One Cool Feature: Mercedes-Benz SLK’s Magic Sky Control

By John Beltz Snyder

September 07, 2011

Last week, we had a chance to reacquaint ourselves with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350. Besides being a fun roadster with fetching looks, it has a feature unique to the SLK, called Magic Sky Control.
The folding hard top of the SLK has a nice, big (optional) sunroof, so even when you need to keep the top up (only when it’s precipitating according to the Winding Road guide to convertible appreciation), you can enjoy a view of the sky and the natural light it affords. The Magic Sky Control option, with the touch of a button, darkens the sunroof like a pair of sunglasses.
Yes, it’s useful for those extra bright days, but it’s also kind of a cool party trick. While we had the SLK, everyone who asked about the car just wanted to play with the Magic Sky Control. It’s a neat effect. Upon pressing the button, it lightens instantly, and darkens almost as quickly. Standing outside the vehicle, the roof offers a goodly amount of privacy, as it appears metallically reflective, like the lenses on a pair of aviator sunglasses.
When people asked us how it worked, we simply answered, “Magic.” According to Mercedes, though, Magic Sky Control “alters its transparency by uniformly orienting particles embedded within its glass panel when electrical current is applied.” The sunroof also blocks UV rays and thermal energy. Pretty cool.
The panorama sunroof with Magic Sky Control is a $2500. Without Magic Sky Control, the sunroof costs $500.