Mercedes-Benz C208

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Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class convertible (US)

The Mercedes-Benz C208/A208 cars were produced from 1996 through 2003. They were sold under the CLK-Class model names. The C208 was a new model based on the W202 C-Class. It was replaced by the C209 CLK-Class in 2002, although the convertible remained in production until 2003 when replaced by the A209.

The CLK range in general[edit]

The Mercedes-Benz C208 (coupe)1997-2002 and convertible (A208) produced from 1997 to 2003. They were sold under the CLK-Class model names. The 208 series models were the CLK 200 4-cylinder (from MY2000 also with Kompressor), CLK230 Kompressor 4-cylinder, CLK 320 V6, CLK 430 V8 and CLK 55 AMG. All models were available in both coupe and cabriolet form. All of them had four seats so that families could sit comfortably.

The CLK introduced a new market niche for Mercedes-Benz. Although the C208 used components from the E-Class (W210) and had a specification level higher than the E-Class, it was in fact based on the less expensive C-Class (W202) platform.

The CLK features a number of innovative accessories and systems, such as tow-away protection and an emergency transmission mode.

The C208 was succeeded by the C209, also called the CLK.

Engines and performance[edit]

Engine Cylinders Power Torque 0-100 km/h (Coupe) Maximum Speed (Coupe) Designation
2.0 16V I4 136 PS (100 kW; 134 bhp) 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) 8.8 208 km/h (129 mph) CLK 200
2.0 16V Supercharged I4 163 PS (120 kW; 161 bhp) 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) 7.9 222 km/h (138 mph) CLK 200 Kompressor
2.0 16V Supercharged I4 192 PS (141 kW; 189 bhp) 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) 7.9 255 km/h (158 mph) CLK 200 Kompressor
2.3 16V Supercharged I4 193 PS (142 kW; 190 bhp) 280 N·m (210 lb·ft) 7.5 255 km/h (158 mph) CLK 230 Kompressor
3.2 18V V6 218 PS (160 kW; 215 bhp) 310 N·m (230 lb·ft) 7.4 240 km/h (150 mph) CLK 320
4.3 24V V8 279 PS (205 kW; 275 bhp) 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) 6.2 250 km/h (155 mph) CLK 430
5.4 24V V8 347 PS (255 kW; 342 bhp) 510 N·m (380 lb·ft) 4.7 250 km/h (155 mph) CLK 55 AMG

Note: CLK430 and CLK55 AMG are electronically limited to 255 km/h (158 mph)

CLK 55 AMG[edit]

Engine[edit]

The CLK AMG is powered by a hand-assembled 5.4-liter V8 engine. The hardware list reads like that of a race car: super-stiff forged billet steel crankshaft, forged, weight-matched connecting rods and pistons, lightweight AMG-specific chain-driven single overhead camshafts V8 (one cam per cyl bank) with two intake and one exhaust valves per cylinder, as well as 8 coil packs and 16 spark plugs (two spark plugs per cyl). Its bore and stroke are nearly the same, which makes it an ideally balanced engine. The complex dual-resonance intake manifold with carefully tuned runners helps create optimized torque and power outputs by taking advantage of two resonate frequencies to increase performance, the engine features a high compression ratio of 10.5:1. All of these advance technologies help deliver a healthy 342 hp (255 kW) and 376 lb·ft (510 N·m) of torque.

Transmission[edit]

The five-speed automatic transmission is adapted from the gearbox used in the V-12 S-class models, because that gearbox can take the torque. It is fully adaptive and electronically controlled, and is a stronger unit than that of the CLK430. Also a larger four-bolt driveshaft that's four inches in diameter connects to a reinforced rear differential to keep all the extra power under control. Standard traction control keeps wheelspin to a minimum, while its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) keeps the CLK on its intended path.

Handling[edit]

The standard CLK chassis is used, and while the current version is not based on the new C-Class platform, the AMG version of the CLK offers some special undercarriage components. The four-wheel independent suspension is basically the same as the lesser CLK versions, but AMG fits higher-rated springs, tighter shock valving, larger diameter anti-roll bars and stiffer suspension bushings. The resulting firmer, more controlled ride is made even tighter by its high-performance ZR-rated low-profile tires. The brakes have been enhanced as well. The huge four-wheel discs are larger and thicker than the other CLKs, and the rear discs are specially vented to enhance cooling. An anti-lock braking system is standard, while Brake Assist applies full braking force in panic stop faster than a driver could. It rides on AMG Monoblock alloy wheels, 7.5" front and 8.5" rear, shod with 225/45ZR17 and 245/40ZR17 Michelin Pilot Sport tires.