PORTLAND, Ore. - Mercedes-Benz is moving the second-generation SLK roadster upscale with more power and a higher entry price to target performance-hungry buyers.
The 2005 SLK350 starts at $46,220, including $720 destination.
It will only be available with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
Mercedes is dropping the previous generation's four-cylinder SLK230 priced at $40,320.
"We didn't have a lot of buyers that buy because of a car's performance," says Doug Worrell product manager for coupes and convertibles at Mercedes-Benz USA LLC. "They would simply go after the (Porsche) Boxster, (BMW) Z4, or something else in the segment.
"When you look at the overall segment, and when you hear the comments of our current customers, they buy the car because of the retractable top, the luxury, safety and convenience."