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The Mercedes-Benz C209/A209 cars have been produced from 2003 to 2009. They are sold under the CLK-Class model names. The C209/A209 is based on the W203 C-Class. It replaced the C208 CLK-Class after 2003 which were the first car to carry the CLK moniker.
The C209/A209 is available in two body styles, a coupe (C209) and a cabriolet (A209), and is manufactured with diesel and petrol engines ranging from four-cylinder (CLK200) to eight-cylinder (CLK500 and CLK63AMG). The cabriolet (Designated with an A, as in CLK500A) features a fully automatic retractable soft top covered by a metal tonneau that can be raised and lowered from outside the vehicle using the key fob.
A CLK AMG DTM was produced as a MY2006 in both a coupe and later cabriolet model. Styling cues were taken from the C-Class race car used for the German Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters racing series. The car includes a wider body, rear wing spoiler, carbon fiber accents, and upgraded suspension.
Market position and competitors
The CLK is designed to fill the mid-luxury market position for coupes and convertibles. It is Mercedes-Benz’s only 4-seat cabriolet. Its direct competitors in the cabriolet market are the Volvo C70 and the Lexus SC430, although it is available with larger engines than any of its direct competitors. The CLK is positioned midway between the BMW 3 series coupe/cabriolet and the BMW 6 series coupe/cabriolet.
Performance is electronically limited to 135 mph (217 km/h) in the CLK350 model, and to 155 mph (249 km/h) in the CLK500 and CLK55 models. An AMG factory option is available for an unrestricted top speed.
The Electronic Stability Control (ESP) and Anti-lock braking system (ABS) are both aids to handling, making such feats as a 90’ degree turn on a typical two lane intersection from 50 mph (80 km/h) possible using simple hard braking and turning with no significant fishtailing. The ESP system cannot be turned off - it makes intentional high-power fishtailing impossible without using a factory test protocol that end-users generally cannot enable.
Each model seats four and in the US this includes an all-leather interior with burl walnut trim. For Europe the models are available as "Elegance" and "Avantgarde" essentially, basically 'Luxury' or 'Attitude' specification where the Elegance uses Burr Walnut trim and polished alloy wheels and the Avantgarde uses alloy trim and chunkier wheels. Also there is the Sport upgrade package for the Avantgarde, with 18" Alloys and an interior upgrade. Finally there is also the "Sport" (UK only) - an 'AMG' version from factory for the 280 V6 petrol, 220 4 cyl diesel and the 320 V6 diesel (though not an AMG engine) trimmed (including 18" AMG alloys and wider rear track, suspension set-up, sport/tiptronic/manual gear options, body styling, paddle shifts, sports exhausts, etc.) and made available from 2005/06. The price and specification for European models is otherwise the same. The 4 cyl. cars wear 16" wheels, while the CLK320, CLK350 and CLK500 come with 17 inch (432 mm) alloy wheels, the CLK55 AMG sports 18" (457 mm). The cabriolets have a remote-operated automatic soft-top and sensor-controlled roll bars. Since its introduction, all US cars come standard with a Tele Aid emergency assistance system, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, 10-way power front seats and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Seven-channel digital surround sound comes standard. A Keyless Go system, navigation system, Parktronic system, and bi-xenon HID headlamps are all available as options. All models come with four side airbags. European cars differ considerably and are usually specced depending on the buyer's needs.
The cars have a manual sport/comfort mode switch that sets the automatic transmission to start in 2nd gear and shift earlier in comfort mode. With the new 7-speed transmission, the car is about 20% more fuel-efficient compared to the 5-speed, with no loss of performance. In the CLK500, at 80 mph (130 km/h), the 5-speed transmission runs at about 3000 rpm, while the 7-speed runs at about 2200 rpm. In the AMG model, the transmission can be set to remain longer in lower gears for higher performance.
The 5-speed CLK500 gets an average of 15mpg in city driving conditions, whereas the 7-speed CLK550 get an average of about 18mpg under the same conditions. Both add about 3mpg for highway driving.
