Mercedes SLK 280
Nike mercurialx proximo ic the Mercedes SLK started the folding hardtop revolution. When it arrived in 1997, the twoseater turned the traditional roadster market on its head, as it served up a compelling mix of windinthehair thrills and cosseting coup refinement.
When the evolutionary secondgeneration car arrived in 2004, it was clear that Mercedes didn’t want to mess with a successful formula. A subtle midlife facelift last year concentrated on the mechanicals, adding more powerful engines and tweaked suspension.
Externally, the SLK has classic roadster proportions, with a long, elegant nose and short tail. Design highlights include the large wraparound Headlamps, bold grille dominated by the firm’s familiar threepointed nike magista ii star and the wedgeshaped profile. Visually, the only disappointment is the standard 16inch alloy wheels of our test car. Their tiny dimensions make the Mercedes appear plain next to the BMW and Porsche.
It’s a similar story when you nike mercurialx proximo ic climb aboard. While there’s nothing wrong with the cabin layout or the space available, some of the materials look and feel a little cheap. The threespoke steering wheel is also a letdown, as it’s far too large for a sporty nike mercurialx proximo ic model. The lowslung driving position is very comfortable, however, and refinement with the metal roof in place is excellent.
Hit a button on the transmission tunnel, and the hood folds gracefully out of sight in only 21 seconds although it also reduces luggage capacity from 300 litres to a still useful 208 litres in the process. With the top stowed, occupants are able to fully enjoy the 3.0litre V6 powerplant’s growling exhaust note. At the test track, though, the 227bhp SLK failed to live up to the promise of the soundtrack. Despite having the largest engine here, the Mercedes was matched in all of our performance tests by the less powerful BMW.
Even more disappointing were the SLK’s brakes. Not only does the pedal have a long travel, but the Mercedes needed 49.9 metres to come to a standstill from 70mph. The Porsche stopped in only 43.1 metres!
Get out on the road, and it’s immediately apparent that the SLK can’t match the sharp driving dynamics of its rivals. A softer suspension setup means it quickly loses composure over bumpy nike magista ii back roads, while the steering lacks precision and feedback. Matters are made worse by the clunky action of
the standard sixspeed manual gearbox.
However, the SLK’s more laid back nature and comfortable ride mean it’s a great longdistance cruiser, and it can easily match the refinement offered by the new BMW Z4.
At 32,290, the Mercedes isn’t the most expensive car here that nike mercurialx proximo ic honour goes to the Boxster but it costs 3,500 more than the equally fast and well equipped BMW. The SLK is the original folding hardtop roadster, yet on this nike magista ii evidence, it’s going to struggle to hold on to its claim to be the best nike mercurialx proximo ic nike magista ii.