The individuality and variety typical of a Mercedes also apply to the engines, with a choice of five modern petrol units available from launch. These distinguish themselves from the engines in the preceding series by a considerably higher output, more torque and a lower fuel consumption. The engine range is headed by two eight-cylinder units which have the performance characteristics of thoroughbred sports car engines: the new CLK 500 develops an output of 306 hp and accelerates the CLK-Class Cabriolet from standstill to 62.5 mph in 6.2 seconds. It is therefore 27 hp higher in output and 1.2 seconds faster in acceleration than the previous CLK 430. Despite a higher output the CLK 500 Cabriolet consumes approx. five per cent less fuel then the preceding V8 model.
Mercedes-AMG is the producer of the 367 hp V8 engine of the CLK 55 AMG, whose output is 20 hp higher than that of the preceding model, which was a special order car only. This new model is the first factory-produced CLK 55 AMG Cabriolet available in the UK. It enables this Cabriolet to sprint from standstill to 62.5 mph in only 5.4 seconds (predecessor: 6.2 seconds).
Mercedes Benz has extended the range of six-cylinder engines for the CLK-Class Cabriolet with a smooth-running 2.6-litre unit developing 170 hp. The well-proven V6 engine of the CLK 320 Cabriolet (218 hp) remains unchanged.
In the CLK-Class Cabriolet the new generation of four-cylinder engines with the unique TWINPULSE system has ensured further progress in terms of performance characteristics, torque, refinement and fuel consumption. The TWINPULSE system combines various technologies such as supercharging, balancer shafts, intercooling, variably adjustable camshafts and four-valve technology.
With this high-tech package beneath the bonnet the new CLK 200 KOMPRESSOR has the smoothness of a six-cylinder unit, develops 163 hp and returns an impressive 32.1 mpg (NEDC combined consumption) – which is approx. seven per cent less than the equally powerful preceding model.
Suspension: New Developments For Dynamic Handling
New and further developments in many areas of the suspension complete the dynamic driving experience. With its new three-link front suspension, precise rack-and-pinion power steering and modified independent multi-link rear suspension, the CLK-Class Cabriolet provides an ideal combination for outstanding handling safety, agility and comfort. A suspension with even more sporty, i.e. stiffer configuration of the springs and shock absorbers and a lowered body is available on request.
16-inch light-alloy wheels and mixed tyre sizes at the front and rear (205/55 R 16 and 225/50 R 16) emphasise the sporty character of the new Mercedes Cabriolet. The V8 model CLK 500 is fitted with 17-inch tyres, while the CLK 55 AMG underlines its special position in the range with 18-inch tyres.Published 7 February 2003