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Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

SLK-Class
Vehicle Line

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Wikipedia: Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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A vehicle line produced by Mercedes-Benz. Specific models include the SLK 55 AMG.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class page on 15 August 2020, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was a compact luxury roadster, produced by Mercedes-Benz. It was released in 1996 and had since been built at the Mercedes plant in Bremen, Germany, until the end of production in 2020.

The former name "SLK" was derived from sportlich (sporty), leicht (light), and kurz (short). With the release of the facelift R172 in 2016, the SLK-Class was renamed to SLC-Class in accordance with the revised nomenclature adopted by Mercedes. Under this scheme, roadsters use the base name "SL", followed by the model's placement in Mercedes-Benz hierarchy, the letter "C", being the roadster equivalent to the C-Class.

First generation (R170; 1996–2004)

The R170 Mercedes SLK was the first generation compact roadster produced by Mercedes-Benz, from 1996 to 2004. It was designed from late 1991 under Bruno Sacco, with a final design being completed in early 1993 and approved by the board, with a German design patent filed on September 30, 1993. The production SLK-Class was introduced at the Turin Motor Show on 22 April 1996, appearing as a modern incarnation of the 1950s Mercedes-Benz 190SL, by returning to four cylinders and with an identical 94-inch (2,400 mm) wheelbase. A facelift was introduced to all models in 2000, featuring an updated design and updated engines.

Second generation (R171; 2004–2010)

The R171 SLK was unveiled at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It features increased use of high-strength steel, and improvements to the car's torsional strength and aerodynamic efficiency. Models feature a more compact, revised roof mechanism that is operated in 22 seconds (previously 25 seconds), resulting in an increase in boot capacity by 63 liters (2.2 cu ft). The R171 also introduced the Airscarf system that integrates neck-level heating system into the headrests of the car. The front-end design of the car was inspired by the noses found in Formula One cars. It was facelifted in 2008 and featured new engines and minor exterior design changes.

Third generation (R172; 2011–2020)

The R172 SLK was released in 2011. It was available with a range of inline-four, V6, and V8, diesel and petrol engines, and introduced an electronically operated window tint shade for the sunroof, called Magic Sky Control. The facelift was released for vehicles produced from March 2016, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the SLK-Class. The model range was also renamed to SLC-Class to conform to the new Mercedes nomenclature, and introduced new engines and a revised design. In 2020, Mercedes Benz release a Final Edition which is intended to commemorate the range as production ends.


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
16 February 2016Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class Passenger Cars Are Eligible for ImportationFederal Register: NHTSA (Jeffrey M. Giuseppe)
30 March 2016Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class Passenger Cars Are Eligible for ImportationFederal Register: NHTSA (Jeffrey M. Giuseppe)


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