New Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Black Series: It’s Time to Fly

Nedzad August 29, 2007

MB SLK 55 AMG Black Series

The famous F1 or SLR lookalike nose has finally justified its appearance. Well, it could be a potential überflieger, a car that Porsche drivers won’t make happy at all.

After shifting the CLK63 AMG into overdrive with the Black Series treatment, Mercedes is repeating the process, this time with the SLK55 AMG. Thanks to a massaged 5.5-liter V-8 that now makes 400 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque — up 40 and 7, respectively — and lightweight components that shave 99 pounds off the car’s weight, the SLK55 AMG Black Series goes 0-62 in 4.5 seconds — 0.4 second quicker than the regular SLK 55 — with a top speed of 173 mph.

The added power comes from a modified intake, high-flow air filter, and a new exhaust. With more horsepower comes more stopping power in the form of 14.2-inch composite front discs in place of the SLK55’s 13.4-inchers; 13-inch discs remain in the back. To improve handling, a height-adjustable suspension with adjustable dampers is fitted, along with 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli PZero Nero rubber. A front strut bar provides additional chassis rigidity, and a limited-slip differential can be fitted for a price of 3475 euros ($4746). Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters remains as the only available gearbox.

Visually, the Black Series is separated from its more conventional counterpart with aggressively styled carbon-fiber front fenders, a restyled front fascia, and large side air outlets to provide adequate airflow to the enlarged oil cooler and added transmission and power steering coolers. Most of the weight reduction, however, comes from the replacement of the hardtop convertible top with a fixed one with a carbon-fiber center panel that also provides the added benefit of lowering the car’s center of gravity. Inside are sport bucket seats in black cloth, a leather/Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and carbon-fiber door panels.

Buyers interested in even more comfort can opt for the 6310 euro ($8619) AMG Leather package that includes a leather-trimmed dash, center console, and armrest, door panels, and leather seats. A 2630 euro ($3592) interior carbon-fiber package adds carbon-fiber instrument cluster covers, steering-wheel buttons, gearshift lever, and door-sill panels. Finally, a 4325 euro ($5908) exterior carbon-fiber package adds carbon-fiber front-grille inserts, rearview-mirror covers, and carbon-fiber trim to the rear trunk spoiler.

Something that might stop potential buyers faster than the car’s brakes is the price tag. At 92,500 euros ($125,716), it costs more than a Porsche 911 S and as much as a BMW M5, using the German prices of both vehicles. The SLK55 Black Series is already available at European dealers, but there’s no word if the car will make it to the U.S.


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