|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size grand tourer
|Body style||2-door coupé
|Predecessor||Mercedes-Benz E-Class (C124/A124)|
|Successor||Mercedes-Benz E-Class (C207/A207)|
The Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class is a mid-size rear-wheel drive luxury coupe and convertible based on the W202 and W203 platforms of the C-Class. It is positioned below the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class and SL-Class, but above the SLK-Class. The CLK name derives from the German Coupé Leicht Kompakt (or Kurz), translated Coupe-Light-Short.
First generation (1996–2003; C208/A208)
|first generation (C208/A208)|
|Designer||Michael Fink (1993)|
|Body and chassis|
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
|Wheelbase||105.9 in (2,690 mm)|
The first-generation CLK was introduced in 1996, three years after the first generation (W202) C-Class model.
Versions offered in the first generation were the CLK 200 (136 PS (100 kW; 134 bhp)), CLK 200 Kompressor (163 PS (120 kW; 161 bhp)), CLK 230 Kompressor (193 PS (142 kW; 190 bhp) and new motor with 197 PS (145 kW; 194 bhp)), CLK 320 (218 PS (160 kW; 215 bhp)), CLK 430 (279 PS (205 kW; 275 bhp)) and the CLK 55 AMG (372 PS (274 kW; 367 bhp)). All were available in both coupé and convertible form.
The CLK 320 Coupé was introduced in the 1997 model year, powered by a 3.2 L V6 engine. The CLK GTR racing coupé appeared in 1998, powered by a 6.9 L V12 engine, along with the production of 25 road-going CLK GTRs. The CLK 320 Cabriolet and the 4.3 L V8-powered CLK 430 appeared in 1999. The high-performance CLK 55 AMG, which was introduced first in Europe in 2000, was powered by the "M113" 5.4 L V8 engine. The CLK 55 AMG cabriolet became available in 2002, the last year of this body style.
In late 1999 for the 2000 model year, a facelift was launched which incorporated, among others, a revised instrument cluster with a bigger multifunction display, steering wheel with controls for the multifunction display and radio, Tiptronic automatic gearbox, revised bumpers and new side skirts and side-view mirror-mounted turn signals.
Second generation (2002–2009; C209/A209)
|Second generation (C209/A209)|
2007-2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK 350
|Body and chassis|
The CLK coupé was redesigned for 2003, with the cabriolet following in 2004. This generation of the CLK-Class is 61 mm (2.4 in) longer, 18 mm (0.7 in) wider and 28 mm (1.1 in) higher than its predecessor.
- The CLK 270 CDI features a 2.7 L, 5 Cylinder engine and a five-speed tiptronic transmission.
- The CLK 320 features a 3.2 L, 18-valve single overhead cam (SOHC) V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The CLK320 was replaced by the CLK350 for 2006.
- The CLK 350 features a 3.5 L, 24-valve dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
- The CLK 500 features a 5.0 L, 24-valve SOHC V8 engine and, in 2005, a seven-speed automatic transmission was introduced. It received a new 5.5 L 32-valve DOHC V8 engine in 2007 (in America, it was called CLK 550 from 2007).
- The CLK 55 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$87,000 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 boasts 481 hp (354 kW) and 465 lb·ft (630 Nm) 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 Formula One. It accelerates from 0–60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
- The CLK63 AMG Black Series features a 6.2L V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Only available in Coupé, the CLK 63 BS delivers 507 hp (373 kW) and 465 lb·ft (630 Nm) of torque. It accelerates from 0–60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Other features include removed rear seats, an upgraded rear axle, and a fully adjustable suspension system.
In Europe there was also the CLK 200 K (1.8 I4), CLK 220 CDI (2.1 I4 diesel), CLK 240 (2.6 V6), CLK 270 CDI (2.7 I5 diesel), CLK 280 (3.0 V6), CLK 320 CDI (3.0 V6 diesel); (all standard with 6-speed manual transmission, automatic transmission is optional)
Each model seats four and in the US this includes an all-leather interior with burled walnut trim. For Europe the models are available as "Elegance" or "Avantgarde" versions, basically Luxury or Sport specification where the Elegance uses burled walnut trim and polished alloy wheels the Avantgarde uses alloy trim and wider, sportier wheels. 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 inch (457 mm) wheels. The cabriolets have a remote-operated automatic soft-top and sensor-controlled roll bars. Since 2000, 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 down-specced depending on the buyer's needs.
A two-door E-Class Coupe was introduced as part of the new eighth-generation E-Class, at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, as Mercedes-Benz intended to leverage the better-known E-Class nameplate. Unlike the CLK-class, the new E-Class Coupe shares more (up to 60% of its parts) with the W212 E-Class sedan. It will be produced in Bremen. 
CLK GTR and CLK DTM
The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was a V12 mid-engine race car developed for the 1997 FIA GT championships. It shared only lights and other exterior similarities with the normal CLK. Production of the required 25 road cars began in late 1998.
A special version of the CLK is the CLK DTM AMG sports car, which looks similar to the full race car for the German Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters racing series which has to use a normally aspirated 4.0 L V8, limited to less than 500 hp. 100 Coupés and 80 Convertibles were released for sale in Europe, using AMG's supercharged 5.4 L V8, now producing 428 kW (582 hp) and 800 N·m (590 lb·ft). The front and rear track are widened by 2.9 and 4.2 inches (74 and 110 mm) respectively, and special tires and suspension modifications allow the car to pull 1.35 g (13 m/s²) of lateral acceleration. 0–100 km/h acceleration is just 3.8 seconds, and top speed is limited to 322 km/h (200 mph). In Germany, the car cost 236,060 euro after taxes. The CLK DTM AMG was only produced for the 2004 model year and the initial release of the vehicle was limited to special order or invitation of ownership.
In addition to hard top CLK DTM AMG, 80 convertible versions of CLK DTM were made for 2006 model year, titled Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet. Compared to the coupé version, a speed limiter further reduces its top speed to 300 km/h (likely due to the top not able to withstand higher wind forces safely).
Owners of the CLK DTM Cabriolet includes former McLaren Mercedes Formula One drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Mika Häkkinen. Häkkinen competed in the DTM 2005–2007. Former McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen and current McLaren Mercedes Driver Jenson Button both own the hard top version of the CLK DTM.
- Shunk, Chris (2009-05-19). "2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe a C-Class underneath? — Autoblog". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
- "2010 Mercedes-Benz E550C First Test – Mercedes E-Class Coupe Test and Review". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
- "2010 Correction- Mercedes E-Class Coupe Is More Than 60 Percent Based On E-Class". Leftlanenews.com. 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2010-10-01.