Mercedes-Benz's three-pointed star has long been synonymous with style and prestige, but it has historically taken a backseat to BMW's blue and white propeller as a symbol of driving excitement. This was certainly true of the first-generation SLK roadster, which offered decent straight-line speed and a then-novel folding hardtop but lost points due to its archaic recirculating-ball steering design and generally less-than-sporting demeanor. But when the folks at Mercedes set about redesigning the SLK a few years ago, they had evidently grown tired of playing second fiddle to their Bavarian rival in the minds of discerning drivers. That's the only way to explain the downright frisky performance of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class roadsterBody Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a luxury roadster equipped with a power-retractable hardtop. Three trim levels are offered: SLK300, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG. Standard equipment on the SLK300 includes 17-inch alloy wheels (up an inch from last year), leather upholstery, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and a prPowertrains and Performance:
Under the SLK300's hood is a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 228 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The SLK350 packs a 3.5-liter V6 good for 300 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The SLK300 can be had with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, while the SLK350 is only available with the same seven-speed auto. The high-performance SLK55 AMG comes with a beastly 5.4-liter V8 that cranks out 355 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque; a seven-speed automatic is mandatory. While the AMG is a world-class performer, with a 0-60-mph time in the neighborhood of 5 seconds, even the base SLK300 provides sprightly acceleration, especially with the standard six-speed manual shifter. Thanks to its engine refinements for '09, the SLK350 should chop a few tenths off the 6.3-second time we measured for last year's SLK350.emium audio system with a 5-inch LCD screen and an in-dash six-CD changer. The SLK350 adds a larger V6 engine and upgraded brakes. The gonzo V8-powered SLK55 AMG affords rocket-like acceleration and includes 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, even larger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, power heated sport seats with driver-side memory, upgraded leather upholstery, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and unique interior and exterior trim details.
Some of the AMG model's standard features are available as options on lesser models. Also optional are bi-xenon headlamps, an iPod integration kit, satellite radio, a navigation system with an expanded 6.5-inch LCD screen, a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system and an Airscarf system that directs heat through vents in the head restraints. For non-AMG models, a "Sport Package" adds 18-inch AMG wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles and a few exterior styling enhancements.