The Mercedes-Benz SLK features styling cues now familiar across the automaker's lineup. Three versions are offered for 2016: the new base-level SLK300, the higher-performance SLK350 and the top-of-the-line SLK55 AMG.
The SLK300 has a direct-injected 242-horsepower turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder. The SLK350 has a 3.5L V6, also direct-injected, which makes 302 horsepower. The SLK300 comes only with a 9-speed automatic, while the SLK350 makes use of a 7-speed automatic.
The AMG SLK55 comes with a 5.5L V8 engine making 415 horsepower. With this massive engine, the SLK55 is capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, giving it the performance to match some of the fastest cars on the road. Unique bodywork and wheels set the AMG apart from lesser SLK models, while an optional handling package further increases driving excitement. The AMG SLK55 is only available with an AMG 7-speed automatic.
Mercedes-Benz' Direct Steer is included with the SLK package, and consists of a variable-ratio steering rack that gets tighter as the driver turns from center. The Dynamic Handling Package is also available as a special-order item, which features adjustable suspension settings and uses torque vectoring brakes to help steer the car in tight corners.
Standard safety equipment includes Mercedes' Attention Assist, which monitors the driver and provides an alert if he or she is showing signs of falling asleep at the wheel. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and anti-skid are also standard. An optional Pre-Safe Brake system can apply the brakes automatically if the car detects an imminent front-end collision. Reinforced structures improve crash test performance and a host of airbags, including a headbag, help further protect both driver and passenger in the event of a collision.
The standard convertible roof comes standard with a transparent glass panel, and can be lowered automatically in about 20 seconds, but the SLK must be at rest. Available MAGIC SKY can be electronically tinted by the driver at the touch of a button. AIRSCARF continues to be available and uses a stream of warm air around the driver's and passenger's necks to help promote top-down driving, even when the weather isn't warm. An optional AIRGUIDE wind deflector mounts to the SLK's rollbars, which helps to limit wind buffeting. Each can be adjusted independently.