Modern-day diesels usually never fail to impress and the oil-burner in the upcoming 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 CDI is a good example. The small roadster will churn out 204-hp, 369-lb-ft of torque, while providing the driver and lucky passenger more than 800 miles of range between gas stations.
The diesel-powered SLK250 gets the same BlueEfficiency, 2.2L, four-cylinder engine found in the C250 CDI sold in Europe. According to Mercedes, the diesel SLK will travel 48 mpg on the combined European cycle, while emitting 128 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer. In addition to turbocharging, the engine features start/stop technology to help sip fuel more efficiently. The seven-speed automatic will be the only transmission choice until later next year when the six-speed manual rolls out.
Aside from the oodles of torque and range, the SLK250 CDI will be identical to its petrol-burning counterparts. It’s scheduled to go on sale in Europe this fall, with a starting price of 41,828.50 euros ($60,689 U.S. dollars). We currently get the SLK350 with the 3.5L V6 rated at 302-hp and the 201-hp SLK250 with the turbo-four is coming shortly.
This is likely a Europe-only model, but it has us wondering: could we fall in love with a thrifty, torquey, diesel-powered roadster? Volkswagen toyed with the idea with the Concept Bluesport, but we wonder if such a formula could succeed outside of Europe. Could a turbo-diesel SLK find buyers in America, or is the idea of a diesel convertible sports car just too weird for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.