The C209/A209 CLK-Class is 2.4 inches (61 mm) longer, 0.7 inches (18 mm) wider and 1.1 inch (28 mm) higher than its predecessor.
- The CLK200 Kompressor featured a 1.8 L, 16-valve single overhead cam (SOHC) and a five-speed automatic transmission (or six-speed manual transmission, European models only). The base price is US$36,000 for the coupé and US$44,500 for the cabriolet. The CLK200 Kompressor was introduced in 2003-2007.
- The CLK320 featured a 3.2 L, 18-valve single overhead cam (SOHC) V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The base price is US$46,000 for the coupé and US$53,600 for the cabriolet. The CLK320 was replaced by the CLK350 for 2006.
- The CLK350 features a 3.5 L, 24-valve dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The base price is US$45,750 for the coupé and US$53,700 for the cabriolet.
- The CLK500 features a 5.0 L, 24-valve SOHC V8 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The base price is US$54,600 for the coupé and US$62,200 for the cabriolet. The CLK500 was replaced by the CLK550 for 2007.
- The CLK550 features a 5.5L 32-valve V-8 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The base price is US$55,675 for the coupé.
- The CLK55 AMG features a 5.4 L, 24-valve SOHC V8 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The base price is US$69,900 for the coupé and US$82,000 for the cabriolet. The CLK55 AMG coupé was dropped in North America after the 2005 model year, though the cabriolet is still offered. The CLK55 was replaced by the CLK63 for 2007.
- The CLK63 AMG features a 6.2L V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Available in both Coupé and Cabriolet, the CLK63 has 481 hp (354 kW) and 465 lb·ft (630 newton m) of torque. Compared to its predecessor the CLK63 has 31% more power and 23% more torque. The CLK63 was used as the Safety Car in the 2006 and 2007 Formula One World Championships. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
In Europe there was also the CLK 200 K (1.8 R4), CLK 220 CDI (2.1 R4 diesel), CLK 240 (2.6 V6), CLK 270 CDI (2.7 R5 diesel), CLK 280 (3.0 V6), CLK 320 CDI (3.0 V6 diesel); (all standard with 6-speed manual transmission 7 speed optional, then 7 speed standard automatic transmission from 2005/06), 2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG cabriolet.
The CLK 63 AMG Black Series produced from 2007 to 2009 is slightly heavier than the car on which it is based, but is significantly faster thanks to an updated differential, power-tuned engine, and various other tweaks. The CLK 63 AMG reaches 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.3 and 100 mph (161 km/h) in 9.3 seconds, while the CLK63 AMG Black Series takes just 4.0 to 60 mph (97 km/h), and 100 mph (161 km/h) takes just 8.8. In this Black Series model the rear seats have been removed, so this is a two-seater only. The Black Series Cost £100.000 (£34,000 more than the standard CLK63 AMG). However, thanks to power tweaks it can now reach, but is limited to, 186 mph. The engine is a 6.2L AMG V8 which produces 507 bhp and 465 lb.ft of torque.
