New 2011 SLK Put the Smile back
Back in 1996 the first SLK was a distinctive affair, with it’s roadster layout and a hard convertible roof. It offered a combination that the market did not have; a open top sports roadster and a hard top coupe, but it’s been 15 years already, other brands like BMW and VW have been making different variants of the hard top convertible. With this new SLK, has it got what it takes to stay on top.
The first thing you notice is that the styling was given a musculin make over. It has a much stronger sense of aggression in its styling. There are resembulance with the big brother SLS, but given that the SLS feels more like a cruiser, the SLK feels more versatile for different occasion. The new sculpled headlights and front grille, pronounces the stance of the SLK. With the roof up or down, the proportion of the car is perfect. It doesn’t feel nose heavy like the Beemer, the body and rear has a beautiful ratio like a fit female figure. It is very diffcult to get the figure right for a convertible, with all things considered, roof up or down, my god it looks beautiful.
We’re testing the SLK 350 Blue Efficiency, V6 engine 3,500cc. Power Output 306hp, 370 Nm of torque. 0-100km/h is done in 5.6s. Please do this car a justice, switch that ECO mode off. Once you get pass the start – stop traffic (which there is a lot in Hong Kong), unleash the “modest” power and torque, you find youelf driving a car that is totally in a different era to the last model.
If you put down the hammer, the car responses with urge, and there is equal feed back into your eyes, ears and body. You know some cars might have a huge amount of noise and it’s actually not going any where, well this definitely has the sound and the speed sorted. 7 G-tronic, is a good gearbox as we have tested in the C-Class before, it’s not as samurai as the dual clutch thing from VW, but it’s not far behind, espeically the gear ratio is very well placed with this engine. Click up or down, the transmission response with a sure footed change, with a good mechanical engagement.
Now entering the country lanes, the roof operates at some minimal speed of 5km/h which was a bit disappointing as I was looking to change while moving at a slow pace, but 5km/h was crowling speed, so you might as well just stop the car and do it. Roof down back to business, now the really sensation comes. The exhaust note hurls back into the cockpit with your commited driving, ride the wave of sound, wind and speed. This car’s cornering is superb, it’s not that it can go round a corner 0.1 second faster, in actual fact it might be slower, but you feel the car on the limit with a well communicated feedback from the chassis.
With the Porscher and Beemer, when you’re sitting behind the wheel, you feel you have to drive serious, but this SLK is NOT, you can BE Stupid, and have Fun with this car, you don’t have to look serious, but you’ll still look good (actually very good), just let your cheek tighten and smile while you enjoy this car.
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