Ferocious, Great-Looking 2-Door Roadster Packs a Wallop

Who needs to stop at the coffee shop when you’ve got this angry little pistol? The Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 convertible may not fit the bill for big and tall motorists – that’s why Goddess made Mustang floptops – but its 3.5 liter, 6-cylinder, 7-speed transmission seems King Kong- sized and it’ll get your heart rate up and your eyes bulging better than your morning cawfee. I carved corners, stepped on it when the coast was clear, spun the car’s racy flat-bottom steering wheel left and right to my heart’s content and dug its 11-speaker, 500-wattharman/kardon surround sound system through a blissful week’s test. It was the summer of Auto Gigolo.

The SLK-350 comes with three different engines – a 4-cylinder turbo, a V-8 and my tester, the aforementioned V-6. The list of SLK optional goodies is long and luxurious, but smart-looking 18-inch wheels, fine interior wood trim, LED daytime running lamps, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, heated seats, keyless start, leather seats, 8-way power sports seats all come with. You’ll also love the 302 horsepower engine mated to a standard 7-speed automatic gearbox with staggered wheels and tires, combining the premium package, Logic7 surround sound, satellite radio and the Airscarf neck-warming system at no extra cost.

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Safety-wise, the SLK comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 10 airbags, active headrests, aluminum roll bars behind those headrests and a plethora of computer-driven safety systems, including a driver-drowsiness monitor. It also comes with the mbrace2 safety telematics suite, connecting your car, computer and/or compatible smartphone to both cloud-based and GPS technology, enhancing emergency response times and the like. Watch where you’re going anyway, please.

Will you be revving the SLK 350 through a snowstorm, helping a pal move a pool table, or lugging a set of drums to a gig? No. But that’s not the point when your top comes down in a mere 20 seconds and you’ve got crisp metallic trim on your gauges, controls and air vents reminiscent of Benz’s SLS AMG supercar. This is a here-now car – or, rather, here and gone.

josh max

Josh Max grew up on a rural Westchester road next to a garage, and designed his first car, the "Washington" - an answer to "Lincoln" - when he was four. He read and memorized the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Car Care And Repair at 16 and was soon gapping plugs, changing clutch cables, rotating tires and anything else that didn't require a lift. He has test-driven over 776 cars and trucks and published over 2,000 articles in major media. http://www.JoshMax.com