A wedding is a beautiful thing to happen in your life. That’s why it was very kind of Mercedes-Benz to loan me a 2013 SLK250 Roadster with AMG Sport Package to photograph the new, happy couple with and in.
Two of my family’s closest friends got married in September in Soho, NY, and I was asked to be the photographer for said event. It was a same-sex marriage between two men I’ve known for about five or six years that have come to feel like my entire life. Now whether or not you agree with same-sex marriage is up to you. I, for one, do find happiness and love to be something I could never discriminate against when it’s between two people who are hurting no one. But this is beside the point.
When I was asked to be the photographer for the event, I was absolutely in awe and said ‘yes’ immediately. But there was only one issue… I’d never really photographed people in any professional manner before. I photograph cars… and I think I do that only marginally well. I had done a same-sex marriage in Maryland back in February of 2013, but it was very small and informal, and in the house of the couple. They, too, are like family to me, and I’ve grown up with them.
I wanted to do something special; unique. I wanted to do this with a car. Hmm, but whom would I ring up? In my mind, there are really only two companies that can be thought of immediately when it comes to a wedding theme: Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz. As much as I wanted the Rolls, I didn’t feel like making that call and using up all of my favors at once. Instead, I thought, “If I could get a Mercedes convertible, that would be perfect.” I e-mailed one of the Mercedes-Benz PR people I know and asked away. But I was worried and sweating profusely writing said e-mail. Why? Because the wedding just so happened to be the same week as the NY Fashion Show. If you don’t know why this was a potential issue, I’ll explain that Mercedes-Benz are a title sponsor of the entire event, which means that company representatives of all pay scales would be attending, and driving or being driven in a company product. Yikes.
To a level of appreciation that’s hard to convey, I received a message back saying, even with such a tight schedule, a 2013 SLK250 with AMG Sport Package would be left for me at a parking lot near LaGuardia, and I could use it for the entire weekend I was in town, especially to create a photoshoot for the newly married couple. Not only was I about to do something that was to be considered epic by the grooms and all the ladies present (that’s a totally different story. Thank you, Mercedes-Benz!), but it was just the icing on the gift I was already giving them of my photography. But more so, Mercedes-Benz were sending a message of love and congratulations to two people who’ve loved one another for decades on their wedding weekend.
But this finally brings me to the 2013 SLK250 Mercedes dropped off for me while I was in New York City. When I walked up and saw the Arctic White paint with the Bengal Red leather peering through rear glass and side windows I was pleased, to say the least. The young woman who accompanied me to the parking station and then the wedding, well, she was quite taken aback. Honestly, women really do like my job as much as I do, if not more. If there’s one major perk about the job I do -which is totes such a tough job, I know- it’s that women find me more attractive because my job, and I don’t mind at all. A white convertible with red interior that has a Mercedes-Benz badge? You might as well have called me 007 and gave me a shaken, not stirred, martini the whole weekend.
The new SLK250 really is a wonderfully stunning car. And with its new 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct injected inline 4, making 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque, it can be quite frisky in the city or on the highway. I just wish I’d had some back roads to test it on… or a New York City with no one in it like I Am Legend or Vanilla Sky. Now that would have been fun. Even without open roads, it shoots up to speed with ease, and it darts through NYC traffic like the perfect getaway vehicle due to its ideal size. Mercedes estimate a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, and I’d say it’s closer to about 6 flat. So it’ll move out the way quick enough. Part of this is the fact that it weighs just 3,296 lbs with the 7-speed automatic gearbox, and 3,241 lbs with a manual. God it feels good to say that in regards to Mercedes-Benz. While I haven’t tested this car with a standard transmission, I don’t care, because at least I’d get to use my left leg if I bought one. I for one believe all Mercedes cars should be standard with a manual, especially their lustworthy AMG performance cars.
Speaking of AMG, my SLK250 had the AMG Sport Package, which features a reworked front bumper, a bulbous side skirt, along with sportier wheels and suspension. Do you need it? Well, I think it looks better, for one. Secondly, why wouldn’t you want something looking sexier and sportier? What, do you actually go to the gym because you want to enjoy looking at yourself? No, madam conceited. Spring for the AMG Sport Pack, it certainly equates to a look like it’s done more squats for the sake of its booty.
As an overall layout, the interior is well appointed, however it does take a minute to get yourself squared away using the navigation and media system. Just do what I did, pull over for five minutes, take your time, and stumble through it; you’ll thank yourself later. That said, everything is nice to the touch and the seats are supportive and comfy, even in bumpy New York. Anyone who’s driven on the bridges or in the city can tell you that, no matter the car, New York can rattle your brain like Ray Lewis planting an all-star sack on your ass. So in this regard, even with the sportier AMG suspension, the SLK250 handles your innards well.
The only disappointing thing about the SLK250 is the trunk. With the top up or down, pack lightly. As you can see in the photo in the gallery, a backpack and a small camera bag take up most of the space available. So while the SLK is nimble like a getaway car, I hope all you’re stealing something small.
So without a doubt I’d have the SLK250 Roadster with the AMG Sport Package. The same not-so-manly thoughts of yesteryear are turned away, because seeing a newer styled mini-SL on the road (AKA SLK) makes you think of style and class. It’s small and fun to drive, and Mercedes-Benz say it’ll get 23 mpg and 33 mpg city and highway, respectively, so you won’t have to worry about stopping all the time (22/32 with the manual). Just remember, think small when packing.
The base price of our tester was $42,900 before destination and handling. With all of the options, which included an analog clock on the dash ($250), the very cool and needed Magic Sky Control dimming panoramic roof ($2,500), 7-speed auto ($1,510), rear lip spoiler ($350), Sport Package ($2,500), Multimedia Package with navigation ($2,150), and Premium 1 Package ($2,590), the as-tested price of the SLK250 after destination and handling came to be $57,380.