Wednesday 6th January 1993
The Mercedes-Benz CLK was presented at the “North American International Auto Show” in Detroit, US. The CLK introduced a new market niche for Mercedes-Benz. Although the W208 used components from the E-Class (W210), aesthetic based on the E-Class 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 CLK320 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), M113 4.3 L V8-powered CLK430 appeared in 1999. All models were available in both coupé and convertible form. In Europe, the supercharged I-4 powered CLK200 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. Wing mirror-mounted turn signals were not implemented until 2001 for the 2002 year model. In the United States, the CLK430 could be equipped with a “Sport Package,” which gave it the external styling of the more powerful CLK55 AMG, and equipped it with the same wheels and tires as its AMG counterpart (see section “CLK55 AMG”). This allowed it to reach up to 0.83G’s of lateral acceleration, and 66.5 mph on the slalom run. 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 CLK55 AMG Cabriolet was launched in 2002, the last model year of this body style.