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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seriously thinking of trading in my SLK 350 for an SLK 55AMG. I would like to hear from the guys who have owned an SLK 350 and made the up grade to the 55. Predominantly, how the ride differs - is it just a bit harsher or race track harsh. Cabin noise, is it louder and bumpier, due to the stiffer suspension? Handling - is it more "Go-Kart" like? (Kart to the pro's) Finally, power-wise, does the V8 unit give a lot more 'torque steer' than the 350? I'm asking because today, I had my first test-drive in the 55 and was amazed at how race like it felt - a totally different feel to my 350. The amount of torque under acceleration was quite surprising, and certainly put a big smile on my face and caused an alarming reaction from the sales person. Jeff, I know that you're going to read this and your input would be invaluable, just like the other members who have traded up. As much info as possible would be highly appreciated from you guys, as I need to know as much as possible before committing to purchase....Thanks guys...:smile:
 

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Well here I go:

I went from a 2005 SLK 350 to a 2009 SLK 55 AMG

In no particular order,
The power is a great step up as you would imagine. V8 vs V6. 360 hp (pre my ecu tune and headers) vs 268 hp.
Ride is different if you get the 030 package due to suspension/shocks.
I felt lower/closer to the road
No difference in cabin noise but you feel more enclosed in.
I should have skipped the 350 and went straight to the 55
what year are you considering? i assume R171 but differences in pre fl and fl of course
check the brochures. you know where they are.
pre has the bigger brakes.
You will never regret getting it
all 55s 'suffer' from the seepage of the valve cover gaskets, usually the driver's side
Ask me any specific questions and i will be more than happy to answer if I can
other members will chime in I am sure.
Get the datacards of 55s you are interested in.
read me ecu tune/header thread again and check out my albums (links in my sig block)
 

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Registered-sold my '55
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I went from a R171 350 traded it in for a R172 55...I still can't get the smile of my face, not that you could when the had the 350...let's just say the grin is a lot wider:grin: The noise alone is worth the step up let alone the power and torque.>:D
 

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I cannot answer your question, but am interested to learn about the following.
When I was searching for a gently used R171 350, I also considered the 55. Multiple (experienced!) people warned me that the SLK55 is a great car, but not under wet or slippery conditions. Since we probably have a similar amount of precipitation over here in the Netherlands as you guys in the UK, I would be very interested to learn the experience from people living (and driving) under similar climate conditions. I.m.h.o. the experience of the people living in California, Florida, Texas, or somewhere in the Middle-East (to mention but a few places) would be less relevant for you w.r.t. the handling under wet conditions.

I must admit that even with my R171 350, the car may attempt to break out of a steep curve or roundabout when the road is wet. I like to drive sporty, but I'm definitely not a "donut driver". I am very curious to learn how the SLK55 drivers experience the handling of their car under wet conditions.

Good luck with your search, and do post a photo once your mission has been accomplished.

Arjen.
 

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I cannot answer your question, but am interested to learn about the following.
When I searching for a gently used R171 350, I also considered the 55. Multiple (experienced!) people warned me that the SLK55 is a great car, but not under wet or slippery conditions. Since we probably have a similar amount of precipitation over here in the Netherlands as you guys in the UK, I would be very interested to learn the experience from people living (and driving) under similar climate conditions. I.m.h.o. the experience of the people living in California, Florida, Texas, or somewhere in the Middle-East (to mention but a few places) would be less relevant for you w.r.t. the handling under wet conditions.

I must admit that even with my R171 350, the car may attempt to break out of a steep curve or roundabout when the road is wet. I like to drive sporty, but I'm definitely not a "donut driver".

Good luck with your search, and do post a photo once your mission has been accomplished.

Arjen.
I've been amazed by the wet grip of my 350. About a month after I bought it a large nail totalled one of the rear tyres which were both more than half worn. I rep[laced them with Conti Sport 5s and haven't looked back.
I replaced the steering castor bushes and had 4 wheel alignment done earlier this year which improved the steering feel tremendously.
Mark
 

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Registered 2013 SLK 55 AMG
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I cannot answer your question, but am interested to learn about the following.
When I was searching for a gently used R171 350, I also considered the 55. Multiple (experienced!) people warned me that the SLK55 is a great car, but not under wet or slippery conditions. Since we probably have a similar amount of precipitation over here in the Netherlands as you guys in the UK, I would be very interested to learn the experience from people living (and driving) under similar climate conditions. I.m.h.o. the experience of the people living in California, Florida, Texas, or somewhere in the Middle-East (to mention but a few places) would be less relevant for you w.r.t. the handling under wet conditions.

