For the first time, Mercedes-Benz is offering the sporty SLK Roadster with a diesel engine. The 204 hp four-cylinder power unit puts the two-seater at the top of its class in numerous respects.

With a fuel consumption of 56.5 mpg on the combined cycle, it is the most economical roadster in its segment. Thanks to its enormous torque of 500 newton metres it accelerates from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds. The result is superior driving enjoyment both on winding country roads and on long motorway stretches. Like the other models in the latest SLK family, which launched in June 2011, it combines lively sportiness with high-quality appointments and excellent comfort.

Diesel drive and roadster excitement do not go together – or so a common misconception would have it. Mercedes-Benz impressively demonstrates the contrary with the new SLK 250 CDI. Its four-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 2143 cc generates an output of 204 hp and 500 newton metres of torque – as much as a petrol engine with twice the displacement would normally generate. This makes the new SLK 250 CDI the most powerful diesel model in its class, and gives the roadster the potential for extremely sporty performance.

Equipped with the standard 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission (a six-speed manual transmission will follow in the second quarter of next year), the diesel SLK sprints from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds and achieves a top speed of 150 mph.

Apart from this, the SLK 250 CDI is the most economical and therefore environmentally compatible roadster in its segment. It returns 56.5 mpg and emits CO2 emissions of just 132 g/km. In other words, the diesel SLK combines thoroughbred sports car performance with the fuel economy of a sub-compact. This guarantees great driving pleasure with great fuel efficiency.

The diesel engine achieves its exemplary output, torque, fuel consumption and emissions figures, as well as its highly impressive smoothness for a diesel unit, thanks to an extensive package of innovative technologies. These include fourth-generation common-rail injection with a rail pressure of 2000 bar and precise injection timing, as well as two-stage turbocharging. Like all SLK models, the SLK 250 CDI also features a start/stop system as standard.

The frugal fuel consumption makes the SLK 250 CDI a car with superior long-distance qualities. Using the European motorways, it is for example quite possible to drive from the North Sea to a beach on the Mediterranean non-stop. Very comfortable sports seats, a comfortable suspension setup and the largest luggage capacity in this segment also do their bit to create the right conditions.

As it shares the same genes with the other members of the successful SLK family, the SLK 250 CDI combines lightfooted sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports car design and absolute day-to-day suitability, while delivering top performance with exemplary ecology. This means that the diesel version too provides open-top driving enjoyment at an extraordinarily high level.

The SLK 250 CDI is likewise available with a choice of three versions of the famous vario-roof – one of them the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. This glass roof can be changed from dark to transparent at the touch of a button. There are also three suspension versions available: a conventional steel suspension, a sports suspension with a stiffer spring and damper setup or a suspension with an electronically controlled, fully automatic damping system. The latter is part of the Dynamic Handling package, which also includes the Direct-Steer system and the Torque Vectoring Brake developed by Mercedes-Benz for particularly agile and predictable handling characteristics.

Externally the new SLK 250 CDI is no different in appearance from the petrol models. It even retains the twin exhaust system, and therefore has the same exciting look for which all the SLK models are known.

The new SLK 250 CDI will go on sale in the UK early in 2012, pricing is still to be confirmed.