There is a new Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster, and in SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY form it can achieve up to 46.3 mpg with the optional seven-speed automatic transmission 7G?Tronic Plus.
Mercedes claims that this makes it the most economical roadster in its segment. Yet the 1.8-litre 4-cylinder 184 hp SLK 200 can also reach 0 to 62 mph in 7.0 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 147 mph (150 mph with manual transmission).
The 1.8-litre 4-cylinder 204 hp SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped as standard with the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission and returns 45.5 mpg on the combined cycle. From a standstill it reaches 62 mph in 6.6 seconds, and it has a top speed of 150 mph.
The third SLK model available at launch is the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY. This comes with a 3.5-litre V6 but it still averages 39.7 mpg. Yet it can also reach 62 mph in 5.6 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
The new V6 engine has been developed from the ground up and comes with third-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.
Fuel consumption of the new SLK is improved by up to 25 per cent compared with the previous models, helped by the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models.
In 1996 the first generation SLK had a vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupé with a fixed roof at the touch of a button in just a few seconds.
The second generation placed the warm Airscarf around the neck and shoulders of the occupants as needed, ensuring pleasurable open-top motoring even in cooler temperatures.
Now the third generation has the panoramic vario-roof with Magic Sky Control. It can be quickly switched to light or dark at the press of a button.
Despite a new, more upright-looking front end design, the aerodynamics have been improved, with a Cd value of 0.30 (from 0.32). The SLK’s bonnet and wings are also now made of aluminium.
The new SLK will be launched in the UK in June 2011. Pricing and UK specifications are still to be confirmed.