2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Preview
A serious sporting affair
Page 1: Introduction
IRVINE, CA - Another roadster in a long line of sporting machines from Mercedes-Benz is set to debut in Europe this spring and arrives in the U.S. for the 2005 model year. The 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class builds on the proportions and philosophies of today's model, refining them in a completely redesigned car that takes its styling cues from modern concept and production vehicles wearing the three-pointed star.
In Europe, three models will be available. At the bottom of the lineup is the 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 Kompressor, which is powered by a supercharged inline four-cylinder engine making 163 horsepower. Like all SLK models, the SLK 200 Kompressor is rear-wheel-drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional. Mercedes-Benz is not expecting to sell this car in North America.
Here in the U.S., the volume version will be the 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350, which makes 272 horsepower from its stout V6 engine. This more powerful motor features variable camshaft control and other technological enhancements to make it more fuel-efficient yet more powerful than the previous 3.2-liter V6 engine. Furthermore, its maximum torque output is reached at a low 2,400 rpm and remains strong through 5,000 rpm. Mercedes claims that the 2005 SLK 350 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, with little variance between the standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed automatic. Drivers wishing for more involvement in gear selection on this latter transmission can choose to equip the Mercedes SLK 350 with buttons on the steering wheel for more convenient manual shifting. Seventeen-inch wheels are likely to be standard, with 18-inch wheels possibly bundled with a sport suspension option.