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 |  May 10 2011, 9:54 PM

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK may look like just a gawky facelift. But under the skin and in its exhaust pipes lies a leaner, cleaner heart: the SLK200 with BlueEFFICIENCY, for example, reduces fuel consumption from 24 percent. Too bad it’s not available in America.

But the entire range has been upgraded (efficiencized?) from beginning to end: from production until end-of-life recycling, the entire process to build the SLK produces 20% less CO2 emissions than the outgoing model. 24 components in the new SLK are made from natural materials—an increase of 67%—and the SLK already meets the recyclable rate of 95% by weight, a new regulation that will become effective in Germany by 2015.

According to the sticklers from the TÜV, Germany’s product testing organization, the SLK received its environmental certificate in accordance with the ISO 14062 standard. Keep that in mind next time you head to Peet’s for an Uzuri Blend.

GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes SLK