Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class: New technology for even more dynamic driving pleasure

Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class: New technology for even more dynamic driving pleasure
03.
June 2004
Stuttgart
Mercedes-Benz is again significantly upgrading the successful CLK-Class in terms of technology, visual impact and appointments: from mid-2004 the CLK Coupé and CLK Cabriolet will receive DIRECT CONTROL technology which features modified axle bearings, more direct steering and a shorter gearshift travel, making even more dynamic handling possible with the same high level of ride comfort. Likewise, optional steering wheel gearshift buttons for models with an automatic transmission, new audio units with Europe-wide navigation, and bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light function increase driving pleasure and provide yet more safety. Thanks to the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC, the first of its kind in the world, the fuel consumption of the CLK 500 is reduced by up to 0.6 litres per 100 kilometres. Redesigned switches and controls in the interior give an even greater impression of quality.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class has been on the road to success since May 2002 (Cabriolet: May 2003) and has won the hearts of more than 135,000 male and female drivers to date. Over the same period, the sales figures are approx. 25 percent above those of the preceding models in the case of the CLK Coupé, and approx. 80 percent better in the case of the CLK Cabriolet.
With this model facelift Mercedes-Benz is emphasising the sporty and dynamic character of the CLK-Class. A major contributor to this is the DIRECT CONTROL technical package which includes a six percent more direct steering ratio, comfort-optimised torque strut bearings at the front axle, larger spring link bearings at the rear axle and reconfigured ESP®. As a result both the CLK-Class Coupé and Cabriolet offer typical Mercedes ride comfort together with even better handling dynamics and greater agility on bends.
Mercedes engineers have also revised the standard six-speed transmission, and the DIRECT CONTROL technology with a shorter gearshift travel makes rapid and precise gear changes possible.
Tyres with a run-flat system are available in the CLK-Class for the first time, and Mercedes-Benz combines these with an automatic pressure loss warning system. This system is based on the technology of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) and warns the driver via the central display in the event of a sudden pressure loss in one of the tyres. Thanks to self-supporting tyre flanks, the car is able to continue its journey for up to 50 kilometres at a maximum speed of 80 km/h.
CLK 500: Five percent fuel saving with standard 7G-TRONIC
The new 7G-TRONIC transmission is standard equipment in the top CLK 500 model in future. The world’s only automatic car transmission with seven forward and two reverse gears reduces the acceleration time from zero to 100 km/h, ensures even faster overtaking and at the same time reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.6 litres per 100 kilometres. The relevant data are shown below (figures in brackets: preceding model with five-speed automatic transmission):
CLK 500 Coupé*
0-100 km/h: 5.9 s (6.0 s)
60-120 km/h: 5.2 s (6.2 s)
NEDC consumption: 10.9 l/100 km (11.5 s)
CLK 500 Cabriolet*
0-100 km/h: 6.1 s (6.2 s)
60-120 km/h: 5.7 s (6.7 s)
NEDC consumption: 11.1 l/100 km (11.6 s)
*provisional figures
For all CLK models with an automatic transmission Mercedes-Benz has developed a manual shift programme which allows particularly brisk gear changes using steering wheel buttons (optional equipment). The driver need not take his hand from the steering wheel but shifts the five or seven gears at the touch of a button. In automatic mode the shift programmes "C" (Comfort) and "S" (Sport) are available. In the "M" programme the gears are only shifted using the buttons or by operating the shift lever.
From mid-2004 Mercedes-Benz is also upgrading the innovative technology of the CLK-Class with the option of a newly developed cornering light function which is available in conjunction with the powerful bi-xenon headlamps. When cornering, parking or negotiating tight bends up to a speed of 40 km/h, the left or right fog lamp is switched on and illuminates the frontal area beside the car to an angle of up to 65 degrees, with a range of approx. 30 metres.
Audio equipment: two new systems with Europe-wide navigation
In the infotainment sector the CLK-Class will set standards with new audio and communications equipment. There is a choice of three units whose features include an integral telephone keypad, CD player, automatic speed-dependent volume control and aerial diversity:
  • Audio 20 CD with VHF, MW, LW and SW reception.
  • Audio 50 APS with the same features as Audio 20 CD plus a twin-tuner system, colour display (4.9”) and Europe-wide navigation with dynamic route guidance.
  • COMAND APS with the same features as Audio 50 APS plus Europe-wide DVD navigation, a CD drive, TFT colour display (6.5”) (screen format 16 : 9) and a 4 x 50 Watt amplifier. The navigation system shows the route in the form of a colour map.
A new surround-sound system with twelve (Cabriolet: ten) loudspeakers and 8 x 40 Watt amplifier output makes for a further improved audio experience. In future the LINGUATRONIC voice control system (optional) developed by Mercedes-Benz is also linked to the navigation system, which means that the driver can input the destination address by voice command, for instance.
Impression of quality: carefully improved exterior and interior details
An innovative clearcoat based on the latest nano-particle technology which significantly improves scratch-resistance and the sheen of the paint finish, as well as a leather-like grain on the interior surfaces, further enhance the appearance of the CLK-Class. In the interior Mercedes-Benz has replaced the previous switches in the centre console with new push-push switches and equipped the control panels for the THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC climate control systems with attractive rotary controls which simplify the adjustment of the temperature, air distribution and fan speed, while at the same time enhancing the impression of quality in the interior even further.
CLK 55 AMG: newly developed composite brakes and sports exhaust system
Even the CLK 55 AMG, the sporty and exclusive high-performance model in the CLK-Class line-up, now offers extra sportiness: Coupé and Cabriolet come with an even more powerful braking system. Composite brakes with floating, internally ventilated grey cast iron discs with a diameter of 340 millimetres are fitted at the front axle. The brake discs are connected to an aluminium bowl and, together with the large surfaces of the linings in the six-piston fixed callipers, provide far better heat resistance. Meanwhile, 330-millimetre internally ventilated discs with four-piston fixed callipers provide the braking at the rear axle.
The impressive AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine developing 270 kW/367 hp and 510 Newtonmetres of torque provides dynamic power delivery and now has an even sportier sound – thanks to the new AMG sports exhaust system with its two distinctive twin tailpipes (only Coupé). Modifications to the chassis and power transmission also provide a more intense driving experience: the firmer spring/ damper tuning and the seven per cent increase in direct steering ensure even better roadholding and far greater dynamic handling. The new AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission does not shift down in the manual transmission mode “M” under full throttle and kick-down. Once a certain engine speed ceiling is reached, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT does not automatically shift up to the next gear. This allows the driver with sporting ambitions can make even better use of the superlative performance potential of the CLK 55 AMG.

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