2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Preview

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The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK isn’t scheduled to make its debut until the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March but the first official details and images have already hit the Web. Set to go on sale this summer, the third-generation SLK will come onto the market with a bold new look, more fuel-efficient engines and a host of technological upgrades.

Although revealed previously by a leaked promo video, these official shots show off the car in much greater detail, confirming that the styling has been heavily influenced by the lines of the SLS AMG supercar and the recently revealed CLS.

It’s still too early to speculate on a potential pricetag, but expect things to deviate only slightly from the $47,650 starting price of the current model.

Powertrain options will include a 201 horsepower turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine in a new SLK250 model and a 302 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 in the SLK350. Further down the track, a new SLK55 AMG should be launched, potentially with a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8.

All models will be available with the automaker's seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox, though the SLK250 will come with a six-speed manual as standard.

We can expect the SLK350 to go from 0-60 mph in just 5.4 seconds and easily reach its electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The SLK250 is not far behind, with a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. Fuel economy for the SLK350 is a claimed 23 mpg for the combined cycle, while the SLK250 fares slightly better at 27 mpg.

Conventional steel suspension will come as standard, though a sports suspension package with stiffer springs and dampers should be offered as an option. For performance buffs, a Dynamic Handling package with continuously adjustable dampers, speed sensitive steering and torque vectoring brakes is all on the cards.

Other advanced features will include the new Magic Sky Control photochromic folding hard-top, Attention Assist, Pre-safe and Adaptive brakes, electronic power steering, a speed sign reading camera and intelligent headlights.

Stay tuned for an update as more details are scheduled to be released in the lead up to the car’s Geneva debut.



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