From my car review pages in The Hills – that upscale magazine you’ve probably never laid eyes on unless you happen to reside in Mission Hills or Sunset Hill – I give you my review of the new Merecedes SLK.
The wind in your hair, the bugs in your teeth – the summer sun beating down – what’s not to love about a convertible sports car?
Passion, romance, sex appeal, excitement – free from the aforementioned worldly distractions. That’s what upscale sports car buyers are looking for and that’s what Mercedes 2012 SLK350 roadster has to offer. At an affordable price, no less.
Which is why you’re going to want one.
And I’m not just talking to the ladies who’ve been snapping up the first two generations of the SLK for the past 15 or so years. The combination of style and performance offered in the new 350SLK looks like a slam-dunk to broaden the car’s appeal among hombres.
“I have the same perspective,” says Marion Battaglia of Aristocrat Motors. “It’s going to have a broader appeal than the older SLKs. Mercedes is leaning more toward performance-oriented cars – they’ve been doing that for years – and this car is representative of that.”
Put another way…
“Forget what you know about SLKs of the past,” Motor Trend says. “You might think of them as hairdressers’ cars or beach cruisers for 20-something trophy wives and you would be correct. (But) for 2012, Mercedes has refined the entry-level roadster into something entirely different…”
“I just did a walk around on the vehicle and it’s beautiful,” says Mercedes rep Lindsay Burns. “It doesn’t go on sale until June, but it looks a lot more aggressive than the previous model. And the pictures don’t do it justice. This car will appeal more to men than the previous SLK. One of the biggest changes is the aggressive style – it has a new front end.”
At an expected list of around $54,000, the new SLK is a steal. Compared, that is, to its big brother, the SL Class, that starts at $102,000 and change.
Yet despite of the SLK’s new street cred, don’t think for a minute that it’s lost its appeal to the fairer sex.
“We debuted it at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City in February,” Burns says. “It was the first time it had ever been displayed in the United States and it debuted at a fashion event as opposed to an auto show.”
The new SLK appeals to people who want a healthy helping of refinement with their sports car experience, Burns says.
Like the SLK’s “Magic Sky Control.”
“It’s a panorama roof and at the touch of a button the roof will go from transparent to opaque in a couple seconds,” Burns says. “So if it’s a really warm day and the rays are beating in on you, the roof is designed so you can keep them from coming in. Kind of like sunglasses that darken automatically.”
“It’s not standard, but I get cold easily, so I like the Air Scarf,” Burns says. “They’re vents in the back of the headrest that blow warm or cold air on your neck and shoulders.”
The 350SLK ushers forth with a powerful 3.5 litre V6 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. All of which propels the SLK from zero to 60 in a fleet 5.6 seconds, returning an estimated 20 miles-per-gallon City, 29 Highway.
There you have it – take your pick – high performance sports car or fashion statement. Or how about both?
Speaking of which, LeftLane.com wrestled with the reasons for buying a new SLK and came up with these tongue-in-cheek takes:
“Why you would buy it: It would look as good on you as that leopard skirt, and a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.
“Why you wouldn’t: Your third husband just died and in the process of writing the kids out of the will left you with tons of money. Now you’re talking SLS. Or, Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Manolo Blahnik sound like dishes at that ‘fancy pants’ restaurant up the way.”
Then again, who needs stereotypes with a sports car this powerful, stylish and affordable?