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2001 Mercedes-Benz SLK's on Sale

20 April 2000

More 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

    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.