Mercedes-Benz launches SL & SLK in Hong Kong ~ Auto Guru India - Junction of News, Auto Reviews, Advice

May 13, 2008

Mercedes-Benz launches SL & SLK in Hong Kong

Mercedes-Benz SL CarHong Kong - Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong today marked the launch of the new generation Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

These two latest offerings from Mercedes-Benz both feature stylish and elegant exteriors that cut powerful, sleek silhouettes. The fashion-forward nature of the SL and SLK was also the perfect foil for international fashion designer, Barney Cheng, to create a couture collection inspired by the SL and SLK.

This exceptional collection was an added surprise for guests who witnessed the unveiling of the latest Mercedes-Benz cars on a fashion catwalk specially designed to bring focus onto the stylish curves of the two stars – the SL and SLK.

"Mercedes-Benz has a long tradition of producing legendary sports cars, and we are proud today to be presenting the latest in the line of these celebrated roadsters," said Dr. Claus Weidner, Chief Operating Officer of Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Limited, "The SL needs very little introduction: since we launched the "Gullwing" in 1954, the SL has remained a favourite amongst car enthusiasts. And with the latest SLK, Mercedes-Benz has taken the roadster and put it into a sexy new design category that matches with the aesthetic values that have put the Mercedes-Benz roadster on the map today."

The New Generation SL
The latest SL has been given more than a normal facelift to become sportier than ever. Indeed, the world’s most successful premium roadster in its class features a new design with the emphasis firmly on sportiness and effortless superiority.

These traits are also reflected in the handling qualities of the two-seater model, which now delivers even more athletic performance thanks to the new direct-steer system as well as offering enhanced comfort and safety. The SL 350 is powered by a newly developed, highly responsive sports engine boasting an impressive output of 316 hp yet returns a fuel consumption figure that is 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres lower than its predecessor (NEDC). SL 350 features a V6 engine, SL 500 with a V8 engine and the top-of-the-range SL 600 with a V12 powerplant. The Mercedes sports car extends its lead in the safety stakes courtesy of bi-xenon headlamps and the optional Intelligent Light System whose lighting functions are designed specifically for typical driving situations.

Further new features on board include AIRSCARF neck-level heating. This system - invented by Mercedes-Benz and available as an optional extra - enhances comfort when driving with the roof down, extending the roadster season until well into the winter months. SL passengers are kept informed and entertained by the standard-fit COMAND multimedia system, which has also been fully revamped with a host of additional functions.

The new generation SL caps a glorious history of Mercedes sports cars, which began in 1954 with the introduction of the legendary 300 SL "Gullwing", followed in 1957 by the launch of the first SL Roadster.

Like its predecessors, the new-generation SL also merits its "incomparable" tag. No other sports car in this market segment offers such a perfect balance of sportiness, safety and comfort. These three qualities are the cornerstones of highly eventful, active motoring that provides a profound sense of well-being and for hallmark Mercedes refinement at the highest level.

For the SL 350, the Mercedes engineers have developed a V6 powerplant that brings the sporty qualities of new-generation SL right to the fore. Compared to the previous 3.5-litre engine, the output has been boosted by 16 percent to 316 hp (at 6500 rpm), while the peak torque has been increased by 10 Nm and now stands at 360 Nm. This powerpack accelerates the new SL 350 from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 6.2 seconds, making it 0.4 seconds faster than the outgoing SL 350.

The flagship engines in the SL line-up remain the eight-cylinder unit in the SL 500 developing 388 hp and the V12 powerplant in the SL 600, which develops 517 hp thanks to its twin turbochargers. The Mercedes engineers also worked meticulously on these models to further reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

The decidedly sporty character of the V6 power unit is also clearly audible. Its powerful sonorous vocals are the result of meticulous work carried out by sound designers. So these specialists also contribute to the sporty driving pleasure. In this respect, the standard-fit seven-speed automatic transmission also has an important role to play: on one hand by allowing fast multiple downshifts when accelerating, on the other hand by providing a new double-declutching function that is activated during manual downshifts. As well as producing a sporty sound, this function also enhances comfort and safety as the double-declutching equalizes the rotational speeds of the crankshaft and transmission. This set-up gives the driver the advantage of even more harmonious gear changes. Plus there is a noticeable reduction in load-change reactions.

The SL 63 AMG is powered by an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 525 hp and 630 Nm – which makes it today’s most powerful model with a V8 naturally aspirated engine in its class. The SL 63 AMG sets new standards in the open-top sports car segment thanks to the outstanding drive combination and the retuned, even more agile AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control.

The New Generation SLK
The hugely popular SLK allows drivers to rediscover the driving pleasure of the roadster, being more powerful, more economical and more intense.

The Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadsters have long captured the hearts of sports car enthusiasts. The new generation SLK models are even more dynamic and now offer an even more emotionally charged driving experience. Key visual enhancements include new-look front and rear sections, as well as a meticulously modified interior with a new instrument cluster and three-spoke sports steering wheel.

The high-revving V6 sports engine in the SLK 350 developing 305 hp and an optionally available direct-steer system truly bring the bold, dynamic character of the two-seater to the fore. Furthermore, all of the engines in the line-up are now far more economical on fuel and therefore emit even less CO2 despite a substantial increase in output in some cases.

Since their first appearance in 1996, the compact SLK Roadsters have come to symbolize Mercedes-Benz's dynamic brand image. Already a familiar sight on our roads, the second-generation two-seater is to be further enhanced with the implementation of a raft of measures in 2008, the aim being to further emphasize the car's sporty character and continue the SLK success story by introducing new dynamic and powerful elements.

A newly developed direct-steer system with variable power assistance that elicits the very best from the suspension’s sporty capabilities is optionally available. It combines agility and manoeuvrability on twisting roads with light steering forces when parking and sure steering characteristics at high speeds.

The second-generation SLK has retained the car's quite unique status in this market segment blazing a trail of new sporty highlights, bestowing yet greater appeal on this thriving two-seater with the trendsetting vario-roof that transforms the car from a roadster into a weatherproof coupé in a matter of seconds.

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