|Model||Year||Engine Type (code)||Power, torque@rpm|
|200 K||2002–2006||1,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in) I4 supercharged (M271 E18 ML)||163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp)@5500, 240 N·m (177 lb·ft)@3000|
|200 K||2007–2010||1,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in) I4 supercharged (M271 E18 ML)||184 PS (135 kW; 181 hp)@5500, 250 N·m (184 lb·ft)@2800–5000|
|200 CGI||2003–2005||1,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in) I4 supercharged (M271 DE18 ML)||170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp)@5300, 240 N·m (177 lb·ft)@3000|
|240||2002–2005||2,597 cc (2.597 L; 158.5 cu in) V6 (M112 E 26)||170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp)@5500, 240 N·m (177 lb·ft)@4500|
|280||2005-2010||2,996 cc (2.996 L; 182.8 cu in) V6 (M272 E 30)||231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp)@6000, 300 N·m (221 lb·ft)@2500–5000|
|320||2002–2005||3,199 cc (3.199 L; 195.2 cu in) V6 (M112 E 32)||221 PS (163 kW; 218 hp)@5700, 315 N·m (232 lb·ft)@3000|
|350||2005-2010||3,498 cc (3.498 L; 213.5 cu in) V6 (M272 E 35)||272 PS (200 kW; 268 hp)@6000, 350 N·m (258 lb·ft)@2400–5000|
|500 (M113)||2002–2006||4,966 cc (4.966 L; 303.0 cu in) V8 (M113 E 50)||306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp)@5600, 460 N·m (339 lb·ft)@2700|
|550 (M273)||2006-2010||5,461 cc (5 L; 333 cu in) V8 (M273 E 55)||388 PS (285 kW; 383 hp)@6000, 530 N·m (391 lb·ft)@2800–4800|
|55 AMG||2002–2006||5,439 cc (5.439 L; 331.9 cu in) V8 (M113 E 55 EVO)||367 PS (270 kW; 362 hp)@5750, 510 N·m (376 lb·ft)@4000|
|63 AMG||2006-2010||6,208 cc (6.208 L; 378.8 cu in) V8 (M156 E 63)||481 PS (354 kW; 474 hp)@6800, 630 N·m (465 lb·ft)@5000|
|63 AMG Black Series||2007–2009||6,208 cc (6.208 L; 378.8 cu in) V8 (M156 E 63)||507 PS (373 kW; 500 hp)@7200, 630 N·m (465 lb·ft)@5250|
|DTM AMG||2004–2006||5,439 cc (5.439 L; 331.9 cu in) V8 supercharged (M113 E 55 K)||582 PS (428 kW; 574 hp)@6100, 800 N·m (590 lb·ft)@3500|
|Model||Year||Engine Type (code)||Power, torque@rpm|
|220 CDI||2005–2009||2,148 cc (2.148 L; 131.1 cu in) I4 (OM646 DE 22 LA)||150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)4200@, 340 N·m (251 lb·ft)@2000|
|270 CDI||2002–2005||2,685 cc (2.685 L; 163.8 cu in) I5 (OM612 DE 27 LA)||170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp)@4200, 400 N·m (295 lb·ft)@1800|
|320 CDI||2005-2010||2,987 cc (2.987 L; 182.3 cu in) V6 (OM642 DE 30 LA)||manual: 224 PS (165 kW; 221 hp)@3800, 415 N·m (306 lb·ft)@1400–3800
automatic: 224 PS (165 kW; 221 hp)@3800, 510 N·m (376 lb·ft)@1600–2800
Comfort and convenience
Mercedes-Benz concentrates its ergonomic design engineering efforts on subtle luxuries, such as seat-belt presenters, automatically lowering headrests when the seat is moved back so that it’s in the correct position for tall drivers, and lowering the passenger side mirror to show the curb when the car is in reverse.
More obvious conveniences include automatically dimming mirrors, in-dash navigation instructions, steering wheel control of audio system, iPod, and integrated telephone system, and cornering fog lamps that illuminate the road when you turn in the same direction as the turn indicators signal.
The C209/A209 was introduced in 2002. At introduction, it was available with a 3.2-liter engine, a 5.0-liter engine, and a 5.5-liter engine. The 2004 CLK was the last Mercedes Benz automobile to use the venerable D2B (Digital Data Bus) optical fiber media system introduced a decade earlier. The most obvious problem with this system was the clearly obsolete CD-ROM based navigation system.
The 2005 update included the MOST (Media Oriented Serial Transport) media system used in the rest of the Mercedes Benz line, bringing along a significantly upgrade DVD based navigation system and iPod integration as optional features. The 2006 included an improved 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine and added the steering wheel shift paddles from the AMG model to the CLK500.
In 2009, the CLK was discontinued, the replacement being the E-Class Coupe and Convertible.
- The CLK 63 AMG was used as the Safety Car in the 2006 and 2007 Formula One World Championships, replacing the previously used SLK 55 AMG.
- "New CLK 63 AMG enhances Grand Prix safety: AMG presents the new Formula 1 safety car". Media.daimler.com. 2006-02-28. Retrieved 2010-10-01.