This is Mercedes-Benz’s new SLK, accidentally revealed when a French promotional film leaked onto the internet for a few hours over the weekend.
There’s enough detail in the footage to see the new car’s more aggressive front end, including a prominent oval-shaped grille, and the sharper lines in its tail.
The new SLK grows compared with the old car; it’s 31mm longer, at 4131mm, and 33mm wider, at 1808mm. It’s a little taller too, at 1304mm. Mercedes insiders say these modest increases have all been used to improve interior accommodation and boot space.
Mercedes is promising a more focused experience than on the outgoing model, helped by wider tracks and variable damping control that will be offered in an optional agility package.
The line-up will comprise the SLK200 (184bhp, 44.1mpg), SLK250 (204bhp, 45.5mpg), SLK350 (306bhp, 39.8mpg) and SLK250 CDI (204bhp). But while Mercedes’ performance division AMG has chosen a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 to power the new S63, CL63 and CLS63 AMG models, the baby roadster will get a new normally aspirated, 5.5-litre motor.
It’s expected to deliver around 422bhp, or 62bhp more than the 5.4-litre V8 used by the outgoing SLK55 AMG - and to improve on its fuel economy, thanks to the introduction of a cylinder cut-off mechanism that works during part throttle loads.
The SLK’s public debut is scheduled for the Geneva motor show in spring 2011 - although this premature leak of so much footage may yet prompt the manufacturer to officially release information ahead of this date.