IN THE WORLD OF MOTORS
Heading materials prepared by Mikhail GZOVSKY
Mercedes BENZ SLK
Since the appearance on the market in 1996, the SLK roadster has been one of the leading positions in its class not only in the homeland, in Germany, but also in the UK, Italy and the USA. In the first year alone, more than 55 thousand people gave preference to the car - almost one and a half times more than what the marketing specialists initially assumed. In total, in less than four years, about 160 thousand SLK were issued. Not the least role in the popularity of this model among buyers was played by its success in the automotive press, which awarded the Roadster 35 titles, including such honorary titles as “Car of the Year” (USA, 1997), “Best Convertible in the World” (Germany, 1998) and “ The Most Popular Convertible ”(Italy, 1999).
Since the spring of this year, Mercedes has been offering an updated SLK, a number of “amendments” have been introduced into the design and construction of which. The main thing is, of course, the appearance of the top version of SLK, which has in its arsenal a six-cylinder engine with a capacity of 3199 cm3. The eighteen-valve engine with two spark plugs for each cylinder is made using light alloys and has already managed to perfectly prove itself on modifications of E-, M-, S-class cars, as well as the SL roadster and CLK coupe. The two-liter four-cylinder engine is also updated - it is now equipped with a supercharger with a mechanical drive. As a result, its power increased from 136 to 163 hp. The second four-cylinder unit, with a volume of 2.3 liters, was also modernized: it develops 197 hp. instead of 194. Both engines meet Euro IV standards, which will take effect only after five years. In Europe, automakers welcome such steps - for example, in Germany SLK owners will receive a one-time tax credit of 600 marks.
In the appearance of the roadster, no fundamental changes, as one would expect, did not happen. Nevertheless, the direction indicators in the exterior mirrors, first tested on the new S-Class sedan, as well as the modified front and rear bumpers, body-colored door handles and the radiator grille, make it possible to accurately identify the novelty.