Mercedes has issued official details of its new SLK, following the car's accidental unveiling on a French-language video late last year.
Set to make its debut at Mercedes' 125th birthday celebrations in Stuttgart at the end of this month, the two-seat roadster has a new rear-wheel-drive platform, a diesel variant and what engineers claim is a more sporting chassis. It also looks less aggressive than the outgoing model.
The new SLK continues to eschew a fabric roof for a reworked version of the old model's folding hard-top. It now offers the choice of a standard aluminum, fixed-tint glass or electro-magnetic variable-tint glass panel. Inside, there's an angular new dashboard, modeled on that of the SLS, with distinctive vents, reworked instruments, more contemporary switchgear and a new range of trims.
Three engines are confirmed for the launch. They include a pair of turbocharged 1.8-liter units, producing 184hp in the SLK200 and 204hp in the SLK250. The SLK200 gets a standard six-speed manual gearbox and has a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.0sec.
Topping the launch lineup will be the SLK350, which features Mercedes' new V6. The 3.5-liter direct-injection engine kicks out the same 306hp as the unit it replaces in the SLK lineup. But in combination with a standard 7-speed automatic and a number of fuel-saving features, including stop-start, it offers vastly improved performance and economy. The SLK350 has a claimed 0-62mph time of 5.6sec and a combined 39.8mpg.