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Mercedes SLK 55 AMG loses weight

Black Series is new lightweight, faster version of Mercedes SLK 55 AMG

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Mercedes will release a lightweight, more driver-focused version of its SLK 55 AMG, called the 'Black Series'.

It will be 45kg lighter than the Roadster thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre for the bodywork and as a result of replacing the convertible roof (and its weighty mechanism) with a lightweight hard top. But as well as being more than seven stones lighter, the Black Series is powered by the 5.5 litre AMG engine with the wick turned up to deliver 400bhp. Combined with the lighter kerbweight, that means a new power-to-weight ratio of 268bhp per tonne and zero to sixty sprint of 4.5 seconds.

Mercedes have ripped out the restrictors too - this is a special edition, after all - so the AMG Black Series is capable of topping the standard SLK AMG's 155mph and reaching 173mph on the right stretch of autobahn. To cope with the extra power, the suspension's been firmed up with track-bias dampers and chassis rigidity has also been increased. The front brake discs are a bit bigger too, now at 360mm.

The Black Series costs £92,500 from Mercedes special order - that's currently £62,823 - an £11,000 premium on the standard SLK AMG.