The new Mercedes-Benz CLC: Sports Coupé with high fun factor

Mar 4, 2008
  • Engines more powerful and more economical
  • Restyling at the front and rear
  • New sports package with direct-steer system
Mercedes-Benz is unveiling a stand-alone model series in the guise of the new CLC, the compelling entry-level model in the Stuttgart-based brand's coupé family. The Sports Coupé's design, technology and equipment meet the discerning requirements of young drivers looking for an athletic car that gives an entertaining drive, while at the same time delivering the hallmark Mercedes quality standards in terms of safety, comfort, environmental compatibility and functionality. Compared to the previous Sports Coupé, Mercedes engineers have newly developed or improved more than 1100 components.
The compact body dimensions and powerful proportions underline the sporty appearance of the new CLC. The Mercedes designers have completely redesigned the front and rear so that the Sports Coupé embraces the contemporary Mercedes design idiom, with its distinctive coupé radiator grille featuring a large Mercedes star in the centre and the new projection-beam headlamps. The S-Class, the luxury CL-Class coupé and the C-Class provided the inspiration for its styling. The large, newly designed boot lid conceals a variable luggage compartment with a capacity of up to 1100 litres. The new tail lights, the long row of LEDs forming the third brake light and the rear bumper subdivide the rear end and accentuate its width.
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz CLC is akin to a modern bespoke suit, having a precise and comfortable fit. Sports seats with further improved lateral support, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control and brushed aluminium trim all come as standard. A choice of seat covers in black, alpaca grey and a particularly stylish combination of black and red are available to create an individual interior colour scheme.
Sports package with new direct-steer system and 18-inch wheels
Mercedes-Benz has put together the sports package for drivers looking for extra sporting flair. It includes exclusive technical innovations and extras such as
18-inch light-alloy wheels, wide-base tyres, headlamps with a black-tinted interior frame, a lowered sports suspension, a leather sports steering wheel and dark-tinted aluminium trim. Another special feature in the CLC that has been adopted from motor racing cars is the instrument cluster with its red needles for the speedometer and rev counter. When the ignition is switched on, both needles spin right around the scale once then return to their starting position.
The standard specification of the sports package includes the new direct-steer system, which also features in the SL and SLK and further enhances the agile handling of the CLC. This new feature is based on the speed-sensitive power steering and additionally offers a variable rack ratio which changes as a function of the steering angle, so that the driver only has to turn the wheel slightly when cornering; the Sports Coupé therefore responds far more spontaneously to steering commands and offers even sportier handling. As a result, the direct-steer system can also help to improve handling safety in critical situations - for instance when taking sudden evasive action - as the field tests conducted by Mercedes engineers have demonstrated.
Engines: fuel consumption reduced by up to 10.8 per cent
The new CLC is available with a choice of four four-cylinder and two six-cylinder engines developing outputs from 90 kW/122 hp to 200 kW/272 hp. The 135-kW/184-hp power unit in the CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR now has 15 kW/20 hp more output, and consumes only 7.8 to 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the NEDC driving cycle – up to 0.7 litres less than before. With its advanced turbodiesel engines, the CLC falls into the five-litre category in fuel consumption terms: the CLC 200 CDI limits itself to 5.8 to 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC), i.e. up to 10.8 per cent less than the preceding model. The CDI models are capable of covering over 1000 kilometres with just one tank of fuel (62 litres).
The six-speed manual transmission comes as standard with all engine variants. Mercedes-Benz can also supply a five-speed automatic transmission for the four‑cylinder units, and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission for the V6 models. In combination with the sports package, the driver can use shift paddles on the steering wheel to select the gears of the automatic transmission manually and thereby make optimum use of the engines' high power reserves whenever the driving situation calls for it.
Infotainment: latest technology for navigation and mobile musical pleasure
The Mercedes engineers have developed a new generation of infotainment units, which will also now feature in the CLC. Three units are available offering a splendid combination of features, including colour display, dual tuner, speed-sensitive volume control and Bluetooth mobile phone interface. For the first time, an iPod, USB stick or other external audio devices can also be connected to the infotainment system. A new universal media interface (optional extra) links these devices to the Sports Coupé's on-board electronics and control system, allowing the iPod tracks to be displayed in the instrument cluster and on the colour screen in the centre console. Tracks can then be selected conveniently using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel.
The new Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS units come with a Europe-wide DVD or hard-disc-based navigation system respectively. The LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system, which Mercedes-Benz has upgraded so that it is now capable of recognising whole words, is fitted as standard if the integrated six-disc DVD changer is specified. This enables the telephone, audio and navigation systems to be operated with particular ease.