Landing at $155,000 (plus on-roads), the new SLK flagship is a good $24,000 less than its predecessor and just $200 more than the C 63 AMG Coupe.
The SLK 55 is driven by AMG's new 5.5 litre naturally-aspirated V8, churning out 310kW and 540Nm of torque - 46kW/30Nm up on the previous model and 85kW/260Nm down on the turbo version.
The engine picks up a new air intake, cylinder heads, valve-drive, oil system, crankcase and a fuel-saving cylinder deactivation system.
Paired with AMG's seven-speed SpeedShift automated manual transmission, Mercedes promises a 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 250km/h.
The new engine's cylinder deactivation pegs fuel consumption at a more-than-decent 8.5 l/100km - just 0.2 l/100km up on the six-cylinder SLK 300 - and CO2 emissions are listed at 163g/km.
Buyers can also tack on AMG's $8825 Handling package, which adds carbon-ceramic front brake rotors, a firmer AMG Performance suspension and a locking rear differential to improve traction under power.
The AMG-enhanced SLK's styling tweaks include smoked headlights, the familiar AMG bumper design front and rear, and larger light-alloy wheels.
Standard features include leather-trimmed AMG sports seats, a race timer, Harmon Kardon audio system with a 10gb hard drive, GPS satellite navigation, internet browser with Google Maps, and iPod and Bluetooth audio connectivity.
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- 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 BlueEfficiency: $82,900
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- 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 BlueEfficiency: $118,900
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG: $155,000
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG With AMG Handling Package: $163,825