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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK AMG breaks cover

Sat, 20 Aug 2011

Mercedes-Benz is adding even more mojo to the SLK roadster for 2012, launching the most powerful version of its long-running sports car.

Dressed in AMG trim, the SLK gets an even angrier look and a slew of performance enhancements. But that’s all overshadowed by one omnipotent figure: the 415 hp derived from the naturally aspirated V8.

The SLK AMG arrives in U.S. dealerships early next year. It’s fortified with an AMG suspension and high-performance brakes. The athletic ethos is also evident in the spoiler, body treatments and chrome tailpipes.

Still, the true measure of this diminutive roadster’s menace comes from under the hood, where the eight cylinders propel the car to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds en route to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Torque is rated at 398 lb-ft. The engine also uses a cylinder-deactivation setup, enabling the roadster to run on four cylinders.

The powertrain is completed by a seven-speed automatic, which Mercedes calls Speedshift. It has three modes: controlled efficiency, sport and manual.

An AMG performance pack is optional, with an even stiffer chassis, rear-axle differential lock and upgraded brakes.

Design cues include specific AMG LEDs, a front apron and special badging.

By Greg Migliore