This isn’t your rich housewife’s SLK.
Having the AMG badge on your car is a classier version of “truck nuts.” Those three letters instantly gives a Mercedes-Benz credibility, letting others know that you’re not borrowing your wife, girlfriend, or mistress’ SLK for some errands.
The new 2012 SLK AMG plays the compact high-performance roadster role well. What was once looked at as a feminine car has become a hairy-chested rear-wheel drive powerhouse with a meaty V-8. The small roadster receives a new M152 V-8 engine, special AMG bodywork, and a sportier AMG-tuned dynamics.
Under the hood of the SLK 55 AMG lies a naturally-aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 engine. Named the M152, the powerful but efficient engine is based heavily on the twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter that powers other AMG models. Thanks to lightweight enhancements, the V-8 weighs in at only 412 lbs. Mercedes-Benz has worked to reduce consumption for their V-8s and the new M152 is no different. The engine features map controlled cylinder shutoff that turns the V-8 into a four cylinder, a start/stop system, and generator that takes kinetic energy from the brakes and recharges the battery. But enough of the boring stuff, the real testosterone shows when the pedal is planted to the floor. The preliminary SLK 55 AMG specs make it the most powerful to date. Slamming the throttle produces 415 horsepower at 6,800 RPM and 398 lb-ft. at 4,500 RPM, sending the roadster to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
Power is sent to the rear wheels of the Mercedes SLK 55 AMG through a quick seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. Three modes can be selected by the driver: Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S), and Manual (M). The transmission is also programmed to rev-match on downshifts and provide lightning-fast gearchanges.
Just like all AMG models, the SLK 55 AMG follows the same formula for success in terms of handling. Coming standard is a new sport tuned suspension system with an optional AMG Handling Package that consists of stiffer suspension components, a differential lock, and two-piece brake discs. New for the SLK 55 AMG is a Torque Vectoring system that applies the rear inside brake as the SLK navigates a turn to provide precise handling. Bringing the SLK AMG to a halt are 14.2-inch front and 13-inch rear AMG high-performance brakes.
The look of the new SLK is distinctly AMG. The front wears a more aggressive fascia with larger air inlets, exclusive LED daytime running lights, and darkened clear-lens headlamps. Each of the front fenders wear vent grilles and chrome fins with “V8 AMG” badges. The rear sports a larger rear three-fin diffuser and two chrome plated tailpipes. Generating downforce at the rear axle is a body-colored trunk spoiler.
Inside is the complete luxury and sport package we’ve come to expect from the Mercedes-Benz AMG range. Four air vents with a jet-engine design and a brushed aluminum center console give the SLK an aeronautical touch. At the center of the dashboard is an IWC AMG-specific analog clock. Facing the driver are AMG gauges and an AMG performance steering wheel with flat top and bottom sections with shift paddles for greater control. New AMG sport seats offer greater lateral support and wear special “AMG” embroidery. A number of revisions have also been made to the hard-top. Mercedes uses magnesium to construct the roof frames to reduce weight by 13 pounds. All three roof variants can also retract in less than 20 seconds for convenience. A new Magic Sky glass roof is available as an option and gives the driver the ability to switch between clear and dark tinted glass.
The 2012 SLK AMG is the most powerful SLK ever produced by Mercedes-Benz. The new SLK 55 AMG will be launched in the US market at the start of 2012. Pricing has not been released.
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Specifications
Displacement: 5.5 liters (5,461 cc)
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Bore x Stroke: 3.86 in x 3.56 in
Compression Ratio: 12.6 : 1
Engine Weight (Dry): 412 lbs.
Maximum Horsepower: 415 at 6,800 RPM
Maximum Torque: 398 lb-ft. at 4,800 RPM
Type: Seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph (electronically limited)
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Gallery
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