Thursday July 7, 2016
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz SLK and the end of its era with the new SLC taking its place.
The first SLK, the R170 was produced in 1996 after being presented as a concept car at the 1994 Paris Motor Show. It was Mercedes’ first hard-top convertible and became a competitor to the Porsche Boxster. Powered by a 193hp 2.3l supercharged straight-4 engine and a choice of automatic transmission or 5-speed manual transmission, it became an instant hit.
Above: The SLK R170 pre-facelift model.
In 2000, the R170 received a facelift which include new front and rear bumper designs, body coloured side skirts and the introduction of new wing mirrors incorporating indicators. The R170 was produced until 2004, when a new SLK-class vehicle was released, the R171.
Did You Know?
“SLK” is abbreviated from the company’s design mission to create a roadster that was at once sporty, light and short – in German: sportlich (sporty), leicht (light) und kurz (short).
How can you join in the 20th Anniversary Celebrations?
There are a few events happening across the UK in 2016 to celebrate the SLK. You can find out more by signing up for the events at Mercedes-Benz Club – www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk or if you own an SLK (new or old), you can join the SLK World forum – www.slkworld.com.
The celebrations have already begun, with the Mercedes-Benz Club hosting their first SLK day at Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands on Saturday 18th June.
Above: An R170 Obsidian Black facelift model with two-tone cream & black leather interior.
How does the SLK drive?
“First time I drove my 2000 R170, it was love at first exhilaration. Mine isn’t happy with cold mornings – the engine needs to be at 80 degrees before you get the full impact, though it only takes a couple of minutes. The most incredible experience is how it corners; it grips the road for such dear life with every sharp turn. Amazing to have in the winter with a hard-top, fantastic for the summer with the roof down! The supercharged engine will spoil you – once you go Kompressor, you won’t go back.”
Written by Kizzie Nicholson, Social Media Manager, Lancaster Insurance Services