Testing the 350SLK

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Michel

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As some of you might know, I test cars for the radio programme "The World on Wheels".
Lately we've had a few Benzes for trial and I thought you might like reading my son Albert's thought as relayed live on air in the 'Drive Of The Week' segment:

Amongst Mercedes-Benz’s huge model line-up, the SLK is the German car company’s compact sports convertible, and was actually one of the earliest cars to have a retractable hard-top roof.
The current SLK still has it as well, and it opens in just 20 seconds flat – one of the fastest opening roofs I’ve seen in a hard-top convertible.
It’s a great experience with the roof down too – there’s barely any wind noise and buffeting, so you can drive without being deafened or blown away.
The SLK comes in several drivetrain combinations, but my test car was the SLK 350.
It’s powered by a 3.5 litre V6, which produces 224 kilowatts of power and 360 Newton-metres of torque.
SLK350Large.jpg
A six speed manual transmission is standard, but my test car was fitted with the optional seven speed automatic.
This drivetrain combination was just lovely on the road.
Off-the-mark acceleration? Fast and instant.
Overtaking acceleration? Fast and instant.
Braking power? Fast, and again, instant.
There’s really nothing to fault as far as driving is concerned.
The gearbox is ultra smooth, but becomes sharp and quick when put in sports or manual shifting mode.
The steering wheel is more direct, only needing two and a quarter turns from lock to lock.
It’s a bit heavy, but transmits feedback clearly.
This and firm suspension allows the SLK to take corners with stability and confidence.
The stiff suspension doesn’t like the potholes you tend to find in Aussie roads though, so best to avoid them.
With only two seats, the SLK provides plenty of room and comfort.
There’s also plenty of storage spaces and pockets, while the drink holders are positioned in front of the centre air vents, so you can easily cool or heat your drink.
SLK350-1Large.jpg
Boot space is generous, with plenty of room for large objects if you keep the roof up.
The SLK 350 is loaded with plenty of creature comforts, including climate control air conditioning, cruise control, rain sensing wipers and a multimedia system with satellite navigation and hard disk for music storage.
There’s also a nifty heating system in the seats that keeps your neck warm, so you can open the roof on cold days and still survive. Great idea.
There’s also electronic stability control, in addition to front and side airbags for safety.
The SLK 350 retails for $115,637.
 

John S

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Thanks for posting this Michel, very interesting and more believable coming from someone not part of the car industry.
 

Styria

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Hi Michel, thanks indeed for conveying Albert's driving impressions of this particular car. As you know, from time time, you have some quite delectable machinery available to you for testing purposes, and I for one am certainly interested in gaining an insight into some of your, and Albert's findings.

I believe you have not long ago had a B-Class 200 Turbo at your disposal, and this model I have always liked better than the A-Class - it just seems to exude more presence on the road. Of course, also, the latest animal to come from Japan - the Lexus, is it the IF 250, version ? Do we now think 'move over BMW M3 and C63 AMG ? Does BREEDING and HERTAGE count for anything at all in this instance ?

I mean, if it comes to Super Performance, we should not forget the Cadillac CVT/S. So again, a most unlikely contender for overall Supercar performance. Certainly interested in your, and everyone else's opinions. BTW, unless one wouldn't know better, you'd think that the pics were taken near the Wollongong coastline yet, obviously, this is German countryside. THanks. Regards Styria
 

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