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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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Discussion Starter #1
SLK = sporty, light and short—in German: sportlich (sporty), leicht (light) und kurz (short) right ?

Well in 1997 the SLK230 still came with a traditional long nose-shorter rear, sports cars proportions but a proper long trunk, (not like the truncated style now , Z4, TT, Elise)
A styling friend of mine always said "great proportions first, then surfaces, then the details" I think Mauer & Gunak got it right in all three areas.
The interior fits people 186cm (6’3’). It has a generous boot for a sports car, a big engine bay with long crush zones and it fits the folding roof with luggage space left.
The "packaging" in the SLK is really clever
The SLK230 has great turning circle is easy to park, but it’s not really short.

So how Kompakt or Kurz was it?
Below are a list of what I would have thought of as short compact sporty cars, and sports cars from different eras. (or as they say in the states…. errors)

Where do you think the SLK230 sits in this list ?
Some of these are famously short and nimble, some just look really small, some are trying to look small
How many cars are longer than the SLK230? how many shorter ?

- Pick a number (from 23 to zero ) that represents How Many On This List Are Shorter Than The 1998 SLK R170

No cheating and looking up Wikipedia, with a list this long you’ll be there a while if you do, and it's supposed to be a subjective test.

Answers shortly….

The List-
Austin Healey 100-6...........1958
Renault Alpine A110...........1965
Porsche 912......................1967
OPEL GT series 1 ..............1970
Lotus Elan Plus 2 ..............1970
Lotus Europa ................... 1970
Jensen Healey ..................1974
MGB rubber bumper...........1975
Triumph TR7 ....................1979
Boxster series 1................1997
Audi TT series 1................1998
BMW Z3...........................1998
SLK R170........................1998
VW Beetle cabrio...............1998
Peugeot 306 cabrio............2001
Honda S2000....................2001
BMW Z4 ..........................2004
Mazda MX-5 NC................2008
OPEL GT...........................2010
Mini Countryman...............2010
Honda CRZ.......................2010
Mini 5door........................2016
Boxster series 3................2016
Alfa Romeo 4C..................2016

I'll get back to you in a day or two.

Jeremy's not on the list !
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
OK, I can see everyone's really into this question, well not much, so I'll move to the results.
I am a bit surprised there's not a comment about Jeremy driving the pinnacle of his career.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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98,349 Posts
Well it is Saturday :D
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well, the answer is 4th.

Now In order from shortest

Mini 5door.............2016...............3982.......13 mm shorter
Alfa Romeo 4C.......2016...............3990.......5 mm shorter
Lotus Europa ........1970...............3994........1 mm shorter
SLK R170.............1998...............3995......(4th)
Austin Healey..100-6.1958.............4000
MGB 1975 rubber bumper..............4019
Mazda MX-5..NC.....2008...............4020
Audi TT series 1.....1998...............4041
BMW Z3................1998...............4046
Renault Alpine A110.1961-77........ 4050
Triumph TR7...........1979..............4064
Honda CRZ.............2010..............4080
BMW Z4.................2004..............4090
OPEL GT.................2010..............4091
Mini Countryman.....2010..............4097
OPEL GT series 1.....1970..............4113
Jensen Healey.........1974..............4115
Honda S2000..........2001..............4119
VW Beetle cabrio.....1998..............4129
Porsche 912............1967..............4135
Peugeot 306 cabrio..2001..............4179
Lotus Elan Plus 2.....1970..............4293
Boxster series 1......1997..............4343
Boxster series 3......2016..............4375

So back in the early 90's M-B committed to make a really short convertible, that still had to be prestigious and packed with features. This was a pretty bold move, but it worked, with sales exceeding plans by a big margin.

There are some cars on this list that I was sure just had to be shorter than the SLK, like the early Opel GT, TT, CRZ, Lotus Europa, all the MX-5's, Beetle,.

You can see I have been somewhat selective. early MGBs, TR2,3,4,5,6, Lotus Elan, CRX Honda, and the other Austin Healeys are indeed shorter.
Why does it matter? It doesn't. It's just an observation, that perception of size of cars, doesn't always match reality.
 

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Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
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28,748 Posts
Well, 7 hours is not long on this forum.


RoTM can disappear from the front page in that time.


Without cheating and overly studying the list (some serious classics there, nice list).


A little scientific illogic gives me


SEVEN!


I'll reveal why when the answer comes out in a couple of days. :tu:
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Is Saturday a slow business day for the forum then?
Great Reliant Robin video. thanks
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350-sold
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997 Posts
I was surprised that when I had the Crossfire I compared it to my father-in-laws Boxster and was amazed it was shorter in length, and width, and just a hair taller. So after learning that I am not as surprised as I would have been to your list.
From my personal experience, last summer when I drove around Lake Huron and Lake Superior in my SLK350, I took the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry from Tobormory to Manitoulin Island, and the rates for cars less than 14' was cheaper.
Fares ? Owen Sound Transportation Company
The guy at the booth quoted me the normal price, and when I asked "I thought small cars were less" he said "yes, but only the real small ones less than 14' " I told him it was, and he made me pull over to where they had the lines painted on the ground and he was surprised that it was less than 14'.
 

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Registered 2020 SLC200
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883 Posts
Now In order from shortest

Mini 5door.............2016...............3982.......13 mm shorter
Alfa Romeo 4C.......2016...............3990.......5 mm shorter
Lotus Europa ........1970...............3994........1 mm shorter
SLK R170.............1998...............3995......(4th)
Austin Healey..100-6.1958.............4000
MGB 1975 rubber bumper..............4019
Mazda MX-5..NC.....2008...............4020
Audi TT series 1.....1998...............4041
BMW Z3................1998...............4046
Renault Alpine A110.1961-77........ 4050
Triumph TR7...........1979..............4064
Honda CRZ.............2010..............4080
BMW Z4.................2004..............4090
OPEL GT.................2010..............4091
Mini Countryman.....2010..............4097
OPEL GT series 1.....1970..............4113
Jensen Healey.........1974..............4115
Honda S2000..........2001..............4119
VW Beetle cabrio.....1998..............4129
Porsche 912............1967..............4135
Peugeot 306 cabrio..2001..............4179
Lotus Elan Plus 2.....1970..............4293
Boxster series 1......1997..............4343
Boxster series 3......2016..............4375

So back in the early 90's M-B committed to make a really short convertible, that still had to be prestigious and packed with features. This was a pretty bold move, but it worked, with sales exceeding plans by a big margin.

There are some cars on this list that I was sure just had to be shorter than the SLK, like the early Opel GT, TT, CRZ, Lotus Europa, all the MX-5's, Beetle,.

You can see I have been somewhat selective. early MGBs, TR2,3,4,5,6, Lotus Elan, CRX Honda, and the other Austin Healeys are indeed shorter.
Why does it matter? It doesn't. It's just an observation, that perception of size of cars, doesn't always match reality.
I'm stunned!


And then the irony.


Making it longer for the 171
but it's still shorter than:

OPEL GT.................2010..............4091
Mini Countryman.....2010..............4097
OPEL GT series 1.....1970..............4113
Jensen Healey.........1974..............4115
Honda S2000..........2001..............4119
VW Beetle cabrio.....1998..............4129
Porsche 912............1967..............4135
Peugeot 306 cabrio..2001..............4179
Lotus Elan Plus 2.....1970..............4293
Boxster series 1......1997..............4343
Boxster series 3......2016..............4375
 

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Registered 2017 SL400
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1,207 Posts
It is all in the eye. My wife has a B class (which I thought was shortish) - she is parking it in the garage until my Sl arrives and she was saying that it just fits. I'm not at home and thought she was wrong (there are cupboards at the end). It is about 4m and the SL is only about 400mm longer.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350-sold
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997 Posts
I used to have a 2005 PT Cruiser Convertible, and was surprised that it was 14' long as well, (less than an inch over 14' actually) and still shorter than the Lotus and Boxsters on that list, with a back seat.
Is the R172 about the same as the R171?
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
R171 4087 - 4102 mm Long
R172 4134 - 4146 mm

So over 3 series it has grown about 6" longer, 4" wider
and height has varied up and down by about 1/2"
 
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