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Sadly Woolly has passed away
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This quote says it all:-

Our tip: If you are looking for a sporty Mercedes SLK, look for a well-maintained copy of the previous model (R171) out. This strains the purse less and is also 1.6 seconds faster at Hockenheim on the road than the current Mercedes SLK 350, which requires 1.18,8 minutes at Hockenheim.
Mind you, a proper test should have included these two :D



Vs:-

 

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Premium Member 1999 SLK230-sold
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Discussion Starter #3
LOL nice Woolly, so the Nose on the R 172 got a bit heavier.......:eek::eek::eek:

just saying.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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not W171 but our slk the r171
 

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This quote says it all:
says it all about what though?

the article suggests that neither the r171 or r172 350 holds its own in that company around Hockenheim:

boxster - 1:14.9
jag f-type - 1:15.2
elise 1:15.6
slk 350 - 1:18.8 (so r171 = 1:17.2)

and let's not forget that the r171 55 is quoted at 1:17.7

added: also of note is the r171 350 they quoted was manual, the r172 was an auto.
 

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What is that business about the transmission shifting in manual mode?

One of the things about the one I drove was that the manual mode worked as expected, it would only shift when exceeding the comfortable rpm ratings.
 

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Ranking them before reading the article.

1. Boxster
2. Jaguar F-type
3. Elise
4. SLK350 (Almost always last in any roadster test)

edit: after reading the article.

No actual rankings, just talk about the good and bad of each vehicle.
 

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says it all about what though?

the article suggests that neither the r171 or r172 350 holds its own in that company around Hockenheim:

boxster - 1:14.9
jag f-type - 1:15.2
elise 1:15.6
slk 350 - 1:18.8 (so r171 = 1:17.2)

and let's not forget that the r171 55 is quoted at 1:17.7

added: also of note is the r171 350 they quoted was manual, the r172 was an auto.
The 1:17.7 for the SLK55 was done at the same time as a 1:18.7 for the SLK350

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://www.sportauto.de/vergleichstest/bmw-z4-und-z4-m-roadster-gegen-mercedes-slk-350-und-slk-55-amg-blau-weiss-oder-stern-wer-baut-die-besseren-cabrios-1326840.html

The 1:17.2 for the SLK350 was done over a year later with a likely better driver and perhaps better conditions, so maybe a 1:16.2 for an SLK55 with equivalent driver? Still not as good as the Elise, etc., but at least it's in the same neighborhood ... also, pick a track with more straight-aways and the SLK55 would probably do much better.
 

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Here are all the timings that they captured - with transmission and quoted hp:

350 (r171 6sp - 272 hp [pre-facelift] ) 1:18.7 - June 2006
350 (r171 - 6sp - 305 hp [post facelift] ) 1:17.2 - June 2008
350 (r171 - 6sp - 305 hp [ post facelift] ) 1:17.2 - April 2009

350 (r172 - auto - 306 hp) 1:18.7 - May 2013
350 (r172 - auto - 306 hp) 1:18.8 - April 2014

55 (r171 - auto - 360hp) 1:17.7 - June 2006
55 (r172 - auto - 421 hp) 1:14.8 - June 2012

source: http://www.sportauto.de/rundenzeiten-hockenheimring-3650022.html?p=20&sort=Name

There was a bump in power when they facelifted the 350 from 272hp to 305hp which would account for the better times posted after.

so the facelifted 350 in the tests had a good glug of power, was lighter and had a manual transmission.

on a track like Hockenheim, it's no surprise that the manual transmission makes such a difference. as you said, if there were longer straights then the extra grunt of the 55 would offset the transmission.
 

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Here are all the timings that they captured - with transmission and quoted hp:

350 (r171 6sp - 272 hp [pre-facelift] ) 1:18.7 - June 2006
350 (r171 - 6sp - 305 hp [post facelift] ) 1:17.2 - June 2008
350 (r171 - 6sp - 305 hp [ post facelift] ) 1:17.2 - April 2009

350 (r172 - auto - 306 hp) 1:18.7 - May 2013
350 (r172 - auto - 306 hp) 1:18.8 - April 2014

55 (r171 - auto - 360hp) 1:17.7 - June 2006
55 (r172 - auto - 421 hp) 1:14.8 - June 2012

source: http://www.sportauto.de/rundenzeiten-hockenheimring-3650022.html?p=20&sort=Name

