Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NE Texas
Vehicle: '01 SLK320 6 speed manual
Other Toys: Modified Cessna 140, 300E 5 speed manual
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For the sake of discussion let's say that there is some zillion horse V8 in a tiny little package that would fit under the hood and you did a great engine swap.
One of the real beauties of the SLK is it's balance. Very close to 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. By doing this swap, you will make a nose heavy car that will accelerate like crazy in a straight line, but corner like a '56 Rambler that has had lead poured in the front bumper.
Many a sports car has been turned into a handling pig in trade for straight line performance. The C2 and C3 Big Block Vettes come to mind, more so the C2 since it was designed from the get go for a small engine. Camaro's and Mustangs of the sixties are also good examples. Designed for small V8's, but later, HUGE lumps were put under the hood turning them into nose heavy monsters.
If you want something with blinding acceleration, there are PLENTY of cars out there that can pin you against the seat, but can't turn a corner no matter what.
The world is a compromise. Our little cars were very successfully designed by the German speaking folks in Stuttgart with the goal of giving fun acceleration and fabulous handling. They achieved the goal. By putting an overweight lump up front, that wonderfully balanced handling that we take for granted will be completely out the window.