist steering system found on the AMG model. Despite the increase in power, fuel economy is expected to increase slightly.
What it Looks Like
Think SLR McLaren and you've got it: the arrowed front end, the large emblem and and revised bumper make the SLK look like the SLR's little brother. In back, Mercedes-Benz puts trapezoidal tailpipes in a revised bottom section.
What We Think
Originally intended for the Geneva show but redirected to Detroit, the SLK gets a needed refresh. We'll never know if the Chrysler Crossfire would have sold better with a new nose and a bump in horsepower. Probably not, but hey - the thought counts, eh?
By Brian Chee
Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz