The roadster evolution at Mercedes-Benz started in February 1954 when, after just five months of development, the 190 SL celebrated its world premiere in New York, alongside the legendary 300 SL "gullwing".
Series production started in May 1955. The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was built up until 1963, with no less than 25,881 cars leaving the assembly lines during the production period.
By 1996 everything was in place: the series production version of the new SLK, designated internally as the R 170, was launched at the Turin Motor Show. Using an intelligent electro-hydraulic system, the entire roof folded down into the boot in just 25 seconds.
In February 2000, the SLK undergoes a comprehensive facelift that included the addition of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), a six-speed manual transmission and SPEEDTRONIC in its standard equipment package. A new bumper and side skirts, new taillights, stainless steel trim on the exhaust tailpipe and a painted radiator grille were also included.
In the spring of 2004, the second generation of the SLK (internal model series designation: R 171) was launched, and with it, as a world first, Mercedes-Benz introduced the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system. In 2008, the facelift for the second generation of the SLK was introduced.
Finally, the new SLK, which was presented in January 2011 and designated internally as the R 172, will now also follow in these same footsteps, coming with a new design, high levels of comfort and no shortage of open-air driving pleasure.