Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

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Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class
CLK 209 (Cabriolet).jpg
Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet (A209)
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Karmann (1998-2003)
Production 1997–2009
Assembly Bremen, Germany
Monterrey, Mexico
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Mid-size luxury coupé
Body style 2-door coupé
2-door convertible
Layout FR layout
Related Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
Predecessor Mercedes-Benz E-Class (C124/A124)
Successor Mercedes-Benz E-Class (C207/A207)

The Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class is a series of mid-size luxury coupés and convertibles produced by German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz in two generations, although its design and styling was derived from the E-Class although technically it was based on the mechanical underpinnings of the smaller C-Class, i.e. respectively based on the W202 and W203 platforms of the C-Class. It was positioned below the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class and SL-Class, but above the SLK-Class.[1][2] The CLK name derives from the German Coupé Leicht Kompakt (or Kurz), translated Coupé-Light-Short. In 2009 Mercedes ceased to use the CLK designation moving the segment designation back to E-Class Coupe/Convertible instead, as it had called this specific line of its vehicles previously before the CLK moniker was introduced in the 1990s.

First generation (1997–2003; C208/A208)[edit]

First generation
2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 (C208) Elegance coupe (2015-07-03) 01.jpg
Production 1997–2003
Designer Michael Fink (1993)
Body and chassis
Related Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Wheelbase 105.9 in (2,690 mm)

The first-generation C208/A208 CLK was introduced in 1997, and was based on the W202 Mercedes-Benz C-Class launched three years earlier. The C208 coupé was replaced by the C209 CLK-Class in 2002, although the convertible remained in production until 2003 when replaced by the A209 CLK.


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. Two versions were initially available: the four-cylinder CLK 200 (136 PS (100 kW; 134 bhp)) and four-cylinder supercharged and CLK 230 Kompressor 193–197 PS (142–145 kW; 190–194 bhp).

The CLK 320 Coupé was introduced in the 1997 model year, powered by a 218 PS (160 kW; 215 bhp) 3.2 L V6 engine. The CLK GTR FIA GT1 racing car appeared in 1998, powered by a 5.9 L V12 engine; 25 road-going CLK GTRs were made. The CLK 320 Cabriolet and the 279 PS (205 kW; 275 bhp), 4.3 L V8-powered CLK 430 appeared in 1999. All models were available in both coupé and convertible form. In Europe, the supercharged 200 Kompressor was also available, reaching impressive 193bhp, thanks to euro2 permissive emission specs. 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.

The high-performance CLK 55 AMG, which was introduced first in Europe in 2000, was powered by the 372 PS (274 kW; 367 bhp) "M113" 5.4 L V8 engine; the CLK 55 AMG Cabriolet was launched in 2002, the last year of this body style.

Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class convertible (US)
Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 convertible (Australia)

CLK 55 AMG[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 97mm x 92mm. The dual-resonance intake manifold with tuned runners helps create optimized torque and power outputs by taking advantage of two resonant frequencies to increase performance. The engine features a high compression ratio of 10.5:1. All of these advanced technologies help deliver a healthy 342 hp (255 kW) and 376 lb·ft (510 N·m) of torque.


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.

Facelift (post-2000) CLK 320 Cabriolet


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.

F1 Safety Car[edit]

A specially-modified version of this vehicle was used during the 1997 F1 season as a Safety Car.[3]

Engines and performance[edit]

Model Engine Layout Power Torque 0-100 km/h (sec) Maximum Speed
CLK 200 2.0 16V I4 136 PS (100 kW; 134 bhp) 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) 11.0 208 km/h (129 mph)
CLK 200 Kompressor 2.0 16V supercharged I4 163 PS (120 kW; 161 bhp) 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) 9.1 223 km/h (139 mph)
CLK 230 Kompressor 2.3 16V supercharged I4 193 PS (142 kW; 190 bhp) 280 N·m (210 lb·ft) 8.4 234 km/h (145 mph)
CLK 230 Kompressor 2.3 16V supercharged I4 197 PS (145 kW; 194 bhp) 280 N·m (210 lb·ft) 8.1 235 km/h (146 mph)
CLK 320 3.2 18V V6 224 PS (165 kW; 221 bhp) 315 N·m (232 lb·ft) 7.4 240 km/h (150 mph)
CLK 430 4.3 24V V8 279 PS (205 kW; 275 bhp) 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) 6.3 250 km/h (155 mph)
CLK 55 AMG 5.4 24V V8 347 PS (255 kW; 342 bhp) 510 N·m (380 lb·ft) 5.4 250 km/h (155 mph)
Note: CLK430 and CLK55 AMG are electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph)

Second generation (2002–2009; C209/A209)[edit]

Second generation
2007-2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK350.jpg
2007–2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK 350
Production 2002–2009
Body and chassis
Related Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

The second generation CLK was launched in 2002; like the first generation it was available in two body styles, a hardtop coupé (C209) and a cabriolet (A209), introduced in 2004. At introduction, it was available with a 3.2-litre engine, a 5.0-litre engine, and a 5.5-litre engine. It was manufactured with diesel and petrol engines ranging from four- to eight-cylinder. In 2009 the CLK was discontinued and replaced by the C207 E-Class Coupé and A207 E-Class convertible, still based on W204 C-Class underpinnings.[citation needed]


2005–2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK 280 (A209) Avantgarde cabriolet (Australia)
2003-2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 coupé
2002–2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK 500 (C209) Avantgarde coupé
Facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLK320CDI cabrio (D)

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) taller than its predecessor. In Europe the CLK was available in luxury "Elegance" or sporty "Avantgarde" specification, the former using burled walnut trim and polished alloy wheels, the latter aluminium trim and wider, sportier wheels. In the US an all-leather interior and burled walnut trim were standard. There was also a Sport upgrade package for the Avantgarde, with 18" alloys and an interior upgrade.

