Kelly Gavaghan lives out her fantasy and test drives her dream car, the stunning Mercedes SLK 250. The following is not for the faint-hearted…

I have a guilty secret. I’ve been harbouring a crush now for some years and I just can’t seem to shake it. Yes I know I’m already in a serious, long term relationship with a highly dependable, good looking VW Golf, but I can’t stop myself from flirting with the idea of having an affair with a seriously sexy German model of the motoring variety. Yes, I must confess I am in LUST with the SLK 250!

Va va VROOM!
When I received my invitation to the Media Day at Mercedes-Benz World at Weybridge to test drive MY car, I developed all the symptoms of a teenager about to go on a first date. Goose bumps, butterflies in belly and the ‘what to wear’ panic consumed my very being. But what if the reality didn’t match up to my fantasy?

So outfit selected (head to toe, sophisticated Karen Millen if you please – wanted to be as much of a head turner as the car, and I was even though I do say so myself) I set off for Weybridge with a mixture of excitement and fear.

Incidentally if you, reader, have never visited Mercedes-Benz World you simply must. The place is a shrine to the brand and engineering, with indoor mini electric Mercedes-Benz cars for the kiddies and outside track for the  grown ups, not to mention a cinema, simulators, fantastic café and shop. It is definitely worth a trip. Mercedes-Benz World is OUT of this World.

Anyway, back to the story. I checked in and stated that in no uncertain terms I was there for the SLK 250 and the SLK 250 only. I was handed the keys to my dream and sent out to the car park. And there it was. One of the most beautiful cars I had ever seen enticing me with its sleek, stylish sophistication and lithe, athletic bodywork.

“Drive me, drive me,” it whispered provocatively and I positively purred as I slipped into the leather driving seat that felt as though it had been made just for me. We were a perfect fit. For a fleeting moment I felt guilty as I glimpsed my Golf when I smoothly glided out of the car park. I knew I was cheating but I just couldn’t help myself.  I was seduced and had to surrender myself to carefree abandon and satisfy my desires. It was for one afternoon and one afternoon only and I said to myself, “This will NEVER happen again!” (Well, unless I win the lottery or marry a rich man or maybe in a few years after paying off my daughter’s school fees…).

I am not ashamed to report back to you that the fantasy was all I imagined and more. What followed was a stolen afternoon of pure indulgence and the heights of heady pleasure that had never been reached before. Even the technical bits that are about to follow will not bore the lingerie off you lovely ladies out there….

THE TECHNICAL BIT…
Actually, forget that last sentence. I forgot that we are talking about THE great Mercedes-Benz, masters and leaders of motoring engineering and technology. When I opened the Media Information pack there were literally
reams and reams of paragraphs containing words like ‘kinematics’ and ‘recalibrated’ (don’t pretend you know what they mean either!) so anyway I have shamelessly cut and pasted the next paragraph from the media pack…

“Buyers will have the choice of three petrol  engines and – for the first time – a refined and punchy turbodiesel powerplant, which all deliver a class-leading combination of refinement, economy and performance. An integrated ECO start/stop system is fitted to four- and six-cylinder SLK models fitted with either six-speed manual or 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic transmissions, helping achieve up to 56.5 mpg and 132 g/km CO2 on the combined cycle.” (KG – I can confirm it is very fast!)

THE NEW ‘EXTRAS’ BIT…
Drivers of the SLK now have the option of the innovative ‘Airscarf’, neck-level heating system for just £395. The Airguide wind deflector promises a warm and draft free cabin for £285 and drivers can also specify the panoramic vario-roof with Magic Sky Control which, at the touch of a button, can alter the transparency of the glass roof from clear to dark for £1,995.

Driver assistance and in-car entertainment features include COMAND Online system with  Media Interface. This incorporates radio, 7-inch colour display, hard disk drive (HDD) navigation with three-dimensional map display and TMC (Traffic Message Channel), Speed Limit Assist and Linguatronic voice control in centre console.

Also includes SD card slot, 10 GB music register  and MP3 compatibility. Media Interface allows connection and control of portable media devices (e.g. MP3 player, USB storage media) via ports in the glovebox.

THE SAFETY BIT…
Standard SLK equipment highlights include, Anti Lock Braking System (ABS), Attention Assist which detects driver fatigue on long journeys (clever!), an Active Bonnet to reduce pedestrian injury, four airbags front and side for the driver and front passenger and an anti skid system.

THE CONCLUSION…
All silliness aside now, the Mercedes Benz SLK 250 is a serious piece of engineering and I certainly didn’t expect anything less from the magnificent, aspirational brand that is Mercedes-Benz. For the price tag of £30,010 you get your money’s worth. The boffins at M-Benz literally DO think of everything. While I have tried to cram in the bits I think you should know and that are the most relevant, the impressive lists of added extras, technological improvements and refinements etc., are endless and actually no, they are by no means boring. You pay for what you get and what you get is the best.

For more information on the new Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 visit www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/slk-class

To arrange a test drive, please telephone the sales departments at Mercedes-–Benz World, Weybridge, Surrey on 01932 373000 Or Inchcape Mercedes–Benz of Oxford on 0845 517 1228

If you are a dealership and would like any new car launched in 2013 to be test driven and featured on the motoring pages, please contact Kelly Gavaghan on 07982 427110.