The recently launched SLK 55 AMG is a recipe guaranteed to thrill. But is it as special as the Porsche Boxster S? That's what we're here to find out.
AMG cars are always special and the Mercedes SLK 55 AMG is no exception. The underlying formula is quite simple - take a regular car and stuff massive power into it - 416 horses in this case. It is a recipe guaranteed to excite.
The mother of all these horses is the 5461cc V8 engine. Open the bonnet and you can see what a tight fit the V8 is in the SLK's compact engine bay. Add to that the fact that the SLK AMG has 115bhp more and is just 60kg heavier than the SLK 350, and you get an impression of just how much quicker the AMG variant is. But more than the power, it’s the motor's torque which pins you back in a firm linear shove. A 0-100kph time of 5.97sec in the convertible tells only half the story, because launching a front-engined, rear-drive car is not that easy. The more telling figure is the 0-200kph time of 18.71sec, which is quicker than the SLK 350 by a massive 7 seconds. Without a doubt, the SLK AMG has genuine sportscar pace. Yet, it is also very easy to drive. The gearbox has three modes, and in comfort mode it upshifts rapidly, keeping the revs low and the power manageable. There is a gear-shift indicator that tells you to shift up as you near the red line. That’s useful, although it’s rather hard to miss when the engine is approaching its 7000rpm limit as your brain will be distracted by the glorious noise coming from the exhaust pipe - especially with the roof down.