Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

From Mercedes Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
R171 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350
Parent companyDaimler-Benz (1997-98)
DaimlerChrysler (1998-2007)
Daimler AG (2008-present)
ClassSports car
Body style(s)2-door coupe
2-door convertible
LayoutFR layout
ManualService Manual
2001-04 R170 Mercerdes-Benz SLK
AssemblyBremen, Germany
Juarez, Mexico
East London, South Africa
PlatformMercedes-Benz R170
Engine(s)2.0 L I4
2.3 L I4
3.2 L V6
Transmission(s)5-speed automatic

5-speed manual

6-speed manual
Wheelbase94.5 in (2400 mm)
Length1997-2000: 157.3 in (3995 mm)
2001-04: 157.9 in (4011 mm)
Width67.5 in (1714 mm)
Height1997-2000: 50.7 in (1287 mm)
2001-04: 50.4 in (1280 mm)
RelatedChrysler Crossfire

The SLK is a compact roadster manufactured by Mercedes-Benz in two generations, R170 and R171, since 1997.

As one of the first modern retractable hardtop convertibles, the SLK followed the 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder and preceded other retractable hardtops such as the Peugeot 206cc, Lexus SC, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and the Chrysler Sebring.

The designation SLK derives from the company's design mission to create a roadster that was at once sporty, light and short — in German: Sportlich, Leicht und Kurz. [1]

The term SLK-Class is a Mercedes marketing term referring to the vehicle in all its engine configurations across both design generations.

Competitors include the Audi TT, BMW Z4, Lexus SC, Porsche Boxster, and Porsche Cayman.

R170 (1997- 2004)

1997-2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK
Main article: Mercedes-Benz R170

The R170-platform SLK 230 Kompressor was introduced in 1997 for model year 1998 to compete with the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3. Setting it apart was its folding hardtop, though its additional weight compromised the performance of the 185 hp 2.3 L supercharged I4 engine and automatic transmission. The SLK was on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 1997.

A 5-speed manual transmission was added for 1999 along with the 215 hp 3.2 L V6 and 6-speed manual transmission in the 2001 SLK 320.

An AMG model was added in 2001, with a 354 hp (264 kW) supercharged version of the 3.2 L V6. This SLK 32 AMG was the best-performing R170 SLK, and was a direct rival of the BMW M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S. It was only offered with automatic transmission and was hand built.

Not all Mercedes SLKs were built in Bremen, Germany, the SLK 320 being built in South Africa and Mexico. The very first R170 Mercedes SLK was completed on January 29, 1997 and last on April 7, 2004.

Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG

Summary of all versions and engine specifications:

  • SLK 200 Kompressor - 2.0 L (1998 cc) 163 hp I4 supercharged engine, 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds, top speed of 223 km/h (138 mph). NB Not exported to North American markets.
  • SLK 230 Kompressor - 2.3 L (2295 cc) 197 hp I4 supercharged engine, 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, top speed of 240 km/h (148 mph).
  • SLK 320 - 3.2 L (3199 cc) 218 hp V6 engine, 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph).
  • SLK 32 AMG - 3.2 L (3199 cc) 354 hp V6 engine, 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds[2]. All engines were hand-built by AMG by an individual engineer. The engine came with an intercooled Lysholm-type "twin-screw" supercharger. Production commenced in August 2001 and ended in March 2004.

R171 (2004-current)

Revised R171 SLK
AssemblyBremen, Germany
Mexico City, Mexico
PlatformMercedes-Benz R171
Engine(s)1.8 L I4
3.0 L V6
3.5 L V6
5.4 L V8
Transmission(s)7-speed automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase95.7 in (2430 mm)
Length4087 mm (160.7 in)
AMG: 4093 mm (160.9 in)
Width1788 mm (70.4 in)
AMG: 1793 mm (70.6 in)
Height1298 mm (51.1 in)
AMG: 1270 mm (50 in)
Curb weight1495 kg (3300 lb)
Main article: Mercedes-Benz R171
2004-2008 SLK 280 pre-facelift

The SLK was substantially revised in 2004 with a revised body and enhanced performance. For 2005 the new R171-platform SLK was named one of Car and Driver's Car and Driver Ten Best and won the Canadian Car of the Year's Best New Convertible award. The current SLK's are built in Bremen, Germany and Mexico city, Mexico.

Models of the new SLK include:

  • SLK 200 Kompressor - 1.8 L 120 kW (163 hp DIN) I4 supercharged engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 7.9 seconds, top speed of 143 mph. (not available in Canada and the US)
  • SLK 280 - 3.0 L (2996 cc) 170 kW (231 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 6.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph. (starting in 2006 model year)
  • SLK 350 - new 3.5 L (3498 cc) 200 kW (272 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5.4 seconds, top speed 155 mph (electronically limited).
  • SLK 55 AMG - 5.4 L (5439 cc) 265 kW (360 hp DIN) V8 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 4.9 seconds, top speed 155 mph (electronically limited). A tuned version of this was used as the Formula One safety car, replaced by CLK 63 AMG at the beginning of 2006 Season.

A lifting of the R171, with more powerful engines, has been presented at the end of 2007[3].

See also


  1. The roadsters are back TIME William A. McWhirter / Detroit December 02, 1996
  2. / European Car road tests
  3. The new-generation SLK: More powerful, more economical, more intense - Stuttgart, December 21, 2007 - Daimler Global Media Site

External links