The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 is a car that people have been waiting for, especially from MB. It takes that needed blend of sophistication and sports car and gets it pretty much right on the money—at least for most people in the market for a high-end convertible. You might remember our spy shots from back in December when we caught the SLK mule out for testing. Right about that time there were also reports on the Magic Sky Roof Control—a photochromic glass panel that darkens or goes clear at the touch of a button. The question a lot of enthusiasts have had is: “How much will it cost?” We now have the answer, but you might want to take a seat first.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 (the only model offered besides the SLK AMG that is still to come) will start at a ritzy $55,675. Don't think that buys you AIRSCARF either, however it does include shipping charges. So now you are in the know for the June rollout to dealerships. If you are thinking it isn’t worth the money, let us try to sway you with some of the advanced skills of the newest SLK350 as it has picked up some trick in its 15 years of production.

We have already covered the uber cool Magic Sky Roof Control and we mentioned AIRSCARF (warm air that is blown on your neck for those chilly nights). Other options that will keep you alert are Attention Assist, which flashes a light shaped like a steaming cup of Joe (coffee) to help alert would be drowsy drivers. You can also get the COMAND controller and hard-drive navigation with the addition of the Multimedia package—this includes a 10GB hard drive and SD card slot. Moving to the performance, the SLK350 will come with only one drivetrain…for now. Yep, now the choice is simple for 2012 with the 302-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 taking charge. Mated that to the seven-speed automatic transmission and wheel rear-drive and you are ready to hit the curvy roads on a Saturday afternoon. It will even get you on the freeway on ramp quickly with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Fuel economy isn’t half bad either at an estimated 20/29 city/hwy, but we will have to wait for the EPA to confirm.

Bummed about not having the smaller engine option? If you can bide your time, then you will see the 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged 201-horsepower engine return in the SLK250 in February of 2012. We expect that will be a 2013 model year. Wonder about speed on the SLK250? Current projections place its 0-60 mph time somewhere near 6.5 seconds.  The increased fuel economy from this setup is still to be determined, as is the price.

Bottom line—the new Mercedes-Benz SLK350 is quite the car and it has some pretty cool technology right out of the original Star Trek. The only difference is that you don’t have to leave earths orbit to experience it…just plop down a minimum of 55 G’s.

 

Be sure to check out the full First Drive Review over on our partner site, MotorAuthority.com. You can also stay current by following us on Twitter via @allsmallcars

[Source: Motor Authority and AutoWeek]