2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG

It might be a tired old phrase, but the SLK 55 AMG looks fast standing still. To be accurate, it looks fast wherever it is—because this convertible is, indeed, very fast. The SLK isn’t a particularly large car, so the fact that it packs an AMG-massaged 5.4-liter V8 under the prominent F1-inspired “beak” is rather amazing. 355 horsepower is channeled back to the rear wheels, squeezed under subtly flared fenders. The rear decklid is highlighted by a an understated lip spoiler, and as you follow the curve of the trunklid down past the AMG badge you’ll see the quad chromed exhaust tips where the bellowing engine exhales. Just like any other SLK, the AMG version enjoys a luxurious interior and a folding hardtop, but the bodykit (particularly noticeable, and handsome, is the revised front bumper) and wheels are unique to the AMG model. Thankfully, the much larger engine comes with suitably improved braking and suspension, allowing the SLK 55 AMG to carry on appearances by stopping and changing direction without drama—that is, looking fast, wherever it might be.

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