The season for convertibles is certainly upon us, so it’s lucky that one of the most popular open-top vehicles currently on the market is undergoing a series of revisions and improvements. The Mercedes-Benz SLK has become one of the most recognised convertibles on our roads with it’s distinct styling scooping a succession of awards and trophies. It has been selected for a few 2015 additions before it’s full face-lift to a new marque; ‘SLC’ next year. If any of these improvements are an indication of what’s to come then it’s fair to say we’re in for a real treat.
Among the crop of changes, engine modifications have perhaps taken a precedent with a whole host of tweaks and shifts to the original range that was on offer. The diesel engines have obtained a reasonably good reputation over the years with the SLK250 CDI on the way out as part of Mercedes’ larger shift towards ‘d’ instead. The change isn’t only in the name with the entire structure of the 2.2-litre four-cylinder having been revamped and bolstered with the addition of urea injection technology, whose main function is to reduce NOx emissions.
The top-range engines, including the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder doesn't appear to have been tweaked. But digging a little deeper reveals the fact the vehicle has enjoyed marked improvement. The SLK200 serves the same 181bhp still, though it’s 0-62mph speed is shaved to 6.9 seconds and fuel consumption is up 5.5mpg on the last instalments 49.6mpg.
In contrast, the SLK250 has been binned in favour of the SLK 300 which enjoys an upgrade of power to 242bhp, torque to 273lb ft and a healthy cut-down of 0.8 seconds to 5.8secs for it’s 0-62mph. And all with the addition of Mercedes’s all-new 9-speed automatic gearbox as standard. MPG has also been improved.
These are not the only engine improvements, but they’re perhaps the most significant. We’ll be covering all the specification changes on our website as soon as they’re released so keep your eyes peeled.
There are also many changes away from what’s lying under the bonnet. A heightened command infotainment system is perhaps the party piece, but many other features also look very appealing including LED running lights, attention assist, blind spot assist and adaptive brake assist. As well distronic plus, collision prevention assist plus and lane keeping assist. The new SLK, like many modern Mercedes, will not be short on technology or quality and we can’t wait to see the finished product.