Tuesday 23 August 2011

Road - V8 AMG SLK Packs a Punch

Here’s a wee bit of news, especially if you’re interested in a compact two seater with a serious bit of grunt. Mercedes-Benz has just announced their most powerful SLK yet, the SLK 55 AMG. 

Its newly developed AMG 5.5-litre V8 produces 417 bhp and 540 Nm of torque, and yet claims to offer 30+ mpg. Mind you, that figure is bound to tumble if full use was being made of that glorious 7000+ rpm V8. 

Fuel consumption would take another serious hit at the traffic lights GP where the 0 to 60 time could be dispatched in 4.5 seconds if the local base thumping, head banger was alongside in his Halfords GT. 

Having said that, one of the reasons behind the higher than expected fuel economy is that the engine features cylinder shut-off, whereby cylinders two, three, five and eight are cut off under partial load, similar in fact to the system employed in F1 engines. It’s even got Stop/Start technology, but that’s NOT something you would see on an F1 car. 

Putting the power on the road is an AMG seven speed auto ‘box with three settings: "Controlled Efficiency" (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). And here’s the thing, it’s got a built in ‘blip’ on the double de-clutch downshift and does it again going up the ‘box under full load! Now that’s going to hit consumption too, because what petrolhead could resist going up and down the box just to listen? Not me for one.

Naturally, the AMG tag adds sports suspension with Direct-Steer, Torque Vectoring Brakes and 3-stage ESP as well as AMG’s own high-performance braking system and there’s a bit of body sculpting and bulging going on round the edges.

There’s just one thing, Merc hasn’t revealed the price yet, but better start saving now if you’re interested.

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