Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches

Production Cars 17 Mar 2011
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches

Mercedes-Benz has released the official design story of the new SLK, unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. We report the selected information along with a new gallery of design sketches.

Check the gallery of sketches and photos or read below the selected information form the official design story.

From the official Press Release:

Exterior Design

Mercedes-Benz SLK Design SketchGorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars, comments “The SLK continues the illustrious roadster tradition of Mercedes-Benz, and excitingly takes it into the future.

“The design idiom accentuates its lively, sporty presence, and is also sculptural. It expresses personality and sensuality. The same applies to the interior.

“High-grade materials, lovingly crafted details and a very exclusive finish characterise the essentially very sporty atmosphere.”

Front end

Mercedes-Benz SLK Full scale model The front-end is characterized by the upright radiator grille that bears the new face of the Mercedes-Benz brand.

It facilitates the long and well-proportioned hood and with its rearward light-catching contours it hints at the roadster’s dynamic qualities.

The hood ends with two air intake grilles in front of the windscreen, each embellished with three louvres.

The wide radiator grille bears the Mercedes-Benz star in a prominent central position and displays a powerfully contoured fin, chromed at the front.

Mercedes-Benz SLK Full scale model The headlamps complete the look for the new SLK’s face, and daytime running lamps with chrome surrounds (round lamps in the base version) in the bumper round off the front end.

The “face” of the new SLK is reminiscent of the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many as being the original “SLK”.

The new SLK’s front end also creates a close visual link with the SLS AMG and the new CLS.

Despite the more striking, steeper front and the larger frontal area, the Cd value has been cut to 0.30 (preceding model 0.32).

Side view

Mercedes-Benz SLK dimensions blueprint The vario-roof spans the interior like a drawn bow. When opened it disappears into the trunk, creating the typical roadster silhouette.

From any angle and in any position it blends harmoniously into the overall design.

A fillet conceals the boot joint, so that it does not disturb the side aspect as with similar roof designs.

Neither are the lines disturbed by aerials 
in most equipment variants: in most cases they are integrated into the windscreen, rear window and parcel shelf.

The air outlet grilles with a chromed fin in the front wings are reminiscent of the famous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster from the 1950s. In the new SLK they form the elegant starting point for a feature line which extends right back to the muscular rear wings, and uses light and shadow to lend style and elegance to the side aspect.

This is emphasized by the stemmed exterior mirrors, which have narrow stems painted in the vehicle color, and are positioned on the beltline where they allow a better forward view to the side.

Their aerodynamics also helps to keep the side windows practically dirt-free, while ensuring a low level of wind noise.

Depending on the engine variant, the wheel arches house 16 or 17-inch light-alloy wheels, or 18-inch wheels with mixed-size tires in conjunction with the sports suspension.

Rear end

Mercedes-Benz SLK Design SketchAt the rear the eye is drawn to the integrated spoiler lip and wide tail light clusters. The roll-over bars feature double-skinned plastic claddings with a high-quality soft-look surface. As an optional extra these rear claddings can be of anodized aluminum.

For the first time, the tail lights with their pronounced horizontal emphasis 
are in all-LED technology.

Their upper edge extends forward into the sides, harmoniously culminating in the feature line. A twin exhaust system with trapezoidal tailpipes rounds off the muscular impression created by the rear view.

Interior Design

Mercedes-Benz SLK Interior Design Sketch Echoing the exterior design, the black dashboard emphasizes the horizontal lines and therefore width of the vehicle. On request it is available in a two-tone color scheme and with a leather lining.

Four round, galvanized air vents similar in form to those in the SLS are recessed into the dashboard, creating associations with the dynamism of jet aviation.

Two large dial instruments – a speedometer and a rev counter – flank a display for the information generated by the online computer. The display menus can be accessed by the driver using the control buttons on the steering wheel, without taking his eyes off the road.

Mercedes-Benz SLK Interior Design Sketch The colour display for the communication and entertainment functions is housed in the centre of the dashboard, and can be easily read by both the driver and passenger.

The compact, sports steering wheel has a flattened bottom section and a thick leather rim, while the metal trim on the spokes enhance the impression of sportiness.

Shift paddles to perform upshifts and downshifts in the automatic transmission are available as an option.

The sweeping lines of the upper dashboard section are continued into the door panels. The door centre panel is color-coordinated with the interior. The door openers and seat adjustment switches are trimmed in aluminum or wood.

Mercedes-Benz SLK Interior Design Sketch The sporty, ergonomic seats with adjustable, crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints integrated into the backrests have high side bolsters for optimum lateral support and comfort.

An ambient lighting system available as an option features discreet optical fibers and spots in SOLAR RED, which produce a sporty lighting effect in the door panels, around the door pulls and on both sides of the centre console.

This mood-enhancing ambient lighting is activated when the doors are opened (“welcome home” effect), and its intensity can be individually varied by a dimmer.



Image Gallery

Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 7
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 9
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 13
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 3
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 1
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 11
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 2
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 4
Mercedes-Benz SLK: design sketches - Image 10

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Leave a Comment

  1. Mohamed

    Although the new car has much of the mercedes new design stratigies, the movement of designers between mercedes and BMW drops its shadows on the design. This is clearly shown on the design of the head lights and hood.

  2. 19/3/2011

    Couldn’t agree more. The Z4 characteristic is present and yet subtle in this SLK.

    • Mohamed

      I don’t understand Bucarsa, please explain.

      • 20/3/2011

        What I meant is this; the new Z4 and the new SLK are two different brands in the same market but with similar features which One only need to carefully study and will notice these similarities. Just as you said: “This is clearly shown on the design of the head lights and hood”- especially the hood. There are also other minor details such as the crease surfacing, side air-outlet grilles and not to mention the overall proportion- it’s just the way I see it.

        • Mohamed

          Totally agree with you.

  3. max.9000

    yes your right both are from same country


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