There was a bump in power when they facelifted the 350 from 272hp to 305hp which would account for the better times posted after.

so the facelifted 350 in the tests had a good glug of power, was lighter and had a manual transmission.

on a track like Hockenheim, it's no surprise that the manual transmission makes such a difference. as you said, if there were longer straights then the extra grunt of the 55 would offset the transmission.
unless you have the same driver and same conditions, I don't think you can directly compare the times
 

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then you'd almost never be able to compare anything in the car world.

but it is possible to look at the data and make sensible inferences.

the facelift 350 had more hp than the pre-facelift, so you could reasonably expect it to be faster than the pre-facelift, and it was.

the r171 55 is heavier than the 350 - affecting braking and handling, and it's always going to be hampered by the auto transmission vs the manual in the 350. combine that with a track that doesn't let the 55 use its power to best effect and the result isn't really all that surprising.

the r172 55 has more hp and some other trickery (like the inside rear wheel braking in cornering), so it's reasonable to expect that to be faster than the r171 55 - and it was.

does that sound reasonable to you - or do you think there's something specific that driver/conditions have skewed?
 

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Premium Member 2012 SLK350
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then you'd almost never be able to compare anything in the car world.

but it is possible to look at the data and make sensible inferences.

the facelift 350 had more hp than the pre-facelift, so you could reasonably expect it to be faster than the pre-facelift, and it was.

the r171 55 is heavier than the 350 - affecting braking and handling, and it's always going to be hampered by the auto transmission vs the manual in the 350. combine that with a track that doesn't let the 55 use its power to best effect and the result isn't really all that surprising.

the r172 55 has more hp and some other trickery (like the inside rear wheel braking in cornering), so it's reasonable to expect that to be faster than the r171 55 - and it was.

does that sound reasonable to you - or do you think there's something specific that driver/conditions have skewed?
Excellent summation!
 

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then you'd almost never be able to compare anything in the car world.

but it is possible to look at the data and make sensible inferences.

the facelift 350 had more hp than the pre-facelift, so you could reasonably expect it to be faster than the pre-facelift, and it was.

the r171 55 is heavier than the 350 - affecting braking and handling, and it's always going to be hampered by the auto transmission vs the manual in the 350. combine that with a track that doesn't let the 55 use its power to best effect and the result isn't really all that surprising.

the r172 55 has more hp and some other trickery (like the inside rear wheel braking in cornering), so it's reasonable to expect that to be faster than the r171 55 - and it was.

does that sound reasonable to you - or do you think there's something specific that driver/conditions have skewed?

Your argument is like saying A beats B, C beats B, thus C beats A. I didn't say it is impossible that is the case, but you certainly haven't proven it so.

The driver is one of the most important features in any track time.
We know nothing about who drove the cars - there's almost 3 whole years between the two runs. If we can at least say they are both high-level professional drivers, that would help, but who knows??

The SLK55 run was in June, whereas the facelift 350 run was in April, which likely helps since it is cooler but not cold enough for the track surface to be negatively affected.

You also left off the difference in brakes, which is also very important.

You can't just say one car is slightly heavier but has an automatic (with a manual mode) so that offsets the much better brakes and 50 more horsepower. Did the SLK55 in either run use manual mode? I didn't look at the facelift article, but there was certainly nothing in the initial article about it.

I'm saying there are too many differences and unknowns to make a direct comparison between the two.
 

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Sadly Woolly has passed away
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.. .. .. I'm saying there are too many differences and unknowns to make a direct comparison between the two.
The bottom line is, on public, open roads, there is very little difference between all models of SLK - it all depends so much on timing (being in a certain place at a certain time ), the driver, who's in front of you, and who's coming the other way. Does 1 or two seconds (let alone fractions of a second ) make any difference, when you are just having a blast out? If you wanted a 'beat everything on the track car', you wouldn't buy an SLK :)
 

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I cant help thinking manual mode in the slk would be horrible around hockenheim thanks to its pull-and-wait approach to gear delivery. I know that on the very twisty roads I could tear up with sequential manual transmissions, the auto trans in the r172 55 feels downright lethargic as it simply can't respond fast enough to paddle pulls to give me the gear I want when I want it. Made even worse if I want to drop down more than one gear. sport auto mode gives a closer match to the gears I want, but still nowhere near as good as a manual. It does work really well on more open roads though.

