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Merc to unleash diesel roadster

2011-08-17 12:49
Diesel drive and roadster excitement don't go together – or so the common misconception would have you believe. In an effort to be more green-friendly, Mercedes is to introduce a diesel version of its popular SLK, designated the 250 CDI.


The SLK, launched in 1996, has garnered a huge following for being a top-class roadster and now, in its third generation, will sport a diesel engine, a first for the German automaker's sports models.


The four-cyclinder diesel is capable of 150kW and 500Nm and 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds.

With its claimed fuel consumption of 4.9-litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 128g/km, it's easily the most economical roadster in its class.

The diesel engine will be mated to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS auto transmission for now; a six-speed manual will follow in 2012.

The diesel engine achieves its output courtesy of fourth-generation common-rail fuel-injection with a rail pressure of 2000 bar and precise injection timing, as well as two-stage turbocharging. A start/stop system is features as standard.

DIESEL POWER: The SLK's diesel engine is easily the most frugal in its class

The SLK 250 CDI is available with a choice of three versions of the model’s famous vario-roof – one the panoramic unit with Magic Sky Control (kudos on the name Merc). The vario-roof allows drivers to change the tint of the glass roof from dark to transparent.

The new model will be offered with three suspension options; conventional steel, sport and a electronic auto damped. The sports suspension has a stiffer spring and damper set-up for those who’d prefer sporty ride quality over conventional comfort.

The electronically controlled suspension option is part of a dynamic handling package, which also includes the 'direct-steer' system and 'torque vectoring' brakes.

No styling changes have been made to the SLK 250 CDI.

The new model is set to go on sale globally in September, though no word yet whether we’ll see in South Africa. Diesel quality trumps all, after all...


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