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2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK Review

Audi TT

Hyundai Tiburon


Jaguar XK

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Mercedes-Benz SLK

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Nissan 350Z


It arrived. It was seen. It conquered. Now celebrating its 10th year in the U.S., the sleek 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK gives no indication of letting up and for good reason. Imports seem to have a way with Americans.

We've seen it with American Idol's Simon Cowell who has insulted his way into domestic hearts while stepping all over fledgling singers. We've seen it with fellow Brit Mel B, a real pro who undoubtedly could easily diss Cowell with the opportunity, but set aside her Spicy songs for some lusty dance floor moves instead. Little battles, perhaps. Big bragging rights.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK Interior
2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK Interior

One of M-B's claimed main bragging rights with the rear-drive, two-seat SLK has gotten widespread imitation. It's the retractable hardtop, a kind of technological metamorphosis that can turn a wind-in-the-hair open roadster into a cozy, chill-banishing hardtop coupe in a scant 22 seconds at the press of a button. That's for times when M-B's warm air "AIRSCARF" at shoulder level isn't quite enough to ward off an icy draft.

For 2008, M-B sweetens the SLK's appeal with an "Edition 10"
anniversary version limited to about 700. It's based on two of three current V-6 power choices, a 228-horsepower SLK280 or 268-horsepower SLK350. Special edition buyers of SLK280 models won't have to play around with that pesky standard six-speed manual transmission. The edition features only M-B's silky-smooth, seven-speed automatic with "touch shift," along with the AIRSCARF, 17-inch "chrome shadow" wheels, tinted taillights, and handsome red stitching on black leather seats.

The present generation SLK has a more aggressive appearance than the original back in the '90s. It suggests an F1 racing stance with arrow nose and stronger lines in the cockpit and outside. Current base pricing ranges from $44,675 to $63,725. Best mileage is 18 city/ 24 highway with premium fuel.

For room to zoom, the super sport-tuned 355-horsepower SLK55 AMG, when equipped, can reach a staggering 174-miles per hour before a limiter kicks in. That's assuming Americans can find an unregulated road like Germany's Autobahn to test it out.