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SPIED: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Prototypes Drops the Cladding

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SPIED: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Prototypes Drops the Cladding

SUNDAY, JULY 25, 2010

The all-new, third generation of Mercedes-Benz's SLK Roadster is still about a year away from launch, but the disguise is already starting to fall off the prototype. As you can see in these spy photos, this example of the 2012 SLK does without the heavy cladding of the test cars seen in our previous stories.

The new images show that the 2012 SLK ditches the current model's F1-inspired nose in favor of a much bolder grille and more geometrically shaped headlamps, all themed after the SLS AMG Gullwing model. However, Stuttgart's Z4-fighter will continue to be a strictly two-seater roadster with a two-piece folding hardtop.

The car's interior has been designed from scratch adopting styling cues from the high-performance SLS AMG Gullwing such as the instrument cluster layout with two large gauges and the center console featuring twin air-vents with cruciform-style nozzles.

Codenamed R172, the new SLK will ride on shortened version of the new C-Class platform and make use of the same suspension hardware, tuned to deliver more responsive handling characteristics.

Under the bonnet will be a range of petrol and if rumors turn out to be true, possibly even diesel engines. The gasoline range will include at launch a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pushing out some 200-ponies and Merc's new 3.5 liter direct-injection V6 with around 306-horsepower that was first previewed on the CLS Shooting Brake Concept earlier this year.

Following the presentation of the standard SLK models, the German automaker will introduce a flagship AMG sport variant featuring either a smaller capacity but twin-turbocharged V6 or a larger V8 engine.

The 2012 SLK is due to go on sale next summer, so expect to see a motorshow debut either in Detroit in January 2011 or Geneva in March of the same year.



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