The SLK55 AMG has yet to go on sale in the UK, but Mercedes has already commenced the marketing effort by letting a modified version of its beast loose as the Safety Car at the British Grand Prix.
Mercedes has supplied the official Safety Car for the World Championship since 1996 and has now chosen to put its new sports car at the front. In the event of an emergency on the track, the car is called into action and leads the Grand Prix cars round until the obstruction or hazard is cleared.
Touring car legend Bernd Maylander drives the car and will be at the helm for the remainder of the season, enjoying every chance to lead Michael Schumacher and company whenever the Safety Car is called upon.
Contract fees are never disclosed in F1, but the worldwide exposure Mercedes gains from supplying the official car is immense, and the brand association with the glamorous and technical world of F1 can't hurt either.