Performance is electronically limited to 217 km/h (135 mph) in the CLK350 model, and to 249 km/h (155 mph) in the CLK500 and CLK55 models. An AMG factory option was available for an unrestricted top speed. Safety systems included Electronic Stability Control (ESP) and Anti-lock braking system (ABS).

The cabriolets have a remote-operated automatic soft-top stowed under a metal tonneau, 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. Options included Keyless Go system, navigation system, Parktronic system, and bi-xenon HID headlamps. All models come with four side airbags.

The 2004 CLK was the last Mercedes Benz automobile to use the D2B (Digital Data Bus) optical fibre media system introduced a decade earlier and 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, alongside optional DVD based navigation system and iPod integration. 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.

A CLK AMG DTM was produced as a MY2006 in both a coupé 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 fibre accents, and upgraded suspension.


  • The CLK200 Kompressor featured a 1.8 L, 16-valve single overhead cam (SOHC) and a 5-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual transmission. The CLK200 Kompressor was introduced in 2003-2007.
  • The CLK 270 CDI features a 2.7 L, 5 Cylinder engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission.
  • The CLK320 featured 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 CLK350 features a 3.5 L, 24-valve dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
  • The CLK500 features a 5.0 L, 24-valve SOHC V8 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission introduced in late 2002. The CLK500 was replaced by the CLK550 from 2007.
  • The CLK550 features a 5.5L 32-valve V-8 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
  • The CLK55 AMG features a 5.4 L, 24-valve SOHC V8 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. In the AMG model, the transmission can be set to remain longer in lower gears for higher performance. The CLK55 AMG coupé was dropped in North America after the 2005 model year, though the cabriolet was still offered. The CLK55 was replaced by the CLK63 from 2007.
  • The CLK63 AMG features a 6.2L V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Available in both Coupé (not in the U.S.) and Cabriolet, the CLK63 has 481 hp (354 kW) and 630 N·m (460 lbf·ft) of torque. Compared to its predecessor the CLK63 has 31% more power and 23% more torque. The CLK63 was used as safety Car in the 2006 and 2007 Formula One World Championships. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. There were only 143 CLK63 Cabriolets imported to the United States in 2007 and only 100 in 2008 making them a very rare and desirable car today.
  • The CLK63 AMG Black Series features a 6.2L V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission, delivering 507 hp (373 kW) and 465 lb·ft (630 Nm) of torque. It accelerates from 0–60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG coupé

In Europe there was also the CLK 200 K (1.8 R4), CLK 220 CDI (2.1 I4 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.

In 2005 an UK-only "Sport" version was added, making the AMG treatment available on the 280, 220 CDI and 320 CDI models—which included AMG 18" alloy wheels, wider rear track, suspension set-up, sport/tiptronic/manual gear options, body styling, paddle shifter and sports exhausts.

Black Series[edit]

2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series

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 62 mph (100 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; other features include an upgraded rear axle and a fully adjustable suspension system. The Black Series Cost £100.000 (£34,000 more than the standard CLK63 AMG). However, thanks to power tweaks it can now reach a greater top speed, but it is limited to 186 mph. The engine is a 6.2 L AMG V8 which produces 507 bhp and 465 lb.ft of torque.


Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG Coupé
Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet

The CLK DTM AMG sports car was a special version of the C208 CLK, 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 hardtop CLK DTM AMG, 80 CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet convertible versions were made for the 2006 model year,. 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 Honda Driver Jenson Button both own the hard top version of the CLK DTM.[citation needed]


Petrol engines
Model Year Engine Type (code) Power, torque@rpm
Petrol engines
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
Diesel engines
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


In 2003, the CLK 55 AMG was used as F1 Safety Car. It returned to this duty as the CLK 63 AMG for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.[3]

2010–present (C207/A207)[edit]

Main article: Mercedes-Benz C207

A two-door E-Class Coupé 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 Coupé shares more (up to 60% of its parts) with the W212 E-Class sedan.[4] It is produced in Bremen.[1] [1][2]

CLK GTR[edit]

Main article: Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was a V12 mid-engine race car developed for the 1997 FIA GT Championship. It shared only lights and other exterior similarities with the normal CLK. Production of the required 25 road cars began in late 1998.


  1. ^ a b c Shunk, Chris (2009-05-19). "2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe a C-Class underneath? — Autoblog". Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  2. ^ a b "2010 Mercedes-Benz E550C First Test – Mercedes E-Class Coupe Test and Review". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Mercedes-AMG GT S: Bernd Mayländers neues Safety-Car". 9 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "2010 Correction- Mercedes E-Class Coupe Is More Than 60 Percent Based On E-Class". 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2010-10-01.