For the unveiling of its new 2012 SLK, Mercedes-Benz confirmed last month that it would skip this week's Detroit Motor Show in favour of March's Geneva Motor Show.
But while it may be some months before buyers can get behind the wheel, Mercedes has decided to give its refreshed convertible an early online unveiling today.
Internationally, the convertible will be offered in SLK 350, SLK 250 and SLK 200 form.
Opening the range, the SLK 200 BlueEfficiency will be powered by a 1.8 litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 137kW. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or Mercedes' 7G-Tronic Plus automatic.
Fuel consumption for the entry SLK is listed at 6.1 l/100km on the combined cycle, while the 0-100km/h sprint is covered in a respectable 7.0 seconds.
In the middle of the range is the SLK 250 BlueEfficiency, utilising the same 1.8 litre but producing a healthy 152kW. Acceleration is similarly improved, the 0-100km/h sprint falling in 6.6 seconds. Fuel consumption is listed at 6.2 l/100km.
On the top shelf is the SLK 350 BlueEfficiency, driven by a new 3.5 litre petrol V6. Power is listed at 228kW, shifting the SLK to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds and using 7.1 l/100km.
Suspension in standard trim is managed by a conventional steel suspension package, although a sports package with harder springs and dampers will be available as an option.
Beyond the sports package, the SLK will also be available with a Dynamic Handling package, offering suspension with continuous adjustable and electronically controlled fully automatic damping.
Almost fifteen years on from the launch of the first-generation SLK, the new third-generation model packs as much technology into its compact frame as its predecessor offered.
Among its comfort and safety features are Mercedes' Attention Assist drowsiness detection system, Pre-Safe occupant protection and Pre-Safe Brake, designed to autonomously apply brake pressure if an imminent front-end collision is detected.
Adding to the brake package will be Mercedes' Adative Brake system, combining ABS, ASR acceleration skid control, and active yaw control.
Previewed late last year, Mercedes-Benz has also fitted its brand-new Magic Sky Control panoramic glass roof to the new SLK, along with its Airguide draught-stop and Airscarf neck-heating systems.
Speaking with TMR today, Mercedes-Benz Australia's Senior Manager for Corporate Communications David McCarthy confirmed that while final specifications are still being detemined, the SLK 350 and at least one of the four-cylinder models are certainties for an Australian debut.
As for scheduling, Mr McCarthy added "the release date for the new SLK is the end of the second quarter this year, and the pricing will be very competitive."
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