There are only small changes to the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class roadster series for 2007. On the SLK350, the 7-speed automatic transmission becomes standard as part of a 10th Anniversary package which also includes special badging and red interior trim accents. Base prices increase slightly for all three SLK-Class trims, and now range from $43,900 for the SLK280 up to $62,950 for the SLK55 AMG.
With a secure, power retractable hardtop, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster offers more refinement and civility than budget-priced roadsters like the Mazda Miata and Pontiac Solstice, and provides a luxurious interior and performance similar to that of the larger SL-Class. It also ranks as one of the safest convertibles, with head-protective side air bags.
Three different variants of the Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster are again offered for 2008, each with progressively more powerful engines: there's the SLK280, with a 228-horsepower, 3.0L V6; the SLK350, with a 268-horsepower, 3.5L V6; and the high-performance SLK55 AMG, with a 355-horsepower V8.
Both of the V6 models have all-aluminum engines with variable valve timing, so there's plenty of torque available just off idle. They also incorporate a balance shaft for smoothness. The SLK280 is offered with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic with Touch Shift manual control. The SLK350 for 2008 is only available with the seven-speed automatic as part of a 10th anniversary package.
The SLK55 AMG comes with a long list of special performance-oriented equipment, including a specially built 5.5L V8, a retuned suspension, 18-inch high-performance tires, and powerful upgraded brakes, plus Formula 1-inspired appearance cues and additional luxury features inside such as Nappa leather upholstery, heated seats, velour carpeting, ambient lighting, and special trim.
But the base SLK280 is no slouch. It can accelerate to 60 in 6.1 seconds, according to the automaker. The SLK350 is considerably faster at 5.4 seconds, and the SLK55 can get to 60 in only 4.8 seconds. All three models are electronically limited to a 155-mph top speed.
The power-retracting hardtop can transform the SLK from a coupe to an open-air car in only 22 seconds. Also, a clever rear window design swivels separately into place to allow the top to stow away in an especially small space at the top of the trunk.
Despite the emphasis on performance, safety does not take second stage in the SLK. Roll bars are built into the structure to help protect in a rollover, while knee-protecting air bags are standard, along with head-thorax air bags that provide an unusually high level of protection for a convertible. Mercedes-Benz ESP stability control is standard, plus brake assist, which helps apply peak braking force when needed.
Major options on the V6 models include dual-zone climate control, bi-xenon headlamps with heated washers, an appearance package that adds vavona wood trim, and an AMG Sport Package, which brings the wheels, suspension, and many of the appearance add-ons of the SLK55.
One standout feature of the SLK-Class is the Airscarf, an optional system that greatly improves comfort and enables top-down driving in cooler weather. The system, which is built into the seatbacks, blows warm air from the head restraints over the neck and compensates automatically for vehicle speed.
Convenient retractable hardtop; safety; refinement and lack of interior noise; performance.
Vehicle Price: 45,025.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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