Mercedes Benz CLK 320. Coupe without too much pathos.
Mercedes-Benz CLK – class - a family of cars with a coupe and intermediate class cabriolet between C and E. Created on the basis of class C.
The CLK-class (coupe) model was first introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1997. Despite the external similarity of the CLK with the E-class models, a more compact C-class served as a technical base for it. The fact is that the CLK prototype was the Coupe Studie concept car, built on the basis of the E-class in the back of a W124 in 1993. In the series, he never went, but his design became the basis for the creation of new sedans "upper middle class" in the back of the W210. However, the CLK cannot be considered a "bought out" E-class: its wheelbase is 14 cm shorter, and the track is already where the C-class platform imperceptible to the eye comes to light. As a result, the CLK coupe debuted on the market two years later than the E-class and with the more compact C-class four-cylinder engines of 2.0 and 2.3 liters. More powerful V6 3.2 l and V8 4.3 l appeared a little later.
The coupe has a pronounced “big-eyed” E-class exterior, a hardtop body without central pillars, an arrow-shaped profile, wide doors without window frames for large curved windows and small triangular windows for rear passengers. Despite the lack of central pillars, a good level of protection was achieved with a side impact due to the use of powerful body crossbars and additional stiffeners in the doors. The drag coefficient is reduced to 0.28: a little worse than the sedan (0.26), but noticeably better than its closest competitors. If you lower all four windows and open the sunroof, you get the impression that you are in a convertible. It is only alarming that in a harsh climate, a hardtop is not the most practical thing: in frosts, glass often freezes, so sometimes it’s not easy to open a car.
Inside the Mercedes CLK, the familiar world of leather, wood, and a multitude of pleasant little things such as a remotely adjustable rear window or multi-contour curtain with several inflatable chambers supporting various delicate body parts. Moreover, all controls, from the knob to an automatic gearbox and ending with the high-beam engine, are in the usual places and even have a familiar shape. The instrument panel with the "real" analog clock and vertical "thermometers" of the fuel reserve and coolant temperature is borrowed from the E-class. Ventilation deflectors - like on a roadster SL. The center console and gearbox lever migrated from the C-Class sedan as a single unit. The only truly new element is the glove box with an elegant longitudinal strap under which the lock button is hidden. As soon as the door closes, the mechanism hidden in the side of the body moves the seat belt webbing 30 cm forward. And immediately after the belt is buttoned, the mechanism silently returns the strap to its place. Opening access to the rear seats, the front seats not only recline, but at the same time move forward and lift. And if the windows are lowered, then it is even easier to sneak back — no need to bend around the non-existent central roof pillar. The back seat is designed strictly for two. And so that there is no temptation to seat the third in the back seat, the cushion is separated by a rigid plastic insert about 25 cm wide with a tray for small items.
CLK models are available with in-line petrol engines with an electronic injection system of various volume and power: 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines with a displacement of 2.0 to 4.3 liters and capacity from 136 to 279 hp A volumetric supercharger can be installed on 4-cylinder engines to increase power. On request, a subsidiary of AMG manufactures the CLK 55AMG model with a 5.5-liter engine producing 347 hp. Unlike other cars, here the speed limiter works only at 280 km / h.
The cars are equipped with a five-speed manual or automatic gearbox, ABS, side airbags, ASR, ESP, and Break-Assist emergency braking system. Naturally, the CLK suspension is tougher than you would expect from a car with a Mercedes emblem. But this is felt only when driving at low speed, for example, in a dense stream. When entering the open space, at a speed of more than 60 km / h, the feeling of discomfort disappears. He is replaced by confidence in the clear and predictable behavior of the CLK in the most extreme traffic situations.
In 1998, the lineup added to the convertible. In November 1998, the production of the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR began - this is a unique road version of the Gran Turismo-class racing car for 24-hour races, which was made in the amount of 25 copies. The ultra lightweight, energy-absorbing body made of Kevlar and Crash-Box carbon fiber with aerodynamic details and an integrated steel safety arch conceals a tiny 2-seater cabin and a 12.9-cylinder engine with a working volume of 6.9 liters, developing a power of 612 hp at 6800 rpm Not surprisingly, the maximum speed of the CLK-GTR reaches 320 km / h, and it dials 100 km / h from the spot in 3.8 seconds.
In the summer of 1999 the car design was updated. The new convertible, based on the CLK coupe, features a large saloon with full rear seats.
