What Changed for 2008:
- Race-inspired CLK63 AMG Black Series offers 500 hp
- CLK350 receives standard sport suspension and 18-inch wheels
In the mid-1990s, Mercedes-Benz
dropped the E-Class coupe. It was replaced by a smaller, brand-new C-Class coupe, called the CLK, which inherited many of the styling features and appointments found in the outgoing E-Class. The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was a V-12 racecar used in the 1997 FIA GT championships, while the CLK DTM AMG was built for the German Touring Car Masters. The 2008 CLK is the second generation of the midsize luxury coupe. It is available in coupe and convertible body styles.Model Lineup
Mercedes-Benz sells six different CLK-Class models for 2008, with four engine choices, in both coupe and convertible body styles. The V-6-powered CLK350 coupe and V-8-powered CLK550 coupe are the standard offerings. Enthusiasts may prefer the race-inspired track-ready CLK63 AMG Black Series. Convertible CLK models include the V-6-powered CLK350 Cabriolet and V8-powered CLK550 Cabriolet. The enthusiast-oriented CLK63 AMG offers top-down driving for those looking for high performance.
All 2008 CLK models offer leather seating; authentic wood trim; 10-way power adjustable seats; and an in-dash 6-speaker audio system with CD player as standard appointments. Options to the non-AMG performance models include several premium packages. These offer upgrades such as Xenon headlamps, auto-dimming mirrors, and ventilated front seats. A Sport Appearance package includes suspension upgrades, and adds cross-drilled brake rotors inside 17-inch wheels. The AMG models benefit from heavily upgraded brakes, suspension, wheel and tire packages, and special interior appointments. The CLK63 AMG Black Series offers a number of performance upgrades.Powertrain
Four different engines offer distinctly different driving characteristics for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK. The standard engine, found in the CLK350, is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 268 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque (2008 EPA fuel economy estimates 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway). The CLK550 features a 5.5-liter V-8 engine rated at 382 hp with 391 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA estimates 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway). Both are mated to an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission. The high-performance models include the CLK63 AMG with a 6.3-liter V-8 engine rated at 475 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA estimates 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway), and the race-inspired CLK63 AMG Black Series. The engine in the Black Series has been upgraded with a revised intake and exhaust to yield 500 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA gas mileage figures have not been released). All CLK models are rear-wheel drive and offer a 48-month/50,000-mile warranty.Safety
Driver and front passenger inside 2008 CLK models are protected by front and side air bags (coupes) or head/thorax air bags (cabriolets). Seat belts offer emergency tensioning devices and force limiters. coupes are equipped with window curtain air bags, extending down the length of the passenger cabin. The rear-seat-mounted universal Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system, for easier installation of infant and child seats, is standard across the model range. The Mercedes-Benz CLK has not been recently crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
The range-topping CLK63 AMG Black Series is based on the Official F1 Safety Car, the vehicle that has been working races since 2006. In addition to the completely reworked engine, the interior and exterior of the vehicle have been modified for the high-performance role. Visually enhanced, the front spoiler is new, with large cooling intakes for the engine and brakes. Wheel wells are flared with a special aerodynamic kit continuing the theme rearward. The rear of the vehicle features a special spoiler and diffuser. The interior sports AMG-specific carbon fiber trims, special instrumentation, and twin bucket seats.