SLK caught in the act

A dis­guised Merc hints at 2011, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

IT WILL be two years be­fore Mercedes-Benz has a se­ri­ous chal­lenger to BMW’s gor­geous new Z4 road­ster. The CLK is al­ready dead, though the last hand­ful are still lurk­ing in Aus­tralian show­rooms, and de­vel­op­ment work on its other new drop­tops will not pro­duce a re­sult un­til some time next year.

The born-again Gull­wing sports car is com­ing this year, most likely at the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber.

But the E-Class con­vert­ible that takes over from the CLK is a 2010 propo­si­tion.

But there is some­thing else, with the forth­com­ing re­place­ment for the SLK caught dur­ing test­ing last week in Europe.

The third-gen­er­a­tion SLK, caught by Carparazzi, is run­ning in heavy dis­guise, but there are clear point­ers to the car that will be on the road in Aus­tralia in 2011.

The fold­ing metal roof con­tin­ues and the grille and head­lamps are more upright and squared-off than the cur­rent SLK.

The car loses the F1-in­spired nose seen on the McLaren-Mercedes SLF for a smoother look that’s more in line with the lat­est E-Class sedan. Other tweaks ex- pected are day­time LED run­ning lamps, the new Mercedes door han­dles and larger ex­ter­nal mir­rors ‘‘stand­ing’’ on the door in­stead of ahead of the side win­dow.

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