A year later, a 225bhp 3.0-litre V6 sneaked in to make the SLK 280. Six-speedmanual gearboxes were standard but most SLKs were ordered in automatic form, the four-pot 1.8s a five-speed box and the V6s a seven-speeder.
The latest Ford Thunderbird is not a sports car. The result is a seamless flow of power that grabs at first throttle punch. Hit it too much and you kick out the rear end for a startling second until traction control gracefully intervenes. Yet that same traction system allows for bold, fast starts as the transmission moves ever upward through gears you do not even realize you are passing.
Suddenly you are in seventh, and cruising. Rip out to pass in seventh, however, and it downshifts rapidly for maximum acceleration.
You could, of course, opt for the manual control buttons behind the wheel that allow you to shift on your own. I could not shift more precisely Is Mercedes-Benz SLK automatic?
smoothly than the car did on its own in automatic. My only complaint was its somewhat jarring tendency to downshift rapidly when I backed off the throttle while rolling down a hill.
It induced serious, rapid holding back, which I did not like on descending corners and would certainly not appreciate on an icy hill.
Switching to manual helped here, and I could downshift or not at will. The ride was very, very stiff, but when you are in a car that can, as Car and Driver magazine reported, rip from 0-60 in 4. This is one very aggressive looking Mercedes-Benz. Snake-eye headlamps top ground-sucking lower air vents. Rocker panels flex beneath the doors, and the tail has a nice little flip.
The stiffly bolstered bucket seats are flat, firm, and encompassing. Lower yourself into them and you are sitting in a deep well of space. There is virtually no storage space the glove box was eaten by electronicsand trunk space is quite tight.
It seems to flow through the windshield out to the hump on the hood. Inside, the egg flows downward to a central pod for navigation, audio, and climate controls, all easy to use. The hardtop convertible roof was quick to raise and lower via a toggle switch. While the car is virtually free of turbulence with the top down and side windows raised, there was a slight rumble of wind from both rear quarters with the top up. Of course, all it took was a touch of the gas to drown that out in a vibrato quad exhaust Is Mercedes-Benz SLK automatic?
four pipes piping at the rear of a Mercedes that can truly be called an edgy, high-performance sports car. The car itself is minimalistic except where it counts. Fast stylish and so much fun it aught to be illegal. It has everything a sports car needs without the fluffy extras.
Full performance review of 1998 Mercedes
When you floor the gas you will understand that this baby Mercedes isnt a baby at all. Its not for the fainthearted. Its a sports roadster with a pedigree miles long and lives up to its heritage. Yes there are faster cars. Then again beauty is in the eye of the person owning the keys to its 3 pointed star F1 style nose.