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Mercedes Benz previews the latest SLK55 AMG and my issue with the BMW Z4

By Rigval on 26 Aug 2011

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My opinion of Mercedes Benz is this. With every new model brought out Mercedes Benz erodes what were supposedly boundaries that only BMW once held as the Ultimate Driving Machine. If you took a look at when the SLK first started out you wouldnt even consider buying one over the BMW Z3 (at that point of time). But now with the latest R172 Mercedes Benz SLK I somehow feel that Mercedes have caught on, slightly, over the small BMW coupe in terms of overall feel. Now add AMG into the picture and things go even more skewered. This is why I believe that, with actual owning costs aside, the newly previewed Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG out-trumps the BMW Z4 silly.

Especially that silly name BMW Z4 sDrive35is. I am alternating between caps lock and normal caps typing BMW Z4 sDrive35is and that alone says enough. Yes it may be sublime in its handling and steering feel but with a name like that and a lack of something really silly, like an extremely huge V8 engine strapped on to a tiny coupe chassis makes it less desirable to me.

Of course the Z4 sDrive35is (lets just call it the Z4 after this) comes equipped with a 340bhp 3.0liter 6 cylinder and will get you to 100km/h in about 4.8 seconds. But now add AMGs latest (it wont be the greatest I suspect as it IS only a SLK) with 415 normally aspirated bhp from a very large 5.5liter V8 which usually has a bucket load of torque it is basically pedestrian in pace.

The SLK55 AMG does the 100km/h dash in 4.5seconds. It basically gets the whole AMG package for the SLK which means the AMG tweaked 7 speed G-tronic automatic transmission, the sports suspension, the bodykit and torque vectoring/brake based stability systems.

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I have always felt the SLK is a nice little roadster with good build quality. The last SLK55 looked good and was also a belter, albeit with handling issues. Of course it has issues. Any car with a huge V8 upfront and a driving position close to the rear axle is bound to have handling issues. But that V8 makes so many beautiful noises. Even pottering around town in one at about 40km/h may bring a smile to ones face. The AMG V8 burble is something intoxicating. You dont have to cane the car like crazy to actually feel good.

What is the actual point of this article then? Its just to tell you readers out there that Mercedes Benz has previewed the latest SLK55 AMG and that pronouncing 'Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG' isn't a mouthful. It also tells you readers that BMW has got to stop coming up with a car that needs so long a model variant. What the heck is wrong with calling it the Z4 3.0CSL or something like that instead of 'BMW Z4 sDrive35is'?

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new model, discussions and 12 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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ER-3682 Aug 26 2011 11:00 PM
In S'pore,i would take the BMW,the reason,much lower road tax on a 3L turbo,than a 5.5LN/A v8.
Viceroymenthol Aug 27 2011 12:14 AM
The difference in road tax is about $3k a year. After swallowing the AMG's ridiculous annual depreciation (which is similarly ridiculous for the Z4 35is), I'd gladly pay that $3k to feel and hear that monster engine in my small coupe every day. Rigval is right, with an engine like that, merely going to the supermarket at 60km/h is a pleasure in itself....it is like masturbation... Imagine cumming every time you drive the car.

One thing is, AMG forgot to turbocharge the 5.5L V8. Nevermind i am sure lots of tuners out there would be willing to.
Rigval Aug 27 2011 09:47 AM
AMG kept the SLK55 n.a so that it wouldn't be faster than the SL. Obviously Mercedes wouldn't want their smaller, nippier, lighter little coupe to be faster than the flagship SL.

Viceroymentol ..you read my mind.
Mecontle Dec 16 2011 07:44 AM
wait till u youtube c63 , step aside bmw
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