I must admit that even with my R171 350, the car may attempt to break out of a steep curve or roundabout when the road is wet. I like to drive sporty, but I'm definitely not a "donut driver". I am very curious to learn how the SLK55 drivers experience the handling of their car under wet conditions.

Good luck with your search, and do post a photo once your mission has been accomplished.

Arjen.
Sure the 55 is going to be a little more 'taxed' in wet and slippery conditions, but you simply have to drive it (and all cars of course) according to the conditions and dynamics of the vehicle involved. We have a 2013 R172 55 and it is currently running on winter tyres, here in the UK. OK the weather is not really cold enough, but when it snows here it tends to do so with little warning and as the majority of the UK drivers have no experience in snow and little interest in driving properly, the roads gridlock pretty quickly. The only option is to take the back roads and avoid the jams.....

Anyway, on the winters (Conti Winter Contacts in OEM size and spec), the grip is much improved on the slimy, mushy, dirty roads here in the Surrey Hills and the car feels nice and gives relatively good confidence. But use too much gas pedal and the TC/ESP light flashes and the car intervenes quickly and to good effect. In fact you have to be really quite gentle with the throttle, as you'd expect with 420bhp, if you're to make good and smooth progress completely under your own right-foot control.

Personally I drive with the ESP in SPORT a lot of the time, as the car is more 'expressive' with the ESP backed off a little and I am happy to have greater responsibility and drive accordingly. But the pull out of bends is improved in low grip conditions, as the ESP is letting a little more slip occur and that makes it feel much more rewarding and allows good progress. I could switch ESP off completely (the R172's allow you to do that completely, albeit with a tiny amount of CBC still in there and working), but that would need more focus and care and you'd have to be in a particularly chirpy mood to want to do that everyday.

So bottom line is don't be afraid of the car in the wet and cold and slippery stuff, just drive carefully and feel comfortable in the knowledge that the systems are VERY good and will always be there to help if required. Having 3 sports cars in the fleet without so much as a spark of TC/ESP (or ABS for that matter in 2 cases), maybe I still pay closer attention than most to the road conditions, but be sensible and any car can be fun in any conditions.
 

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Founding Member 2006
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I cannot answer your question, but am interested to learn about the following.
When I was searching for a gently used R171 350, I also considered the 55. Multiple (experienced!) people warned me that the SLK55 is a great car, but not under wet or slippery conditions. Since we probably have a similar amount of precipitation over here in the Netherlands as you guys in the UK, I would be very interested to learn the experience from people living (and driving) under similar climate conditions. I.m.h.o. the experience of the people living in California, Florida, Texas, or somewhere in the Middle-East (to mention but a few places) would be less relevant for you w.r.t. the handling under wet conditions.

I must admit that even with my R171 350, the car may attempt to break out of a steep curve or roundabout when the road is wet. I like to drive sporty, but I'm definitely not a "donut driver". I am very curious to learn how the SLK55 drivers experience the handling of their car under wet conditions.

Good luck with your search, and do post a photo once your mission has been accomplished.

Arjen.
Yes, it never rains in Floriduh except for the hurrricanes and the daily afternoon thunderstorms from April through November (hurricane season btw) what with the humidity over 80% daily. :D :D :D :D :D (sorry for the sarcastic reply)
 

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True, true, true, Jeff, and obviously we all feel really sorry for you guys for having such crappy weather in Florida... lol :biglaugh:

According to the statistics, in Florida you guys have on average about 3,000 hrs of sunshine p.a., whereas in the UK this stays well below 1,500 hrs :cool: In the Netherlands way may at best have some 1,700 hrs of sunshine p.a., but we too have so many days when the roads are wet. The precipitation in Florida is simply more condensed (and intense).

