2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280
Introduced in 1998 as an answer to the BMW Z3 and Porsche Boxster in the premium small roadster segment, the SLK's most unique feature was its retractable hardtop roof, which offered more security as well as a quieter ride than its competitors' soft tops. In less than 30 seconds, with the touch of a button, one could convert the Mercedes SLK from a closed coupe to a cool convertible without leaving the driver seat. Improvements over the years kept the car competitive, but after seven years on the market, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was ready for a redesign.
With a dramatic new design for 2005 inspired by Mercedes' Formula One racecars, the second-generation SLK is every bit as eye-catching as the original. It's also slightly larger and more powerful than its predecessor, and still has the fun-to-drive character that made it so likable in the first place. While the previous version had the feel of a leather-lined bobsled, the larger cabin of the new version gives you plenty of room to move about. Even more impressive than the added room is the redesigned dashboard with its more cohesive layout, cleaner gauge cluster and higher-quality materials. Overall, the improvements create a more upscale, tasteful-looking cabin that far exceeds the previous model's.
An innovative Airscarf system channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated registers in the headrests, making the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class even more comfortable with the top down in chilly weather. Improvements continue under the hood with 268 horsepower on tap, courtesy of a 3.5-liter V6. The SLK can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Complementing the impressive power plant is a pair of transmissions that offers excellent flexibility and performance whether you go with the standard six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.
Other notable improvements under the skin include a new rack and pinion steering system and more powerful brakes. The recirculating-ball steering system used in the previous model was often chastised for its heavy feel and inconsistent feedback, but the new setup is both lighter and more communicative. The SLK now has the power to go head-to-head with a Porsche Boxster and the handling to keep pace with a BMW Z4, and its revamped interior is arguably better than both. Overall, the 20060 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class offers one of the most compelling combinations of style, performance and comfort available anywhere.
|Engine type||3L 6VNAG3.0 Engine|
|Horsepower SAE net||228 rpm|
|Torque SAE net lb. ft.||221 rpm|
|Recommended fuel||premium unleaded (required)|
|Fuel economy city/highway (mpg)||17/25|
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