The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2005 LA Auto Show: V8-Powered SLK Roadster Makes North American Debut

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SLK55 AMG Follows Launch of New-Generation Convertible

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 -- The limited-production SLK55 AMG is making its North American debut this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, open to the public January 7-16 at the L.A. Convention Center. Representing the first-ever SLK roadster from Mercedes-Benz with V8 power, the SLK55 AMG is also the first model from AMG to make use of the slick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission, now equipped with AMG SpeedShift.

The SLK55 AMG can be distinguished from the standard SLK350 by a deeper front apron with vertical air vents just in front of the wheels and 18-inch AMG twin-spoke light-alloy wheels as well as bolder side skirts, a functional aero lip spoiler on the trunk lid and twin dual tailpipes.

The interior of the high-performance SLK55 AMG features high-bolstered sport seats with super-soft nappa leather on the seats and door panels. Alcantera inserts in the shoulder of the seats even help occupants' lateral stability through fast corners, and an AMG sport steering wheel and gauges add an exclusive touch.

Race-Derived AMG Engine

AMG -- the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz -- has developed the new-generation SLK to use a modified 5439-cc V8 engine that produces 355 horsepower for 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds. Based on the Mercedes-Benz five-liter V8, the larger-displacement AMG powerplant features a "stroker" crankshaft with special lightweight aluminum pistons and modified camshafts.

To balance its impressive power, the SLK55 AMG comes with ventilated, perforated front brake discs and a sport suspension includes beefier springs, shocks and stabilizer bars for stable, flat cornering as well as exemplary ride comfort.

The world's first AIRSCARF neck-level heating system is built into the head restraints. Blowing warm air directly around the neck, throat and head of the SLK's occupants, the system creates an invisible, warm "air scarf," allowing occupants to cruise with the retractable hardtop open in colder weather.

About AMG

AMG has been a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler since 1999 and is located near Stuttgart in Affalterbach, Germany. AMG develops each of its models, from the engine and driveline to suspension, brakes, chassis and aerodynamics. Each engine is produced and tested at AMG's headquarters in Affalterbach, and AMG models are assembled at the main Mercedes-Benz vehicle assembly plants. Spanning all Mercedes-Benz model lines, more than 11,000 AMG models were sold in the United States in 2003.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered near New York City in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales and service of all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. In 2004, MBUSA achieved an all-time sales record of 221,610 new vehicles, setting the highest sales volume ever in its history and achieving 11 consecutive years of sales growth.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Accredited journalists and editors can access press information and high-resolution photos by registering at