Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class: More Dynamic and Appealing Than Ever
For many years now, the letters CLK have been synonymous with fascinating coupe design and open-air driving pleasure. In the current range, sleek looks, a spacious interior and lots of equipment combine with a wide range of powerful engines and excellent chassis dynamics to serve up a driving experience that is more irresistible than ever.
Customers can choose from seven engines, two types of transmission, three design and trim lines and numerous attractive colour combinations.
In 2005 the range underwent a major upgrade, with redesigned frontal styling, numerous technical innovations for even more safety and comfort and new engine derivatives.
A tractive proposition
Since the debut of the CLK range, engine choice has been expanded and progressively developed to provide greater output while simultaneously boosting fuel efficiency.
The latest CLK Coupe and Cabriolet models are available with five different petrol engines; in addition, Coupe customers have the choice of two state-of-the-art diesel engines.
The four cylinder CLK 200 KOMPRESSOR develops 163 hp. Its TWINPULSE system combines numerous technologies – including balancer shafts, supercharger, intercooler, variable valve timing and four valves per cylinder – to ensure low fuel consumption, sheer driving pleasure and a level of refinement similar to that of a six-cylinder model.
The CLK 280 (which replaced the CLK 240) features a 3.0 litre V6 producing 231 hp, 36 per cent more power than its predecessor, while the torque has been boosted 25 per cent. The 272 hp CLK 350 (which replaced the CLK 320) offers 25 per cent more output and 13 per cent more torque.
Acceleration from 0-62 mph is just 7.4 seconds in the CLK 280 coupe and 6.4 seconds in the CLK 350 coupe. Equivalent figures for the Cabriolet are 7.8 and 6.7 seconds respectively.
From summer 2006, CLK 500 models feature the newly developed 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine which produces an impressive 388 bhp and boasts peak torque of 530 Nm (this engine replaces the 306 hp 24-valve 5.0-litre V8). The coupe reaches 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, with the Cabriolet only 0.1 second behind, yet they still manage to return excellent combined fuel consumption figures of 24.8 and 24.4 mpg, respectively.
The flagship CLK 63 AMG also launched in summer 2006 is designed to create an unforgettable driving experience. Its exhilarating, high-revving 6208 cc V8 naturally aspirated engine develops a maximum power output of 481 hp at 6800 rpm compared with the 367 hp 5.5 litre V8 of the CLK 55 AMG which it replaces.
Its tremendous flexibility is such that it delivers 500 Nm of torque from just 2000 rpm, reaching a peak of 630 Nm at 5000 rpm.
The CLK 63 AMG delivers truly explosive performance: the Coupe sprints from standstill to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds (down from 5.2), with the Cabriolet taking 4.7 seconds (down from 5.4). Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. (There is a separate CLK 63 AMG pack which provides full details of these models.)
Powerful diesel engine with six cylinders
Diesel fans have the choice of two Coupe models: the CLK 220 CDI and the CLK 320 CDI, both of which provide driving pleasure and dynamic performance thanks to state-of-the-art direct injection technology. The power output – 150 and 224 hp respectively – and torque – 340 and 510 Nm – are extremely impressive, as are the fuel consumption figures of 44.1 and 38.2 mpg (combined).
CLK 200K and 220 CDI models have a 6-speed manual transmission with Speedtronic cruise control; a 5-speed automatic with Tipfunction is optionally available. All other models feature the advanced 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic with Tipfunction and Speedtronic cruise control (AMG models use a bespoke AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic transmission).
Safe and stylish
As well as being aerodynamically efficient, the CLK maintains high standards in both the style and safety stakes. The CLK’s bigger, stiffer body gives the car a graceful look from whatever angle it is viewed and combines with a whole host of safety features designed to offer occupants class-leading levels of protection.
The now classic pillarless design, in which the frameless side windows retract fully into the body, is retained, and the body features high strength steels in some 40 per cent of its weight.
Front and rear modules can withstand impacts of up to nine miles per hour, and crash boxes and a passenger safety cell offer protection for higher speed impacts.
On Cabriolet models a toughened A-pillar combines with a roll-over protection system in case the vehicle inverts. Premiered in the 300 CE-24 of 1991, this evolutionary system uses sensors to extend the rear roll hoops (disguised in the manually-adjustable head restraints) to their maximum height in just 0.3 seconds.
Every CLK includes anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist; ESP® Electronic Stability Program, four seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters and six airbags – two in the dash, plus front side bags and windowbags. The front seatbelts feature a belt feeder making them easy to reach. The impressive head-thorax side impact bags in the Cabriolet offer protection from hip to the head, providing similar levels of protection to windowbags, but in an open-roof car.