Like a compact SL, the next-gen SLK will be brawnier and more masculine in its appearance than the current SLK, but it will also offer a bit more bite to back up the bark. New tidbits out today hint that the next-gen SLK may end up being one of the most interesting cars in Mercedes-Benz's lineup.

With a 300-350-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 as a post-debut special, the SLK will potentially offer a lot of punch even in standard guise. The AMG version, however, could deliver a gobsmacking 470 horsepower from a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-8 engine to replace the aging 6.2-liter V-8 found in the current '63' model family.

Barring the new small-displacement twin-turbo V-8, a revised version of the 5.5-liter mill, also bearing twin-turbos, could generate 422 horsepower for the next-gen SLK 55 AMG. A 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel is also a likely candidate, at least for Europe, for an entry-level SLK. The oil-burner might even see U.S. sales, but that will depend heavily on Mercedes' decisions regarding the same engine going into the C-Class.

Other major changes to the SLK could include a weight savings regime good for about 200 pounds off the car's curb weight, plus a revised interior designed around themes from the SLS AMG supercar, including a tall center stack surrounded by chrome vents.

Read our preview story for more details on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK.

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