Sunday, September 14, 2014

The SLK 230 (Part 2)

It’s a pity that many of the design elements of the salon which pleased lots of aesthetes at the concept show weren’t realized in the serial car. The front console and the dashboard- they were simply amazing!  Where had it all gone?!


Oh well… there is something left from the dashboard of the concept version, but where is the rest? Probably, the designers of Mercedes Benz eventually got scared of what they had created and decided to smooth the corners, remove the eccentric shapes, use too contrasting color combinations and as a result, they rolled down to the banal salon style of the modern SL. Of course, when designing a car, today’s manufacturers, first of all, take unification, standardization, cost reduction and global style into account. However, this roadster could have been an exception.
The design of this SLK can be classified as most advanced: white-and-black interior with snow white body. The specificity of the SLK is emphasized by the above mentioned dashboard and perforated light alloy foot pedals.
Now let’s explore the dynamic properties of this car.
The car is equipped with 2.3L 150HP engine, which, thanks to the native compressor, is easily boosted up to 193 HP. This engine is supported by a tiptronic gearbox. The top speed I managed to get out of this engine was 229 km/h (not bad for a 10-year-old vehicle).

In spite of the automatic transmission, the car accelerated 0-100km/h only in 9 seconds. Taking into account the weight of this SLK (1325 kg), this is a quite good result.
The SLK passed the brake test also well. Having accelerated the car to 100km/h, I slammed on the brakes, after which the car moved 30 meters without deviating from the path given.
The steering system in a lightly modified version was inherited from C-class- it’s light enough throughout the speed range. However, some drivers would change this lightness for more self-descriptiveness. When, in corners, it comes to sliding, the lack of maneuverability of the SLK can be felt, but only slightly. By the way, the rear wheels of the SLK230 are wider than the front ones, which adds stability to the vehicle. The behavior of the car is quite predictable and easy to cope with. Due to the exceptional traction of the back wheels and excellent suspension, this car can be considered as one of the best in its class and price range.

In conclusion I’d like to add that the SLK is an ideal choice for those who have always dreamt of a Ferrari but can’t afford it. One more important note- before buying this car, remember: the SLK must be the second or the third vehicle in your garage.