Reports of a new 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK coupe/convertible are bubbling, with a zinger that the new SLK could add a plug-in hybrid version in its next generation.
Automobile Magazine reports the new SLK is being prepared for a 2011 calendar-year introduction, and that it's going on a serious diet. The next SLK, they write, will lose about 200 pounds while getting a slight boost in cargo space.
New powertrains may also be in the mix, with a 300-350 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 tipped for release some time after the car's official debut. That's on top of today's V-6 engine in the current SLK. A twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-8 making more than 470 horsepower in an SLK AMG version is also rumored, though that would require a new powerplant for Benz's in-house tuning division--something they only recently got in the 6.2-liter V-8 coming in the 2011 SLS AMG gullwing.
A new four-cylinder diesel could be applied to non-U.S. cars. That engine's already coming to the U.S. in the GLK ute; interestingly, TheCarConnection has learned the oil-burner's design was largely executed by Hyundai as a part of the GEMA world-engine program that also builds four-cylinders for Chrysler and Hyundai.
The illustration here, based on spy shots published by MotorAuthority, suggests how the proportions of the new roadster could change, based on designs of new vehicles that have been introduced since the SLK bowed in 2005. The influences of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe are clear up front, in the grille shape and headlamps.
Likely appearing in America as a 2012 model, the next Benz SLK may not change much in pricing, staying roughly at the $46,000 price point as the current sportscar.