In keeping with tradition, Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division will again shove a large V-8 engine into the company’s latest SLK roadster — but in a break from its recent use of forced induction, that engine will likely be a normally aspirated V-8 engine.
According to Autocar, the next SLK55 will use a version of the company’s new twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 from the E63 AMG — albeit without the turbochargers. Skipping the turbos will likely restrict output to 416 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, but even so, that’s an improvement of 60 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque over the last AMG-tuned SLK.
So, why no turbochargers? Autocar’s source claims that if the biturbo engine were stuffed under the hood of the latest SLK, the resulting car would be such a rocket, it could potentially outperform several iterations of its big brother, the SL. We’re all for a compact pocket-rocket, but an SLK outshining the vaunted SL — and at a lower price point — could embarrass some of the top brass within Stuttgart.
Even without the turbos, the AMG-tuned SLK should also receive multi-stage exhausts, which maintain a low profile around town and then open gradually under higher throttle inputs. Keeping with a low profile, the car also receives a new cylinder management system, which can shut off four cylinders under light throttle. It should be good enough for 33.2 mpg on the EU combined cycle and 199g/km. Numbers for the U.S.-spec cars and EPA test cycles haven’t yet been announced, but more information should emerge closer to the car’s reveal this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The SLK55 AMG should hit showrooms sometime early in 2012, with an estimated price of 55,000 British pounds ($88,731).