2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK: Light Update
- January 11, 2008
- Mercedes-Benz, New Model Introductions
- Posted by George Peterson
- Comments Off on 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK: Light Update
Freshened Look and Improved V6 Engines for Baby Benz Roadster
Among the vehicles due on Mercedes-Benz‘ 2008 North American International Auto Show stand this January is a revised SLK. Sales are slated for April 2008.
The updated SLK sports a revised nose and rear fascia, strengthening the car’s visual ties to the big bad SLR McLaren supercar, and a few changes to the interior. The V6 engines are updated for more power and reduced emissions, though AMG’s 5.5L V8 goes unchanged. At least in the States, models sporting the 3.0L V6 will be badged SLK 300 (instead of SLK 280). The U.S. lineup still skips the European four-cylinder option, with the 2009 range going from 228HP 3.0L V6 SLK 300 to 300HP 3.5L V6 SLK 350 to top-dog V8 SLK 55 AMG.
SLK Style Sharpened Inside and Out
The new nose gets a more distinct arrow look and new bumper with revised air dam. The rear takes trapezoidal tailpipes and dark taillights along with the diffuser-style lower section. Changes on the inside mean to make the space even more driver-oriented. There is a new steering wheel with multifunction buttons and a revised gauge cluster.
The SLK 55 AMG gets a specific three-spoke steering wheel and updated AMG interior along with the interior updates, but fewer exterior enhancements. The AMG interior, standard with nappa leather, gets new lettering and a new look for the instrument cluster, for better readability, with its silver/red needles. The AMG variant gets larger sideview mirrors, darkened headlamps, and a new front apron (has a black-painted cross strut and side air outlets, modified Mercedes star, and chrome-surround foglamps).
More Power, Less Fuel
Under the hood, all but the SLK AMG engine are modified. The 3.5L V6 has a higher max RPM, higher compression ratio, new intake manifold, and modified valvetrain. The result is a horsepower boost of 32HP to 300HP and a torque increase to 265 lb-ft. Engine acoustics were also tweaked for more aggressive sound, and the optional and updated 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic blips the throttle during downshifts. With the SLK AMG, drivers still get a 7G-TRONIC with Sport or Manual driving modes, but both offer shifts about ten percent faster. The 3.0L V6 returns better fuel economy and lower emissions but gains no power.
Direct-Steer System Introduced
SLK launches a new mechanical direct-steering system that operates without actuators or sensors; the system is optional on the V6 models but standard on the SLK 55 AMG. This system changes steering gear ratio with the steering angle; it requires less steering input in city traffic is required to correct the path, while maximizing straight-line stability.