First Light: Mercedes-Benz Teases 2012 SLK

Mercedes-Benz is preparing to unveil its 2012 SLK at the Geneva Motor Show next year, but some six months before the car drops, the German luxury carmaker is beginning to release teaser images of its new roadster.

Not much can be garnered from the teaser image apart from the fact that -- surprise! -- the SLK is set to keep its two-piece folding hardtop configuration. The roofline is very similar to the car's now, but the top itself is rather different. Instead of the standard metal roof, the teaser shows the SLK with a transparent glass roof.

Dubbed Magic Sky Control by Mercedes, the glass isn't just standard glass, but incorporates electromagnetic particles to adjust transparency. The system works using an electrical current to align the particles, causing varying degrees of transparency. If the system is switched off, the particles orient themselves randomly, blocking most light. When an electrical current is applied, the particles align themselves, allowing the glass to become transparent.

Magic Sky Control is a neat trick we've seen before on the likes of Ferrari's 575 SuperAmerica. However, we have to wonder what the point of it is on a convertible where you can drop the top completely in seconds. Mercedes gives us an answer though, saying that it's to give you the feeling of being outdoors when it's too cold to put the top down. Isn't that what AirScarf is for?

In any case, Mercedes has also given preliminary information on powertrains. Three gasoline engines will be available and one turbo-diesel. The turbo-diesel will likely be relegated to Europe and we'll likely only get two powertrain options -- a standard V-6 and the outrageous AMG version.

Stay tuned as the long wait for Mercedes' new roadster begins.

Source: Mercedes-Benz via Auto Express

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