2001 Mercedes-Benz SLK's on Sale
20 April 2000More Attractive Pricing
NEW YORK, April 20 Mercedes-Benz' highly successful SLK230 Kompressor, the first modern convertible with a fully automatic retractable hardtop, furthers the company's value pricing efforts by reflecting a price reduction of over five percent. Now available at M-B retailers, the SLK230 Kompressor for 2001 has a suggested price of $38,900, down from $41,000 in 2000. Counting significant additional standard equipment, the SLK230 Kompressor reflects an equipment-adjusted decrease of 8.7 percent. The SLK230 Kompressor is joined in the 2001 model year by a V6-powered edition of the popular coupe/roadster with a suggested price of $43,900. The new SLK320 adds V6 performance, refinement and an even higher level of standard equipment to the burgeoning roadster class. Simultaneously, both SLK230 Kompressor and SLK320 undergo design and equipment enhancements across the now-two-model range for 2001. Equipment for all 2001 SLK models includes ESP Stability Program (rounding out the entire Mercedes line with the sophisticated yaw control program), the Tele Aid emergency call system, and either the newly-developed six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic with Touch Shift manual gear selection. Among the visual changes on all 2001 SLK models are new front and rear aprons, sculpted rocker panels, revised headlights, turn signal repeaters in side mirrors, body-color door handles, and two-color taillight glass (red/clear). All V6 SLK320 models receive a new 5-spoke wheel design (7x16-inches in front, 8x16-inches in the rear), a unique air dam, metal plate door sills, power seats, telescoping steering column, wood interior trim with a combination leather/wood steering wheel and shift knob. Under the skin, there's a new rear stabilizer bar, a larger fuel tank and a new trunk lid opening mechanism. A Facelift on the Inside Inside, the SLK interior receives a host of new or revised appointments: more ergonomically-designed seats; a new steering wheel; metallic trim (in place of carbon fiber on SLK230 K); a gear indicator in the instrument panel (with Touch Shift); a new shift lever; new overhead console; SL-style door panel finisher; and a chromed hand brake button. Yet, as before, the SLK interior blends modern design, classic touches and functional luxury. Several option packages are available, incorporating power seats and telescoping steering column (standard on SLK320), CD changer, and a package with headlight washers, heated seats and, for the first time on SLK, Xenon headlights. Power Play: Two Healthy Engines, Two Healthy Transmissions While the new SLK320 is powered by a 215-hp V6, the 2001 SLK230 Kompressor has been beefed up, as well. The SLK230 K's intercooled, supercharged, 2.3-liter DOHC four delivers more power, up from 185 hp to 190 hp. Even more impressive is maximum torque being on tap across a wide plateau from 2,500 to 4,800 rpm, giving the SLK230 Kompressor quick off-the-line response coupled with potent midrange punch. Along with the 215-hp V6, an all-new six-speed manual transmission makes its debut in both models. This new six-speed uses an internal shift rail, providing positive shift feel and closely-spaced gear ratios, helping the 2001 SLK offer the simple driving pleasure of an elemental sports car, but in a modern, safe and easy-to-live-with coupe/roadster. Four-Season Fun The SLK has been designed as a sports car for all seasons, and this is made clear by the car's most unique feature: a fully automatic retracting hardtop. Pushing one button triggers a sequence of events that transforms the SLK from a closed coupe to a fully open roadster in 25 seconds. The retractable hardtop makes the SLK truly two cars in one, offering the refinement and structural integrity of a coupe. The hardtop provides increased security against theft, and the glass rear window ensures clear visibility. Double wishbone front suspension and the patented Mercedes-Benz five-link rear suspension with a new stabilizer bar endow the SLK with the handling reflexes expected of a modern sports car without the jarring ride of some "classics." Looking Forward With a Hint of Retro The Mercedes-Benz SLK burst into the market in January, 1997 as one of the industry's most-anticipated sports cars. An independent jury of automotive journalists instantly named it North American Car of Year. The SLK has been such a resounding hit that Mercedes-Benz had to double production (and U.S. imports) to meet demand. The Mercedes SLK design is one that looks toward the future, while paying respect to its past. The taut wedge profile, short overhangs and wheels that fill the fender wells convey action and performance, even standing still. It's intended to be a timeless design, and it is unmistakably Mercedes-Benz.