FrontRunners: More Power to It

<< Back to Robb Report, August 2004
  • Patrick C. Paternie

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK (www.mbusa.com) will arrive in September displaying style references to the Formula One–inspired SLR McLaren: pointed nose, sloped windshield, long hood. But such cosmetic changes are not the only improvements made to the SLK350, which is expected to debut in the mid-$40,000 range—a mere fraction of the price of a McLaren.

The two-seater’s new 3.5-liter V-6 engine produces 268 hp, up 52 horses from the 2004 SLK320. Transmission choices include a 7-speed automatic and an all-new 6-speed manual, complemented by a three-link front suspension and superb rack-and-pinion steering.

The retractable hard top requires only 22 seconds to be lowered or raised, but a new feature might convince SLK drivers to leave the top down: Heat vents are located in the headrests to stave off the chills of off-season convertible motoring.

From Around the Web...
 Photo by Darin Schnabel ©RM Sotheby's
A 1939 Alfa Romeo Touring Spider and a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta are priced in the millions…
Jaguar joins the luxury crossover frenzy with the all-new 2017 F-Pace, and we take it for a spin…
Independent designer Paul Breshke reveals his vision for the marque’s next star vehicle…
A 600 hp river monster, the latest themed SUV from Bentley is no fish story…
Photo by Jun Song
The luxury marque and hotel brand team up to offer exclusive driving experiences around the world…
The $244,500 SUV displays design elements inspired by the British gun maker's bespoke firearms...
Collectively, these cars comprise the legacy and legend of the master marque…
Able to travel 19 mph, the cutting-edge cart features touchscreen controls and a refrigerator…
The meticulously maintained roadster is one of only 25 released that year...
One of only four examples built, it was the first to hit 186.4 mph at Le Mans’ Mulsanne Straight…