2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster Has a Magic Sky Roof
Purchasers of the new 2012 SLK Roadster will have a choice of three roofs: a standard hardtop convertible roof, the panorama version with dark-tinted glass, or the magic sky control roof that Mercedes says is virtually transparent in light mode or the dark mode that keeps the interior cooler on hotter days.
The new SLK Roadster also incorporates the new Mercedes look of an upright grill with the M-B star in a prominent center spot and the chromed fin that splits the front fascia. The headlights incorporate both the look of the legendary 1950s 190 SL and the modern-day SLS AMG and the new CLS.
Changes to the front end have helped make the SLK more aerodynamic with a drop in the coefficient of drag (or Cd) from .32 to .30.
There will be two models of the 2012 SLK available in its first year, both powered by direct-injection engines. The completely redesigned V6 engine in the SLK350 develops 302 horsepower and does 0-60 in an estimated 5.4 seconds.
Later this year, the SLK250 comes out for those seeking better fuel economy from their roadsters. It will come with a six-speed manual transmission, get a combined 27 mpg, yet still do 0-60 in a relatively peppy 6.5 seconds. Mercedes says both engines have a top speed will be 155 mph.
Keith Griffin has been writing continuously about new cars since 2002. He used to be the guide to used cars at former About.com as well as a contributor to The Boston Globe and Automotive Traveler. He is the founder and president of The Internet Car and Truck of the Year, where "Internet Pros and Average Joes" pick the car and truck of the year. Currently, Keith is the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter.