Tag Archives: Roadster

Mercedes-Benz SLK

The SLK is famous for its roof – the automatic retractable hardtop transforms it from coupe to roadster in 30 seconds. While the SLK is a two-seat open-air automobile, it’s not a performance or handling maniac like some of its roadster competitors. But SLK moves in that direction for 1999 with the new availability of five-speed manual transmission and optional AMG-designed Sport Package.

In addition to cosmetic enhancements (side sills, and new front and rear facias), the Sport Package adds handling muscle via a bigger version of its staggered wheel and tire set up (225/45ZR17 front, 245/40ZR17 rear). Motivation remains the duty of supercharged 2.3-litre “four” which cranks out 185 hp, and 200 lb. ft. of torque anywhere between 2,500 and 4,800 rpm. Also carried over is the driver-adaptive 5-speed automatic.

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Lamborghini Diablo

For many people, the Diablo (the word is Italian for “devil”) is still the archetypal over-the-top Italian “hero car.” And in Canada, especially, it is quite possible the last word in automotive exclusivity.

The two models sold in Canada are the rear-wheel drive SV coupe and the all-wheel drive VT roadster. . Both are more than effectively propelled by a mid-mounted 5.7-litre V12 rated at an intoxicating 492 horsepower. This surfeit of horsepush is sufficient to rank the Diablo among the tiny handful of cars capable of topping out on the naughty side of 200 mph (322 km/h).

Big changes are probably in store now that Lamborghini is owned by Audi. But for now, the existing Diablo – which, hard to believe, has just celebrated its ninth birthday and still looks sensational – continues as is in 1998 guise.

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