In 2000, the family of 4-seat coupe and cabriolets (platforms like C208 and A208), including 10 basic complete sets, was updated due to the appearance of two new 4-cylinder engines. Now these cars, unified on the chassis with the previous C-class family, are equipped with 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder 163-347 hp engines since mid-2000. Models with engines V6 and V8 remained unchanged: V6 volume of 3.2 liters capacity of 218 hp and V8 volume of 4.3 and 5.4 liters and a capacity of 279 and 347 hp respectively. Maximum speed depending on the engine from 208 to 250 km / h. New engines with a working volume of 2.0 and 2.3 liters are less noisy than before, and are equipped with a more advanced volumetric supercharger (the so-called compressor), which made it possible to raise the power of a 2.0 liter unit to 163 hp. for modification CLK200Kompressor, and 2.3-liter - to increase from 192 to 197 hp for CLK230Kompressor. Traction characteristics of engines have increased due to an increase in torque in a wide range of crankshaft rotational speeds.
New engines are equipped with mechanical 6-speed gearbox with short strokes and low effort when switching. On request, a 5-step hydromechanical “automatic” is offered with the possibility of “manual” gear shifting.
In 2002, the CLK coupe of the new generation was introduced (platform type C 209), similar in terms of platform and power units to the C-class sedan, but differs from it in a more rapid 2-door body. Almost similar to the platform machine - 3-door hatchback Sport Coupe (SC) C-class. The abbreviation CLK can be translated as "light compact coupe" - this machine actually is such. The wheelbase of the car has grown from 2,690 to 2,715 mm, and the body has become a bit more spacious.
The cabin is dominated by the C-class style, but it looks richer. Instead of an ignition key, a remote Keyless-Go system with an electronic card appeared, and the engine is started with a button on the gear lever.
The most serious technical innovation, which first appeared on this car, was the 1.8-liter engine, equipped with a system of direct injection of gasoline into the combustion chambers. This is the first engine from this type of Mercedes-Benz. Unlike the already discontinued 1.8-liter engine with a working volume of 1799 cm3, the new unit has a dimension of 83.0 x 85.0 mm (cylinder diameter and piston stroke) and a working volume of 1796 cm3. On CLK models, this engine is used only with a volumetric supercharger (compressor) and can be either with a conventional power system (distributed metered injection into the intake manifold) or with direct petroleum injection into the combustion chambers. As a result, the new engine was 6% more economical than usual. This 1.8 CGi engine was the first serial unit of this type with a power of 170 hp. (model CLK 200 CGI). With a conventional power system, it can develop 143, 163 and 192 hp. depending on the degree of boost, however, on the CLK 200K, only the version of 163 hp is used. Until now, CLK diesel engines were not installed at all, but now you can take the CLK 270 CDI with a 2.7-liter turbo-charged diesel engine of 170 hp.
In March 2003, the traditionally fertile cabriolet spring show in Geneva debuted the Mersedes CLK Cabriolet. The 71-mm-tall CLK has a solid 390-liter trunk for its class, a larger rear seat that comfortably accommodates two adults and, of course, an elegant exterior in the spirit of corporate traditions. But this is only the visible part, a lot of technical innovations are covered from the first glance.
First of all, the power structure of the body was revised and the aerodynamics was significantly improved: Cx = 0.3. Not the last role in the streamlined body plays a folding top design. Acoustic and thermal comfort in the cabin also depend on the complex geometry of the fabric "sandwich". Lifting the CLK roof requires no effort from the owner - pressing a button on the console or keyfob, and in a matter of seconds the hydraulic drives are turned over the umbrella head. By the way, three colors of the tent are offered for choice: black, gray or blue.
The company assured that fuel consumption with any of the five gasoline engines with a capacity of 120 kW / 163 hp. up to 270 kW / 367 hp will be lower than before. Under especially powerful units specially adjusted suspension (front three-lever and rear multi-link) and steering. The commissioning of the most "evil" CLK was entrusted to the AMG court tuning studio specialists, thanks to which the CLK55 AMG reaches a speed of 100 km / h almost a second faster than the top version of its predecessor - in just 5.4 seconds!
The list of passive safety devices is traditionally rich: protective arches, “firing” behind the heads of riders under the threat of a car tipping over, “intelligent” airbags, active head restraints. The engineers even took care of the protection from ... a thunderbolt! According to statistics for 2002 over Germany, Austria and Switzerland, lightning flashed more than 2.9 million times (by the way, in 2001 there were only 2.2 million in total). Apparently, seeing in this trend, the experts "Daimler-Chrysler" asked for help from colleagues from the Technical University of Berlin. Taking the idea of the English physicist of the nineteenth century, Michael Faraday, created a unique aluminum-steel frame, "implanted" in the fabric top and connected to the car body. The frame creates in the cabin a zone protected from electric fields. During the "thunderstorm" tests, he withstood a discharge of 1.4 million volts, safely withdrawing it without harm to passengers and on-board electronics. Such an advanced mobile lightning rod, apparently, has not yet been done ...
At a specialized motor show in Essen in 2003, the well-known tuning company Carlsson presented its own version of the Mercedes CLK coupe, named CLK-RS. Moreover, the specialists of this company took the already charged Mercedes CLK 55 AMG, equipped with a 5.5-liter V8 engine, as a basis for their modifications.
