2004 was the final year for the original SLK and Mercedes decided to send it out in a blaze of glory by marketing the SLK Special Editions. These models featured added options not available on other models at a value price. It is featured prominently in the sales literature with three full spreads dedicated to it in the SLK sales brochure.
Here's the copy from the brochure:
inside and out
views at a touch of a button
17" twin-spoke wheels
at a refreshingly sensible price
The 2004 SLK Special Editions offer up a true challenge. Should you stop to admire the sunlight glint off 17" twin-spoke alloy wheels, the silver-painted grille and the subtle rear spoiler, perhaps running your fingers across the special badges and contemplating the compelling value contained within such a beauty? Or is it better to turn those wheels into a blur and enjoy the SLK230 Kompressor's instantaneous 192 supercharged horsepower or the relentless urge of the SLK320's V-6? Or maybe you should just bask in the Charcoal Nappa Leather upholstery--it even covers the roll bars--and consider which of the five available exterior colors really suits you. The choice is yours. The result is always the same--pure exhilaration.
Each Special Edition interior takes the classically handsome SLK cabin and adds a unique combination of features to create an inspiring level of style and luxury. You sit cradled in contoured sport seats featuring soft Charcoal ribbed leather. Silver instrumentation and a chrome-capped shift knob stimulated your driving senses. The SLK230 Kompressor Special Edition enjoys exclusive brushed aluminum interior trim on the doors, dash and console, while the SLK320 Special Edition is dressed in rich Calyptus wood, including graceful accents on the steering wheel and shift knob. After taking in either Special Edition interior, you might have an incredible urge to drive. And you should--it is designed to move you.
The SLK Special Edition has a profound effect wherever it goes. The wind is tamed by a subtle rear spoiler. Corners are straightened by 17" twin-spoke alloy wheels wearing 225/45ZR 17 front and 245/40ZR 17 rear high-performance tires. And the eyes of passersby are delighted by special chrome badges, just as their hearts are tossed toward desire.
In my search for an SLK of my own, the first thing I noticed about the Special Edition was the interior. I thought the ribbed Tuck & Roll leather really gave it a sporty retro look. Then I noticed the 17" wheels and the meaty tires on the rear. There are other, less noticeable touches, though: silver-faced gauges, black-faced climate controls, leather-covered roll bars, rear spoiler, silver-painted grille, and bright silver accents on the A-pillar and vario-roof above the side windows. Mine has heated, 8-way power seats, although I don't know if they were also standard on the Special Editions. The engines are the same as the standard SLK's: An intercooled supercharged DOHC 16-valve 2.3l inline-4 producing 192hp, or the SOHC 18-valve 90 degree 3.2l V-6 making 215hp. I am also not sure if the 5-speed automatic transmission was standard or if the 6-speed manual was available in the Special Editions. The SLK230 Special edition retailed for $41,200 and the SLK320 Special Edition sold for $46,650.
I didn't know the SLK Special Editions even existed until I happened to stumbled upon a listing for one when I was searching for an SLK and when I saw it, I knew it was the one I wanted. I am very proud of my SLK320 Special edition and love to drive it with the top up or down, and I put the top down every chance I get!
If you have an SLK Special Edition, or an SLK Final Edition for the UK, share your photos and what you like about it. If you are the original owner and/or have the original window sticker, I would love to see it posted here. Tell us about how you found it and you found out about it.
Front cover of the Quick Tips General Reference Guide.
Top up, notice the bright silver trim on the A-pillar and on the Vario Roof above the side window. This was only available on the Special Editions.
Top down. I traded out the original silver-painted grille, exclusive to the Special Editions, in favor of the finned-style grille pictured here.
Rear spoiler and meaty 245's on the rear. This thing really takes the corners well!
From the rear, top down.
Subtle rear spoiler.
The part I like the best... The ribbed charcoal Nappa leather upholstery! This really sets the SLK Special Editions interior apart from the standard SLK's. Roll bars are covered in black Nappa leather.
black climate controls...
chrome-capped, wood and leather gear selector...
and 17" twin-spoked alloy wheels... All exclusive to the SLK Special Editions.