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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG badgeI think we've established that my job pretty much rocks, but some days rock more than others. Example of extreme rockingness: Someone hands you the keys to a 355 horsepower two-seat roadster and says "Drive this for a week." Case in point: The Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG (which, like the other SLK models, recieved a round of updates for 2009). Of course, my job isn't just to drive 'em, it's to write about 'em, good and bad. And with the SLK55 AMG, there was a bit of both. Get the details in my 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG test drive.-- Aaron Gold


Photo © Aaron Gold

July 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm
(1) J Kyle says:

It says something about AMG lately that I see 355hp and I think, “is that all?” Their stuff has been completely over the top recently. I certainly can’t afford ‘em (and wouldn’t buy until they start putting proper stick shifts in them), but I do love the style of these modern AMGs – they’re much more exciting to look at than comparable BMWs and Audis, IMHO.

July 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm
(2) Gary from Atlanta says:

AMG trully builds the finest cars on the planet. I am a huge fan, but I never liked this model of Mercedes. Most new models have immediate appeal. This has always appeared to me to be something that might be made buy GM or Chrysler. Kyle, hate to tell you, but stick shifts are as good as gone. They are becoming pointless antiquated technology. The car can do it faster and better than your hand and foot. It may be fun, but it will soon be a thing of the past. F1, IRL, ALMS, all real racecars have some form of simiautomatic transmission. Only the dinosaurs of nascar still shift. Of course they use carborators and bus driver steering wheels. Maybe thats why american cars tend to suck so bad, our racing is still stuck in the past. Bring on the F1 KERS system.

July 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm
(3) borrisbatanov says:

Can’t stand Eurosnobs. Why not get a Vette C6 Z06 for about the same money? The Z can slay this cute litte MB puppy.

July 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm
(4) J Kyle says:

Gary, you’re wrong about stick shifts. They’ll be around for a long time for the simple reason that they’re fun – and isn’t that what sports car are all about? Paddle shifters and especially autos with manual shift options are pretty awful in comparison. The SLK is pretty close to a “real” sports car, and deserves a stick, just like you can find in the competition.

Naysayers have been predicting the death of sticks for decades and have been wrong. Mercedes has always avoided stick shifts for the majority of their cars, so it’s not surprising that the AMGs don’t have them. Meanwhile, many performance cars or performance variations on existing cars are only available with sticks, and even Cadillac has been adding stick shifts to several cars lately.

Then there’s the increased mileage (though not as much with more modern automatics), reliability, control… stick shifts will be around for a very, very long time.

And yeah, Nascar sucks, but that’s a separate discussion.

July 25, 2008 at 3:31 pm
(5) borrisbatanov says:

New 911 has a paddle shift.

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