Mercedes has given its SLK a spruce-up just in time for Christmas. Blink and you most certainly will miss it – but the company claims there are 650 modified parts on its renowned roadster, which gets freshened looks inside and out, and fettled engines to take it into 2008.
Anoraks will spot the facelifted two-seater by its reshaped bumper and front air dam, and the large three-pointed star is given more prominence on the SLK’s snout. At the rear, a faux diffuser is grafted onto the car’s behind, alongside trapezoidal tailpipes and smoked, AMG-style rear lights.
Bigger door mirrors sprout from the flanks – now illuminated with arrow-shaped indicator repeaters, and new designs of alloy wheel evolve the look originally penned by Brit designer Steve Mattin, now design chief at Volvo.
The four-strong engine line-up will continue, led by the SLK55 V8. The three smaller engines are all revised for lower consumption and emissions: the SLK200 Kompressor (up 21bhp to 182bhp), SLK 280 (unchanged at ) and SLK350 (up 33bhp to 301bhp).
Also new is a variable ratio steering system called Direct-Steer. It’s optional on the three base models and standard on the AMG, and is wholly mechanical, meaning a much more direct ratio when just 5deg of lock is applied for quicker responses. Merc claims the turns lock to lock has reduced by a quarter as a result.
Changes inside include a new instrument cluster and three-spoke steering wheel design. Merc’s latest telematics system has been shoehorned in, letting owners use Bluetooth and operate their iPod remotely through the usual stereo controls.
The revised SLK goes on sale in Britain in April 2008. Pricing will be announced in the new year. Despite being the priciest car in its segment, the SLK remains a strong seller – Merc has flogged nearly half a million since its debut in 1997, nearly a tenth of those in the UK.