After installing a mechanical supercharger on this engine, its power increased by 113 horsepower and amounted to 480 horsepower. The maximum torque of this motor is now 650Nm, which is reached already at 2800 rpm. Such a powerful engine provides the new enviable dynamic characteristics: from zero to one hundred kilometers per hour the CLK-RS accelerates in just 4.4 seconds, from zero to 200 kilometers per hour - in 14.2 seconds, and its maximum speed reaches 310 kilometers at one o'clock.
In addition to the engine, the car also received a number of other changes, including a new aero kit with a powerful rear wing, a new exhaust system with a “tuned” sound, as well as stylish 19-inch rims with tires of 235/35 in front and 265/30 in the rear. The interior has also changed, having received new trim materials and Recaro sports seats.
Also in 2003, the most famous German tuning studio Brabus presented its own modification of the Mercedes CLK coupe. Called the Mercedes CLK K8, this car is equipped with a 5.5-liter V8 compressor engine, whose power was brought to 550 horsepower by Brabus specialists. The maximum torque of this engine is 780Nm, and it is reached already at 3000 rpm. From zero to one hundred kilometers per hour the CLK K8 accelerates in just 4.1 seconds, and from zero to 200 kilometers per hour - to 12.6 seconds. The maximum speed of this super coupe reaches 325 kilometers per hour.
In addition to the engine, Brabus engineers also upgraded the Mercedes CLK suspension, making it lower and stiffer, as well as the braking system, equipping it with Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers. At the same time, the new brakes are adapted to the use of standard security systems, such as Stability and anti-lock brakes. By tradition, the CLK K8 also received new rims with low-profile tires, an original aerodynamic body kit and a new trim.
In the spring of 2005, sales of the modernized CLK coupe and CLK Cabriolet cabriolets, assembled at a plant in Bremen, began. The cars are exquisite in terms of style and technically superior. The modernized versions are distinguished by such spectacular stylish elements as sideless lowered side windows, a characteristic grille with a Mercedes star in the center, an updated hood design with four rounded headlights and swift outlines of the roof. Complement the picture with improved finishing materials.
A new range of petrol engines V6 - CLK280 (3.0 l / 231 hp) and CLK350 (3.5 l / 272 hp), a new generation of CR turbo diesel engines - CLK220 CDI (2.1 l / 150 l. pp.) and CLK320 CDI (3.0 l / 224 hp). The range of other engines remained unchanged - this is the CLK200K compressor (1.8 l / 163 hp) and the top version CLK500 (5.0 l V8 306 hp).
The equipment list includes ABS, ESP, BAS active safety systems, a premium stereo system with a CD player or Comand system, full power accessories, including seats and a steering wheel with memory, multi-contour front seats, six PB, central locking with remote control, dual-zone climate - Thermotronic control with additional ventilation for the second row of seats and much more.
For the first time, the state-of-the-art equipment for the CLK, previously installed on Mercedes-Benz executive cars, is offered as an option for CLK. The system of active cruise control DISTRONIC: intelligent system to maintain a constant speed automatically maintains the distance to other vehicles. The system is Keyless-Go, which allows you to open and start a car without a key only using the button. When exiting, the steering wheel automatically rises, the seat slides back, allowing the driver freedom of movement. Linguatronic voice control system for phone and car radio. Radio, CD player, telephone and navigation system are controlled by voice commands. Multi-contour front seats consist of four independent inflatable sections, which allow you to individually create the contours of the backrest and the lower part of the seat.
In the fall of 2005 (following the coupe CLK DTM AMG), at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes introduced the CLK DTM AMG Cabrio. This chic version from AMG tuning specialists was released in a limited edition of 100 pieces for wealthy motorsport enthusiasts. The cabriolet got a 5.5-liter AMG engine with a power of 582 hp, an AMG Speedshift automatic transmission with 5 steps and a new sports suspension. Acceleration to a hundred in 4 seconds. Maximum speed is electronically limited to 300 km / h. Optionally, Dunlop sports tires with a size of 225/35 R 19 in front and 285/30 R 20 in the rear were offered.
On the accessories of a convertible to the family of athletes say large air intakes and wide wheel arches. Many components are made of very light carbon fiber - these include doors, hood, front fenders, and rear wheel arches. The salon has AMG sports seats with leather upholstery and Alcantara, an AMG racing wheel and an AMG dashboard with a speedometer on which the attractive figure of 360 km / h is drawn. In order to avoid unpleasant situations, the car was equipped with an ESP stabilization system and new AMG brakes.
After restyling and upgrading in 2005, the CLK coupe family and convertible soft-top cabriolets were produced without significant changes. In the spring of 2006, it consisted of 20 basic versions, differing in bodies and power units.
In 2009, the model was removed from production.