Mercedes-Benz CLC, 2009
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a stand-alone model series in the guise of the new Mercedes CLC, the compelling entry-level model in the Mercedes-Benz 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 involving drive, while at the same time delivering the hallmark Mercedes quality standards in terms of safety, comfort, environmental compatibility and functionality. Compared with the previous Sports Coupé, the Mercedes engineers have newly developed or enhanced over 1100 components. Engineering highlights of the CLC include a new direct-steer system for even more agile cornering, state-of-the-art infotainment systems featuring a colour display, Europe-wide DVD or hard-disc navigation and media interface, as well as an uprated four-cylinder engine that now develops 135 kW/184 hp. Fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 10.8 percent compared with the outgoing model.
The compact body dimensions and the muscular lines emphasise the sporty appearance of the new Mercedes CLC. The Mercedes designers have completely redesigned the front and rear so that the Sports Coupé embodies 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 stylistic models. The redesigned large tailgate conceals a variable boot with up to 1100 litres of luggage capacity. The new tail lights, the long row of LEDs which make up the third brake light unit and the rear bumper subdivide the rear and emphasise its width.
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz CLC is akin to a contemporary tailor-made suit - custom-fit and comfortable. Sports seats with better lateral support than ever, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control and brushed aluminium trim elements form part of the standard specification.
Sports package with new direct-steer system and 18-inch wheels
Mercedes-Benz has put together the sports package for drivers looking for sporting flair. It includes exclusive engineering innovations and equipment extras such as 18-inch light-alloy wheels, wide-base tyres, headlamps with black inner surrounds, sports suspension with lowered body, leather sports steering wheel and dark brushed aluminium trim elements. Another special feature which the CLC inherits from its racing car counterparts is the instrument cluster with red needles for the speedometer and rev counter. Once the engine is switched on, these needles spin once around the dial before returning to their start positions.
The standard specification for the sports package includes a new direct-steer system, which further enhances the agile driving experience of the CLC while adding an important boost to safety. This new feature is based on the speed-sensitive power steering and also 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 also improves handling safety in critical situations - for instance when taking sudden evasive action - as the field tests conducted by the Mercedes engineers demonstrate.
Engines: fuel consumption reduced by up to 10.8 percent
Mercedes-Benz offers four four-cylinder and two six-cylinder engines with power outputs ranging from 90 kW/122 hp to 200 kW/272 hp for the new Mercedes CLC. The 135 kW/184 hp powerplant in the CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR now develops an extra 15 kW/20 hp while consuming just 7.8 to 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle - the equivalent of up to 0.7 litres less than before. In consumption terms, with its advanced turbodiesel engines, the CLC falls into the five-litre category: the CLC 200 CDI returns a consumption of 5.8 to 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle, up to 10.8 percent less than the outgoing model. The CDI models boast operating ranges of over 1000 kilometres with a full tank (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 gearshift paddles on the steering wheel to select the gears of the automatic transmission manually and make optimum use of the engines' high power reserves when the driving situation calls for it.
Infotainment: state-of-the-art technology for navigation and musical enjoyment on wheels
The Mercedes engineers have developed a new generation of infotainment units for the CLC, bringing luxury-class cutting-edge technology to the Sports Coupé as of September 2008. Three units are available, offering a superb combination of colour display, twin tuner, speed-sensitive volume control and Bluetooth mobile phone interface. An iPod, USB stick or other external audio devices can now also be connected to the infotainment system. A new universal media interface (optional extra) links these devices to the on-board electronics and the Sports Coupé's 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.
Success story: Sports Coupé with extensive conquest potential
The new Mercedes CLC is the successor to a successful Mercedes model that boasts some 320,000 drivers around the world to its name since 2001. The majority of these were new Mercedes customers. Its high conquest rate of some 70 percent made the Sports Coupé one of the most successful models in the Mercedes strategic product initiative. With the help of a compelling two-door model, the Stuttgart-based car maker has managed to fire customers' imagination over the long term. Over 40 percent of buyers opted for a larger Mercedes model after the Sports Coupé and are currently driving an E-Class, CLK or an SLK.