Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New SLK Doubles Its Sex Appeal

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New SLK Doubles Its Sex Appeal

Article excerpt

Byline: By EDWARD STEPHENS

AT FIRST glance you could be forgiven for not spotting the differences between the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK and the model it replaces.

Externally the changes are subtle, but they nevertheless manage to make one of the most glamorous sports cars on the road look even more appealing.

If you look closer, however, you will soon realise that there are far more changes than you think.

In fact Mercedes says the new car has some 650 newly designed components on it. And surprisingly those changes will be of just as much interest to female motorists as male - because this is one car that is dominated by women drivers.

In fact some 62% of SLK buyers in the UK are women - a fact which has influenced some of the design changes made by the luxury German car maker.

Mercedes says the new car is more powerful, more economical and more intense. It is certainly a car which catches the eye more and on the road its performance lives up to its looks.

The most obvious part of its facelift is the new-look front end with its more pronounced arrow shape and larger Mercedes three-pointed star on the grille.

The effect is to make the car look more "grown-up", more akin to the larger Mercedes SL models. And it's particularly noticeable on white cars - a colour which is now enjoying a massive revival.

At the rear the changes are more subtle but designed to make the car look even more powerful with darkened tail lamps and pear-shaped exhaust tailpipes.

Changes inside the cabin include a new three-spoke sports steering wheel with multi-function buttons as well as a new instrument cluster all boosting the car's up-market feel.

The existing line-up remains the same, with the choice of: SLK200 Kompressor; SLK280; SLK350 and the mighty 5.5-litre SLK 55 AMG.

The biggest sellers in the UK are the 2.0-litre SLK200 Kompressor and the 3.5-litre SLK350, with the former taking 58% of all sales and the latter 21%.

And it's these two engines which have been dramtically improved for the new range.

The SLK200 now gets 21 more horsepower taking it to 184bhp while at the same time fuel consumption improves from 32. …

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