The Mercedes SLK Class is a compact roadster that was introduced in 1997 for the 1998 model year. Featuring a retractable hard-top roof and a reputation for a smooth, quiet drive, the model gained headway quickly, making Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best List for its first year on the road (1997). When it arrived, the Mercedes SLK Class was outfitted with a supercharged 2.3L inline four-cylinder engine capable of producing up to 185 horsepower directed through a standard five-speed automatic transmission. As for the model's dimensions, the Mercedes SLK Class measured in with a wheelbase of 94.5 inches, a width of 67.5 inches, a height of 50.7 inches, and an overall length of 157.3 inches.
For its second year on the road, the transmissions were switched. A five-speed manual was made standard and instead, the previous five-speed automatic became optional. In 2001, a bevy of changes were made to the Mercedes SLK Class, including the introduction of the SLK320, which showed off a 3.2L V6 engine good for 215 horsepower. Also, the dimensions of the car were altered, as the length now measured in at 157.9 inches, and the height at 50.4 inches. 2002 ushered in another trim for the SLK Class – the SLK32 AMG. Thanks to a supercharged 3.2L V6, the SLK32 AMG pumped out 349 horsepower. The model also showcased sporty parts such as 17" wheels, performance tires, ground effects, and a rear spoiler. For 2004, a Special Edition Package was offered and it was equipped with such Mercedes parts, as 17" wheels, sport seats, a roll bar, chrome trim, a rear spoiler, and a color-keyed front-end grille. A couple of years later, the SLK280 joined the lineup, providing 228 hp and a 3.0L V6.
Mercedes-Benz added the SLK350 to the roster, which meant a 3.5L V6 (268 hp and 258 pounds-per-foot of torque). The SLK55 AMG sports a 5.4L V8 which produces a hefty 355 horsepower and 376 pounds-per-foot of torque. When the 2009 SLK Class was premiered, a new base SLK300 became the entry-level model (a 3.0L V6 good for 228 horsepower with 221 pounds-per-foot of torque). The SLK350 showed off up to 300 horsepower. Another item of noted for the Mercedes SLK Class has been its safety features. Antilock disc brakes, brake assist, stability control, traction control, side-airbags, knee airbags, and Mercedes' own TeleAid emergency-calling system are included as standard on all models throughout the lineup as of 2009.
The SLK redefined luxury sport. Most refer to the SLK as a "roadster". We like to think of it as much more than that. It is an elegantly styled sports car that can tear up the pavement when it has to. As a convertible, it is way more versatile than most in its class (maybe because it is in a class of its own). The innovatively designed body structure allows for less wind and noise while driving with the top down than any of its kind, which has helped give the powerful performance the SLK is capable of. Defined by its athleticism but loved for its fashion-sense, the SKL Class remains a hotly-pursued item worth of high-grade accessories and parts.
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