The R170-platform SLK 230 Kompressor was introduced in 1997 for model year 1998 to compete with the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3. Setting it apart was its folding hardtop, though its additional weight dented the performance of the 185 hp 2.3 L supercharged I4 engine and automatic transmission. The SLK was on Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 1997. A 5-speed manual transmission was added for 1999, but it was the introduction of a 215 hp 3.2 L V6 and 6-speed manual transmission in the 2001 SLK 320 that really brought the Sportlich to the car. An AMG model was added in 2001, with a 354 hp (264 kW) supercharged version of the 3.2 L V6. This SLK 32 AMG was the best-performing SLK ever, and was a direct rival of the BMW M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S. It is only offered with automatic transmission. The SLK AMG engine is also hand built. Not all Mercedes SLKs were built in Bremen, Germany, the SLK 320 being built in South Africa. The very first R170 Mercedes SLK was completed on January 29, 1997 and last on April 7, 2004.
Posted on February 8, 2008 by mercedesamgcars