What better way of banishing memories of the old SLK’s slightly effete image, stodgy handling and humdrum mechanicals, than unveiling this summer’s all-new model? Pick any criticism levelled at the previous SLK and Mercedes has seemingly rectified it.
Not that the old SLK wasn’t a hit – 308,000 were sold over the years, 23,000 of them in Britain – it just never struck a chord with enthusiasts. This car is tasked with changing all that. So while Mercedes hasn’t rewritten the rulebook in the way Mazda’s MX-5 did back in 1989, it has turned a – whisper it – poseur’s car into something altogether more serious. Here’s why.
Peter Robinson has already been impressed by the V6-powered SLK 350 (16 March 2004) and now we test the bread-and-butter of the range, the 200 Kompressor. It will be the best-seller by some margin, helped by a starting price of £27,470, seven grand below the 350.
Make your own mind up about the looks, but to our eyes the new SLK is a clever remodelling of Merc’s classic roadster shape. Some find the F1-wannabe nose contrived, but from most angles it’s oohs and aahs all round.