The SLK ditches the boxy, dated look of the old model in favor of the same F1-inspired design cues that differentiate the SL and SLR from the rest of M-Bís lineup. The F1 nose treatment, flared fenders and set-me-free stance beg you to jump in, twist the key and begin your apex-vanquishing quest; the old car had us praying only for top-down cruising days and an impressionable crowd milling around the Neiman Marcus parking lot.
As is the norm whenever a manufacturer introduces a reworked model, the SLK grows appreciably: It is 2.8 inches longer and 3.0 inches wider than its predecessor. Mercedes says the new unibody, which uses more high-strength steel alloy, is 46 percent stiffer in torsional rigidity and 19 percent stiffer in bending rigidity.
The Boxster has undergone a facelift and chassis upgrade too, though the external changes are less conspicuous. Most obvious are new oval headlights separated from the fog lights and turn indicators, as well as a cleaner front bumper, reshaped and larger side intakes, new side mirrors and a revised rear end. Porsche claims the car is 80 percent new. It also claims a 9 percent improvement in torsional stiffness, while resistance to bending increases 14 percent.
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