New Car: 2012 Mercedes SLK 55 AMG

The third-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK-class just went on sale, and it offers a more dynamically and aesthetically satisfying experience than ever before. There’s no better way, though, to crank those attributes up than to pass the new model to the AMG werks.

Before we go any further, it’s probably necessary to say that we don’t expect the SLK55 to directly counter Porsche’s Boxster S or Spyder, but rather offer an alternative to them. While the Porsches are all about tactility, this Merc will wield a big, brutish hammer. In this case, the driving force will be a brand-new 5.5-liter V-8 that’s similar to AMG’s other 5.5-liter V-8, only this one skips the turbochargers. (The previous SLK55 used a 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8.)

The company announced details of this engine back in July and you can read the full details here, but the most pertinent details include its 415 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque—up from the previous model’s 355 hp and 376 lb-ft—its 7200-rpm redline, and its fuel-saving tech, which includes direct injection, auto start/stop, and cylinder deactivation. It’s bolted up to a seven-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels and, as in other AMG models, uses a clutch pack in place of a traditional torque converter for sharper shifts. The combo is good for a 0-to-60-mph sprint of about 4.5 seconds (versus an SLK350’s 5.4), but they also help pile on an additional 130 pounds (again, versus the SLK350). That should put the SLK55 at just over 3500 pounds.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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