The one thing that everyone will agree that Mercedes-Benz is perfect at is the fact that when they launch any power-packed performance vehicle, they take utmost care in naming it, to match its genre.
Indeed, the first thing that strikes you about this latest power driver from Mercedes-Benz is its name, 2012 SLK55 AMG. The machine is loud enough to wake you up from the deepest of slumbers. Getting its power packed into a 4.5 Liter V-8, 415-Hp, the vehicle is indeed smooth and has good torque levels too. This engine has been termed M152 and distinguishes itself from other V-8 of Mercedes.
Thanks to the 2012 SLK55 AMG engines provided, this vehicle too has high specialty in torque. With a peak power of 415Hp achieved in 7200rpm, the vehicle also has a maximum torque of 398 lb ft; a figure when even quoted would raise some exclamations. All this is enough to ensure that the vehicle cruises to 60mph from a standing position in just about four seconds. Efficiency has been primarily aimed for in this V-8 and to achieve the same, the vehicle has been provided with a cylinder-deactivation system along with other standard features like the stop-start system, direct injection as well as variable valve timings. The cylinder deactivating system makes its debut in AMG, and has the power to disable four specific cylinders (Nos. 2, 3, 5, and 8 ) by cutting off fuel and spark and having the cylinder valves parked. One can only notice this transition through a minor change in the exhaust note – it’s rumbling tones down a less booming effect – along with an indication on the dashboard. Despite having just 4 active cylinders at that point of time, an impressive torque of 170 lb ft is generated. The system starts functioning only when efficiency mode of transmission is set; hence power lovers do not have to worry that the same would set in, when they are trying to rev up the vehicles.
The SLK is a hulk at 3550 pounds outweighing the Porsche Boxster and the BMW Z4 by hundreds of pounds. Mercedes is not really known for its expertise in building smaller sports cars, their vehicles have always been in bigger lines. The 2012 SLK55 AMG has been given the usual share of top features for better handling, which includes stiffer dampers and springs, hydraulic steering gears, 18” sized aluminium wheels an a pseudo-torque vectoring functionality given to the brakes that makes use of rear-caliper pressure for turning the car in. The car has been provided with seven-speed automatic transmission that shifts very quickly and smoothly, however its existence is often forgotten about because of the flexibility of the engine. The gripes have been limited to a barely noticeable part of the nose weight, hence making the vehicle feel bigger than what it actually is. The rear suspension however makes you hop around when the vehicle passes over rough terrain.
The SLK cannot be dubbed as a sports car, the segmentation the manufacturers wanted it to fit into, it can however be termed as a well balanced and fast touring vehicle. However, a presumed sale price of $69,000 makes this vehicle anything but cheap; however the noise this vehicle creates could make it prove its worth.