On top of you guys having simply more dry days p.a., I well imagine the weather is also more predictable, allowing you to take the car for a spin and not be trapped by sudden rainfall.

Back on topic: My takeaway so far is that better tyres might already do the job. I have Bridgestone summer tyres under my SLK350, and I feel their wet grip is suboptimal. I do not plan to drive the car when it is raining, however... the rain may come in quite unpredictably...

Arjen.
 

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Founding Member 2006
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Yes, my radar app keeps my car dry. :D back to topic
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well here I go:

I went from a 2005 SLK 350 to a 2009 SLK 55 AMG

In no particular order,
The power is a great step up as you would imagine. V8 vs V6. 360 hp (pre my ecu tune and headers) vs 268 hp.
Ride is different if you get the 030 package due to suspension/shocks.
I felt lower/closer to the road
No difference in cabin noise but you feel more enclosed in.
I should have skipped the 350 and went straight to the 55
what year are you considering? i assume R171 but differences in pre fl and fl of course
check the brochures. you know where they are.
pre has the bigger brakes.
You will never regret getting it
all 55s 'suffer' from the seepage of the valve cover gaskets, usually the driver's side
Ask me any specific questions and i will be more than happy to answer if I can
other members will chime in I am sure.
Get the datacards of 55s you are interested in.
read me ecu tune/header thread again and check out my albums (links in my sig block)
Hi Jeff, the one I wanted to get was a 2005. Reason being "Lower Road Tax" (In the UK) and the 'big brakes.' The one I drove was this one:
http://i.imgur.com/4B6bVYv.jpg and believe me I haven't slept right since, soooooooooo, guess what? I just put a deposit on it...Now I have to wait for next week, hummmm. I really feel sad about my 350 though - if I could I'd keep them both........:crying:
http://i.imgur.com/xgIY48K.jpg
 

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datacard?...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When I pick it up next Wednesday, (Fingers crossed) I'll get the Vin number and let you know what it is for the Data card, Jeff...Many thanks, Terence...
 

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2007 SLK55 AMG
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I have a 2007 55 and the interior is slightly different from the earlier models but not a FL. It has Paddles and a slightly shinier Dash, the centre console has only one level rather than two. It is hard to see the difference unless parked up next to each other. I have big Brakes but not the sport Pack.
Paddles can now be easily obtained 'G Paddles'. The extra Tax is only £150 a year or £3 a week.
I did not want to buy a 55 but went out in one, so then I 'Needed One'>:D
Changing from a similar car is hard, as most of it looks the same.
The only thing you might regret is the fuel consumption.
The Sound....:grin:
 

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SLK350 vs 55AMG

Well here I go:

R171 but differences in pre fl and fl of course
check the brochures. you know where they are.
pre has the bigger brakes.
I have spent the last 10 odd yrs thrashing about in various C-klasse AMG's. I am still new to the SLK and thus have a question for JB: What is the "FL" you reference above and when did it change from Pre FL to FL? Please elaborate as it was not obvious to me.

I have the 2006 SLK55 and it appears to have big brakes. The front calipers look like they may be 6-piston units? Front and rear rotors are drilled.

My car seems to handle rain driving well with the Conti-sport tires that are on it today. My old C32 was prone to hydroplane but I usually installed ultra-summer tread tires since I almost never drive my MB's in the rain. Cannot say I love the Contis overall but that is due to their quirky handling in bumpy corners. It has never seen snow and I hope it never does. I usually drive them only on clear sunny days. Thanks to El Nino, we have seen a lot of those this year.

My experience with used AMG's is this: Most AMG owners pamper their cars, maintain it well, and keep it covered or indoors. As such, they tend to be excellent used car buys. They do get driven hard sometimes but the fact is that on the street it is damn hard to drive one hard for more than a few seconds. I consider myself to be a "Very Aggressive Driver" and 99+% of my time in the AMG's will find me using less than 10% throttle. I never drive it hard when the engine is cold and I use only the best on it as far as maintenance. I find the dealer with the best AMG techs in my area to maintain it and store it out of the weather. I keep it clean and never expose it to road salt or unpaved roads. I really don't drive it any faster than I do my pickup truck 4x4 most of the time. The last two AMG's that I owned were both well over 100k miles when I sold them and both looked and drove like new cars when I let them go.

