by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

The new Mercedes-Benz SLK: Passion meets efficiency ~ VIII


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Stuttgart, Germany, Mar 08, 2011

Communication and entertainment: A mood-maker and constant helper

A radio and other entertainment media are a matter of course in today's vehicles, electronic navigation systems have meanwhile almost as common, and it must be possible to integrate a mobile phone easily into the onboard network. To meet these requirements in the best possible way, Mercedes-Benz has equipped the new SLK with latest-generation telematics. The top-of-the-range COMAND Online is even internet-capable, and enables the driver to enjoy the benefits of the World Wide Web in the car.



The high performance of the head units available is immediately apparent from the large colour display. This monitor is positioned in the upper section of the centre console, so that the driver is able to see the information provided without taking his eyes fully off the road. It can also be easily viewed by the passenger.

All the head units also share a common control unit known as the "controller". In the interests of relaxed and ergonomical operation, it is located within easy reach in front of the centre armrest. This extremely sophisticated, metal rotary/pressure control can be moved in eight directions, and can also activate or confirm additional functions by rotating or pressing it. Navigating through the main menus and sub-menus is effortless and easy, and thanks to new, user-friendly logic the system is quickly and intuitively mastered.

Head units available for the new SLK

- Audio 20 CD,
- COMAND Online.


The head units are connected to eight loudspeakers and feature speed-sensitive volume control from 20 km/h, which increases the radio volume with the vehicle speed. All the units are also protected against theft by electronic assignment to the specific vehicle.

Audio 20 CD

The basic Audio 20 CD radio is combined with a large TFT colour display with a screen diagonal of 14.7 centimetres and a resolution of 400 x 240 pixels as a head unit. Audio 20 features

- integrated FM twin tuner,
- audio amplifier with 4x25 watts,
- MP3-capable CD player or optionally a 6-disc CD changer and AUX connection in the glove compartment, as well as
- a Bluetooth interface for hands-free telephoning.


Available for the first time, the Becker® MAP PILOT upgrades the basic Audio 20 radio into a fully-fledged navigation unit. The additional unit contains the GPS receiver and the processor required for navigation. The colour map and additional information are shown on the colour display of the Audio 20 head unit, and the Becker® MAP PILOT's acoustic driving recommendations are issued via the onboard loudspeakers. The driver is also able to have a direction arrow and distance information shown in the multifunction display of the instrument cluster. The navigation has a clearly laid-out user interface and can be operated intuitively using the central controller in front of the centre armrest.

Data covering Europe are pre-installed in the Becker® MAP PILOT. It offers the latest navigation technology, and includes the following features:

- map-based navigation including 3D view,
- lane recommendation,
- display of speed limits for many roads, as well as other traffic information,
- information on the remaining distance, ETA or street names,
- address input possible with a single voice command,
- calculation of the most economical route (fuel savings through an ideal compromise between - travel time and fuel consumption),
- display of alternative routes,
- TMC for dynamic tailback avoidance,
- display of brand logos to mark special destinations such as filling stations or restaurants,
- map and functional software updates plus other features and services available via the internet, and additional map updates available from dealers on SD memory cards.


The Becker® MAP PILOT is fitted into the glove compartment, and can be easily removed at any time. Updating the map material via a PC and the internet therefore presents no problems.
It is also possible to order a pre-installation kit for the Becker® MAP PILOT ex factory, without the unit itself.

COMAND Online - onboard internet access

On request Mercedes-Benz will equip the new SLK with a COMAND Online head unit using the voice-operated control system LINGUATRONIC. The control and information interface for this unit is a high-resolution TFT colour display with a 17.8 cm screen diagonal capable of representing 800 x 480 pixels.

The COMAND Online multimedia system offers internet access for the first time. Customers can either surf freely on the internet when at a standstill or to a Mercedes-Benz online service while driving; the latter’s pages can be called up particularly quickly and it is simple to operate. The integral services planned include Google™ Local Search and further online services from other suppliers such as the weather. It is also possible to send individual destinations and routes to the vehicle via Google Maps. More Mercedes-Benz online services will be introduced gradually and then all customers will be able to use them.

The high-resolution colour display measures 17.8 cm. Photos can be shown on the large screen and turned over manually, as in a slide show. Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new types of representation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The new Cover Flow function, for instance, sorts the title images of the music albums stored in a carousel-like form, so that the SLK driver can easily leaf through their music collection – even if it is rather on the large side: the memory for compressed audio files (mp3, wma and aac formats) now comprises as much as 10 GB. As an option COMAND Online is available with a 6-disc DVD changer.

Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.

The fast hard-disc navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the current maps for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years. The authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers upload the updates for navigation data in 39 European countries into the navigation system when the customer visits their premises.

In Europe COMAND Online also comprises the Speed Limit Assist, which receives its information for traffic sign recognition via a camera and navigation database. COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new “One Shot” input for the navigation is particularly convenient, whereby the place and road can be said directly after one another.

COMAND Online is also equipped with the following features:

- internet browser,
- FM radio twin tuner with additional RDS/TMC tuner for traffic information,
- audio signal amplifier 4 x 25 W,
- DVD player for audio and video (optionally also with 6-disc DVD changer),
- integrated navigation system with map display (including birdview, 3D map and 3D landmarks),
- integrated hard disc for navigation data and additional functions (e.g. music server); this means that the DVD player is available to play music during a journey,
- SD card slot.


The voice-operated control system LINGUATRONIC enables all town and street names to be input into the navigation system by voice command. The audio systems can also be voice-controlled, and the global address book accessed. LINGUATRONIC recognises commands without prior training, and these can be entered by any speaker. The system prompts the user to repeat the process if it detects an error or fails to recognise a command.

Naturally the COMAND Online system can also be combined with the convenience telephony function.

Sound system – striking the right note

Customers who attach importance to a quality of sound approaching concert-hall standards in the SLK are able to choose the optional Harman/Kardon® surround sound system for either Audio 20 CD or COMAND Online. This features an additional MOST amplifier with DSP and an output of 10 x 50 watts plus eleven high-quality, high-performance loudspeakers. All the amplifier channels of the sound system are equipped with frequency compensation individually suited to the vehicle acoustics. Bass, treble, volume, balance and fader can be individually adjusted.

Aerials – first-class reception

The radio reception aerials are integrated into the windscreen, with their aerial amplifiers in the A-pillar area. A so-called phase diversity function obtains the maximum reception strength from both aerial signals. To this end it mainly reduces interference caused by multi-channel reception (interference due to reflections). The maximum specifications include:

- two FM aerials in the windscreen for the diversity functionality,
- an AM aerial in the rear window or parcel shelf/roof compartment cover,
- an aerial for the telephone/GPS and DAB L-band (digital radio)


Telephony – reachable at any time

Both the Audio 20 CD radio and the COMAND Online system have an integrated hands-free system for mobile phones using a Bluetooth interface. Even in the basic telephony version, the hands-free system can be operated via the multifunction steering wheel and the keys on the head unit. Bluetooth can also be used to transfer contact data from a mobile phone to the head unit. SMS messages can also be downloaded if the mobile phone supports MAP (Message Access Profile).
A convenience telephony function is also available as an optional extra, and this can likewise be combined with all available head units. It consists of a phone cradle for the centre console with a phone charging function, and uses the vehicle aerial via a serial interface. A cradle suitable for the relevant phone model is separately available as a Mercedes-Benz accessory.









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