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One of my friends invited me to a S2000 club meeting. I took my SLK230 there and met some of the import enthusiasts. The cars consisted of a black s2000 with twin CAI, flywheel, upgraded throttle body, full header back exhaust and racing clutch, a silver s2000 with bilstein shocks, struts and springs and a full header back exhaust, body kit and 18 inch rims with michelin pilot sport cups, a orange supercharged s2k with twin cold air intakes and a borla exhuast and lastly a blue stock S2k and of course me. After we talked and I learned about the cars we went for a country road drive with extreme bends at around 11PM. The road was empty and went in between two mountains w/ non stop curve. The first turn was rated as a 35MPH turn and I went in at around 50 mph and started accelerating slowly behind the silver S2000. I kept on accelerating till around 65mph and my back end started to slide progressively but what astonished me was the S2000 was not even giving signs of approaching its limit. I was wondering what I could do to make my car keep up with the S2000s. Even though I was behind by almost 40 car lengths it was still a great run.
 

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Were your tires giving a hint of squeal? If so, try Eagle F1 GSD3 tires. I replaced the Pirellis on my C280 with the F1's and the handling greatly improved.

Once you have tires that glue you to the road, then work out the suspension bits. Grip and handling are two different things, but starting with the best grip should give you hints in the SLK handling department.

My SLK55 came with Pirelli P-Zerro Rosso, so I've got to run them down before I can give a good review. I've only got 1,400 miles on it so far.
 

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try coilovers to lower your cars stance, reduces bodyroll and aids tight cornering. then it is all in your tyres. a strut brace also helps.
 

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I owned a Honda S2000 for 5 years before I bought my SLK 350 this year. If the roads are dry and tyres in good nick then it does hold the road well. However if it is at all wet or the tyres have little tread then beware. Here in England a fair number have been wrecked by enthusiastic driving in the wet plus older versions have no stability control
 

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my friend has an s2k. in a str8 line he is very very very slightly quicker than my 280. however round corners he holds it better, as mine starts to go, but his sticks. they have a differntial as standard which our cars miss alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Were your tires giving a hint of squeal? If so, try Eagle F1 GSD3 tires. I replaced the Pirellis on my C280 with the F1's and the handling greatly improved.

Once you have tires that glue you to the road, then work out the suspension bits. Grip and handling are two different things, but starting with the best grip should give you hints in the SLK handling department.

My SLK55 came with Pirelli P-Zerro Rosso, so I've got to run them down before I can give a good review. I've only got 1,400 miles on it so far.
I have Continental ContiSportContact 2s which are plenty sticky, they are a great tire and I can tell that if the car had less body roll they wouldn't break out as easily, so im thinking about getting some eibach or h and r springs, coilovers are way to expensive...
 

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I was a long standing member of the s2000 club here in New York .We were NY Metro.
Out of the box it is one of the best handling cars for the money anywhere.Mine was SC with Tein adjustable suspension carbon fiber hood and a whole lot of other mods that you could not see.What the car lacked in HP it sure made up in handling .One great ride .
 

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Bobby and mark, fyi the original post is over 6 years old!!!
 

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2000 s2000

I had my S 2000 for about 12 years. I now have my SLK. I'll be lying if I didn't say I was missing my Honda. Handling wise, the S2000 runs circles around my 350 SLK. I think however the seats in the two cars make the cars feel different. The S2000 seats are more Ricaro style and grip you much tighter than the Mercedes does. Also the S2000 has a much quicker ratio feel than the Mercedes.
Remember also the Honda is over a quarter ton lighter then the Mercedes.
When you take all that into account, the Mercedes does a remarkably good job for a luxury vehicle.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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this is funny. original post was over 6 years ago.
and the original poster has not been back on the forum since 11-14-2007
 

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My first thought is low tire pressure. Next time try 34psi cold (should rise to 36psi hot) all around, then adjust from there. The R170 has recirculating ball steering which induces pushing but I found out increasing the tire pressure reduced the push and tire squeal.
Recirculating ball steering has absolutely nothing to do with push (understeer), that is a totally incorrect and misleading comment. Recirculating ball is 'vague' compared to rack and pinion steering, but the geometry doesn't care what the steering box machansim is.

Understeer can be induced by many things, but in general production cars have suspension geometry that is set up that way as for most drivers it's safer than oversteer (loose).

Carrying too much speed on the way into the corner is a good way to overload the front contact patch. Entering the corner off-throttle and squeezing the loud pedal from the apex usually works well.

My preference is for a car that has neutral handling. My/our stock 200 (R171) has a little understeer on slow speed turn-in, but at high speed it tends towards neutral.

Tyre pressures are important as is general condition of the suspension components. Sport pack (stiffened and lowered) helps with bidy dynamics.

Also if you have 16" rims with tall side walls (like me) then some of what you're experiencing is slip-angle. This is effectively distortion or twist in the sidewalls of the tyre. Going to 17" helps. I think 18" or 19" rims result in tyres that are too stiff and unpredictable. In other words they hang on, but let go with less warning.

Good luck, enjoy your 230..


Darn... another necro bump... :(
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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great! now I have to get my American English to Old English dictionary out:

whinge
/(h)winj/
Verb
Complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way.
Noun
An act of complaining in such a way.
Synonyms
whine
 

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The best way to put the smackdown on the S2000 is to upgrade to the SLK55....but keep your SLK350 badge as a stick on....
 

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The OP was in a 230

A well driven 350 with manual box and sport pack suspension would IMHO give an S2000 a run for it's money. That said, the SLK isn't as hard core as the Honda. Aimed at a different part of the market, does a different job.

I wouldn't personally be interested in using an SLK for autocross. If I wanted to do that I'd have an Elise or a Caterham/Westfield..
 
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