My daughter's Honda Civic Si costs more to maintain than my AMG's do. Think about that one for a while. Sure a major failure on an AMG can cost a lot to fix but most of them do not break. They are well made using the best metalurgy and they are not stressed all that hard in "typical" (i.e. Non-racetrack/non-autobahn) driving. While her Civic is screaming along at 4000rpm on the interstate, I am loafing along at <2500 most of the time. Her car needs to be spining above 5500 to make its most serious power and it will rev to almost 8500 before it signs off. Rubber cam belts are costly to replace and while it too does not fail often, the cost of repairs is not cheap. Water pumps, cam belts, clutch plates, and axles all come to mind as repairs that were needed at one time or another.

Irish
 

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Founding Member 2006
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FL is facelift. it started in 2007 Europe. Arrived in USA in May or so 2008 for model year 2009

R171 (2004–2010)[edit]


2004–2008 SLK 280 pre-facelift
The R171 features a number of revisions compared to its predecessor, the R170: a 30mm longer wheelbase, increased length (72mm) and width (65mm),[13] 40% increased use of high strength steel,[13] seven-speed automatic transmission, adaptive two-stage airbags, head/thorax sidebags and a revised roof mechanism (marketed as the Vario roof) deployable in 22 seconds (previously 25 seconds) with a rotary-pivoting rear window enabling a more compact folded roof stack and trunk storage increased by 63 litres with the roof retracted.[13] Optional features include remote operation of the retractable hardtop as well as a forced air, neck-level heating system integral to the headrests, marketed as Airscarf.[13]
The fully galvanized bodywork, which features 19 percent improvement in static bending and 46 percent improvement in torsional strength with the roof down, also features a 3% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, with a Cd value of 0.32.[13] The design has been aerodynamically optimized to minimize interior draughts with the top retracted and includes a fabric windblocker which can be pulled up over the two roll-over bars.[13] Mercedes marketed the R171's tapering front end styling by designer Steve Mattin as "Formula One-inspired".[13]
Models of this SLK include:
SLK 200 Kompressor – 1.8 L 120 kW (163 PS; 161 hp) I4 supercharged engine, 0–100 km/h (62 mph) 7.9 seconds, top speed of 143 mph. (not available in Canada and the United States)
SLK 300 (known as SLK 280 in some markets) – 3.0 L (2996 cc) 170 kW (231 PS; 228 hp) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0–100 km/h (62 mph) 6.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph. (starting in 2006 model year)
SLK 350 – new 3.5 L (3498 cc) 200 kW (272 PS; 268 hp) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0–100 km/h (62 mph) 5.4 seconds, top speed 155 mph ou 250 km/h(electronically limited).
SLK 55 AMG – 5.4 L (5439 cc) 265 kW (360 PS; 355 hp) V8 engine, 0–100 km/h (62 mph) 4.9 seconds, top speed 155 mph (249 km/h). A modified version of this model was used in Formula One as its Safety Car during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.[14] The SLK55 AMG was also the first Mercedes tuned by AMG's Performance Studio to create the new "Black Series".
R171 facelift (2007)[edit]
In January 2008 at the Detroit Motor Show, the SLK-Class facelift was launched, following pre-show announcements in December 2007 with the first American owner being James Glass on Johnson City TN.[15] The R171 facelift included new engines, with a particular improvement to the SLK 200 and 350 with more power and better fuel efficiency. The exterior changes were subtle, with alterations limited to the front bumper design and new wing mirrors.[16]
SLK 200 Kompressor – 1.8 L 135 kW (184 PS; 181 hp) I4 supercharged engine
SLK 350 – 3.5 L (3498 cc) 224 kW (305 PS; 300 hp) DOHC V6 engine
SLK 300 and 55 AMG retained their existing engines
 

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Ride is different if you get the 030 package due to suspension/shocks.
Could someone tell me how the sports suspension pack (labelled 486 on the datacard) on a 350 fits into this scheme of things? My 350 has this, along with 18" wheels. It feels to be a well balanced sporty ride to me, more forgiving than some of my previous sports cars but more composed than them on a bumpy b-road.
 
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