Wednesday, 28 February 2007
SLK55 AMG - A Merc to die for
I couldn’t believe my eyes. What luck, standing in front of me, a roadster and not just any roadster. It was a Mercedes SLK. You may still say, so what, seen loads of them around. (Well loads maybe exaggerating a little here) I took a closer look at the badge and I immediately ask the owner, can I have a spin in it.
You’re right, your eyes are not deceiving you and the badge has the engine in the bonnet to back it up.
Here is my quick take/experience of piloting a Mercedes SLK55 AMG!
I was holidaying down under and was visiting a friend when I chanced upon his spanking new SLK55. Ok where do I start, right let’s get to the specs first. What makes this so special is the gem of the V8. It has 5439 cubic capacity delivering 360 Hp and wait for this, 510 Nm of torque. Just imagine that amount of torque in a 2 seater roadster. 0-100km/h arrives at a shade below 5 seconds. I didn’t have a GTech with me but the manufacturer’s claim is believable. To top it all off, it came with the ultra smooth shifting 7-Gtronic automatic with AMG speedshift.
Now time for the drive. I got into the driver’s seat, did the necessary adjustments all this while my heart was pounding. The biggest engine I have ever driven is a 4 liter car in US, so I was really anxious and was very careful with the throttle. So I started off really slow. (My friend was frowning wondering if I knew how to drive) The throttle pedal felt very Merc like i.e. C, E class. Once I got a little use to the steering, I looked at my friend and grin. He read me grin spot on, he gave me the thumbs up and said floor it. (We took the car onto the M4 motorway) Words can’t express the feeling. Now I know what they meant by being shot out of a cannon. Being pinned to your seats and just feeling the G force. The throbbing and blurbs from the V8 and the four large pipes at the rear was too intoxicating. You could just die for, each time you planted your foot on the go-pedal.
In comparison, I had recently driven a SLK320 (older model) which to me didn’t really handle that well for a “sports” car but this newer model is another beast all together. Steering feel of the old model felt vague and too light for my taste. The newer model has rectified this bane and played the genre of a sports roadster smack on. The car tracked perfectly and you knew where and what the front wheels were doing each time you twirled the steering. We easily hit 100 km/h without even trying and since speed limits are strictly adhered I was very weary all the while. The car felt like a rottweiler tugging at its leash raring to go.
The interior is really sporty. I just love the AMG aluminum trims. It really livens up the cabin and puts a touch of classiness. The size and feel of the AMG steering wheel was just right, in terms of size, grip and looks. Bravo! The car did feel a little tight, space wise. Maybe I am just not use to it as some may call it a snug fit.
To sum it all up, during my brief drive, I just love this car, from the way the hard top retracts into the boot to the way it screams down the road each time you command it. To some extend, I felt the engine was too powerful for such a small car. Last but not least, the best part of it all, the base price for this car is about AUS$ 160,000. (I kept asking my friend how much he paid for it, but he was just too modest and didn’t want to share). Yup you read correctly, base price of only 160K. When you convert that to MYR, it is around 448K. With that you can’t even buy a SLK 200! (base price of MYR 468K)
Now how can I apply to work down under?