Can the entry-level diesel Mercedes SLK beat the Audi TT Roadster?
Diesel engines power everything from limousines to lifeboats these days.
But until 2010, when Audi launched its turbodiesel TT soft-top, two-seater roadsters had remained one of the last bastions for fans of petrol power. Now, another desirable drop-top with a less-than-glamorous engine has joined it: the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI.
This car’s diesel engine is still an unusual choice, but with 500Nm it ensures the new entry-level SLK can outrun some of its petrol cousins. Plus, the promise of well over 50mpg is likely to be enough to tempt anyone sick of the burden of a thirsty petrol engine’s steep fuel bills.
Standing in the SLK’s way is the TT – one of the most complete roadsters on sale. Although it’s starting to show its age, the Audi is still stylish, affordable and great to drive. So, can it stop the diesel SLK from going straight to the top of this fledgling market?