Kompressor: supercharged engine provides 450 Newton metres of torque
Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG
Stuttgart - Mercedes AMG GmbH has introduced a new dimension to the compact roadster sector. In the spring of 2001, the SLK 32 AMG, with its 260-kW/354-hp AMG V6 supercharged engine, will take up a new leading position in this sector, which has been dominated from the very early days by the SLK. No other roadster in this class shows quite such a supreme development of power. The same is valid of the engine's maximum torque of 450 Newton metres, thanks to which the Mercedes SLK 32 AMG can speed through the 100 km/h mark in a mere 5.2 seconds. Yet despite such sporty evidence, the roadster uses an average of just 11.2 litres of premium lead-free fuel ( 95 ROZ ). As racing driver Bernd Schneider, who recently won the German Touring Car Masters ( DTM ) with Mercedes AMG and was given an exclusive opportunity to put the SLK 32 AMG through its paces, explained, "This fascinating new roadster is not just about pure power. The SLK 32 AMG has been re-defined in all its essential components. Its excellent performance and sporty suspension, with ESP as standard, are not just fun; they give the car a dynamic character whilst enabling it to remain absolutely controllable and viable for everyday use. This homogenous picture is further enhanced by details such as the newly designed AMG sports seats and the tasteful but commanding AMG bodywork styling. I am also impressed by the way that this high-performance sports car manages to keep its emissions low and to meet the EU 4 emissions standard. All these aspects, as well as the overall concept of the vehicle with its practical Vario roof add, in my view, to the definition of a roadster which is still unique in the way its concept is so logically thought through".
The AMG V6 Kompressor engine: a technical masterpiece
The Mercedes AMG V6 Kompressor offers very clear dynamic advantages over the familiar 3.2-litre naturally aspirated engine of the SLK 320. The use of a supercharger means that the engine output could be increased by 100 kW / 136 hp and the maximum torque by 140 Newton metres. The Affalterbach engineers were particularly keen to give the vehicle a dynamic torque characteristic, as a consequence of which the roadster develops its power at low revs, whilst also being able to move smoothly in higher gears. At 2300 rpm the engine is already able to use 400 of its 450 Newton metres. This power is passed to the rear wheels via a very sportily tuned five-speed automatic gearbox. As an alternative, the gear ratios can be changed by hand using the one-touch shift (+/-). No less innovative is the charge air cooling system used by AMG, which features a very efficient air-water-heat exchanger system. The biggest advantage here is the compensating ability of the system to counteract temperature peaks. As a consequence, unlike conventional air-to-air systems in which, under certain thermic load conditions, the ignition angle and hence the output usually have to be corrected downwards, in the SLK 32 AMG the full spectrum of the vehicle's performance can be used at all times. Technological refinement also marks the engine acoustics. With the exception of the intake manifold, the whole exhaust system, including the oval, chrome-plated twin tailpipe, has been completely redesigned. And you can hear it; for the sound produced has a very special resonance that manages to avoid being irritating.
The suspension: active safety at the highest level
Due to the vehicle's high performance, the SLK suspension has been especially adjusted for the AMG version, whose top speed is electronically regulated to 250 km/h. In addition to a new spring/damper configuration, the wider rear track width and a larger dimension torsion bar on the front axle, the good deceleration figure for the brakes (approx. 10.5 m/s2) is a particular highlight. The braking system features internally ventilated disc brakes all round (diameter at the front 334 mm, at the rear 300 mm), ABS, Brake Assist (BAS), ESP and an integrated ASR system. The sterling silver-coloured 17-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with their twin-spoke design are a completely new development. Not only do these look good, fitted as they are with size 225 tyres on the front and 245 on the rear, they also offer optimum cooling for the high-performance disc brakes.
The AMG styling package: rear axle lift reduced by 50%
As is normally the case with vehicles in the Mercedes AMG range, the bodywork design of the SLK has been given its own, very individual design. The front and rear aprons, side skirts and an elegantly integrated airflow breakaway edge on the boot lid, which reduces the lift on the rear axle by more than 50 per cent, give the SLK 32 AMG its own characteristic appearance. The AMG styling elements are continued in the interior. Sports seats with integrated head restraints, designed especially for the roadster, ensure perfect lateral support, whilst the well-balanced ergonomics of the seats guarantee comfort on long journeys. Both seats and door panels are trimmed with two-tone leather as standard, the same material that is to be found on the AMG steering wheel and gear knob. Similarly attractive is the trim on the centre console in high-quality, dark bird's-eye maple. The individually designed instrument faces, including a speedometer that shows speeds of up to 300 km/h - in the case of the SLK 32 AMG in silver - are also typical of Mercedes AMG; for the first time the speed is shown in steps of 30 km/h. From 2001 onwards, there are plans to build around 2000 SLK 32 AMG per annum. Approximately half of the production is destined for the USA, where the Mercedes Sport division has enjoyed enduring success for quite some time now. The other units will be distributed primarily in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Great Britain and Japan.
Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG
DaimlerChrysler Communications, November 14, 2000