Mercedes-Benz has updated their R171 second generation Mercedes Benz SLK, the car that pioneered the modern hard top convertible (there were already hard top convertibles a long time ago in the past), what Mercedes calls a vario-roof.
Major changes on the interior are the usual ones that are associated with a mid-life facelift – an updated front and rear, while the interior gets a new instrument clusters and a three-spoke sports steering wheel.
The new front bumper is much more aggressive than the pre-facelift version, divided into two prominent large gaping intakes split in the middle. The rear end now has a diffuser-style lower section that enhances the SLK’s look from the rear. Tail lights are now slightly darkened, and exhaust tips are trapezoidal in shape.
The facelifted R171 SLK gets a new NTG 2.5 audio and telematics system, making the radio, Bluetooth handsfree system and media interface easy to operate. There is also an option for the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system. The harman kardon Logic7 sound system has been tuned to offer a good listening experience whether the roof is up or down.
The baseline SLK200K’s 1.8 litre supercharged engine now makes more power and torque. It is now 184 horsepower, up by 21 horsepower and torque goes up from 240Nm to 250Nm.
The SLK350’s 3.5 litre V6 revs higher now, up to 6800, with an optional 7200rpm extended redline if engine parameters like oil temperature are favorable. Other enhancements to the V6 include a higher compression ratio, a new intake manifold and an improved valvetrain design. The result is 305 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 360Nm of torque at 4,900rpm – an improvement of 33 horsepower and 10Nm. The 7G-Tronic blips the throttles on downshifts.
An optional direct steer system is optional on all models and standard on the SLK55 AMG. It operates by mechanical means instead of being an electrical-based system – no actuators or complex sensors.
More photos after the jump.