As for brakes, here are c & d's figures for 70-0:

slk 350 (04) pre-facelift - 167ft
slk 350 (09) facelift - 166ft
slk 55 r171 - 156ft

that's 6%

If you wanted a 'beat everything on the track car', you wouldn't buy an SLK
exactly - the slk is a package car, not a top-trumps car.
 

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I cant help thinking manual mode in the slk would be horrible around hockenheim thanks to its pull-and-wait approach to gear delivery. I know that on the very twisty roads I could tear up with sequential manual transmissions, the auto trans in the r172 55 feels downright lethargic as it simply can't respond fast enough to paddle pulls to give me the gear I want when I want it. Made even worse if I want to drop down more than one gear. sport auto mode gives a closer match to the gears I want, but still nowhere near as good as a manual. It does work really well on more open roads though.

As for brakes, here are c & d's figures for 70-0:

slk 350 (04) pre-facelift - 167ft
slk 350 (09) facelift - 166ft
slk 55 r171 - 156ft

that's 6%



exactly - the slk is a package car, not a top-trumps car.
A standard 6M box R) is the real deal.... :biglaugh:
 

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I've been around Sports Cars and Sports Car People since the 50's. I always see a lot of "Porsche People" actually using their cars for Sports Car Club type competitions. High and Low Speed Auto-crossing, Club Track Days on a Road Racing Course etc. Also a lot of them actually running SCCA Competition Classes etc. Certainly not EVERY Porsche Owner… but always lots of them at those types of Car/Driver amateur competition events.

Likewise always a lot of Corvette Owners and more recently Lotus Owners…

On the other hand I've very rarely seen M/B SL or SLK owners actually using their cars on a Competition Road Course etc. Likewise only a couple of older XK-E's still being used in any type of competition events

While all four of these cars may be called "Sports Cars" - they are aimed at, and purchased by quite different personality types for quite different uses.

So in my personal opinion - lining these 4 up and using Track Times to compare them - is just silly. The magazines just throw them all together - so that there are indeed a couple slower cars on the track - just to make the Porsche/Lotus look good.

Want to make the Porsche / Lotus look slow - throw a basic Corvette in the mix. It will blow the doors off all four of them with ease and it's in the same price range.

IMHO - Any of these cars have to be evaluated based on what they are intended to do - for the types of buyers that put their money down. I really would not want to make all the compromises necessary to turn a Grand Touring car into the fastest it could be on a track test.

Just my thoughts…
Carl B.
 

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I cant help thinking manual mode in the slk would be horrible around hockenheim thanks to its pull-and-wait approach to gear delivery. I know that on the very twisty roads I could tear up with sequential manual transmissions, the auto trans in the r172 55 feels downright lethargic as it simply can't respond fast enough to paddle pulls to give me the gear I want when I want it. Made even worse if I want to drop down more than one gear. sport auto mode gives a closer match to the gears I want, but still nowhere near as good as a manual. It does work really well on more open roads though.

As for brakes, here are c & d's figures for 70-0:

slk 350 (04) pre-facelift - 167ft
slk 350 (09) facelift - 166ft
slk 55 r171 - 156ft

that's 6%



exactly - the slk is a package car, not a top-trumps car.
Sport Auto mode is better than Manual (Auto) mode? Manual mode holds the gear, doesn't it?

A straight shift doesn't instantly hit the gear you want either, you still have to clutch (which takes your foot off the gas obviously unless you're a crazy man power-shifting)/ shift ... that doesn't take a long time, but it's not instantaneous either.
 

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Sport Auto mode is better than Manual (Auto) mode? Manual mode holds the gear, doesn't it?

A straight shift doesn't instantly hit the gear you want either, you still have to clutch (which takes your foot off the gas obviously unless you're a crazy man power-shifting)/ shift ... that doesn't take a long time, but it's not instantaneous either.
Not instantaneous, but I can brake into a corner and go from 6th to 3rd in one shift at the same time so that when I get back on the power, the gearbox isn't shifting down on the exit.. Plus it's more fun to R) the car along IMHO..
 
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