The Mercedes-Benz W209 cars have been produced since 2002. They are sold under the CLK-Class model names. The W209 is based on the W203 C-Class. It replaced the C208 CLK-Class after 2004 which were the first car to carry the CLK moniker. The W209 is available in two body styles, a coupe and a cabriolet, and is manufactured with diesel and petrol engines ranging from four cylinder (CLK200) to eight cylinder (CLK500 and CLK63AMG). The cabriolet (Designated with an A, as in CLK500A) features a fully automatic retractable soft top covered by a metal tonneau that can be raised and lowered from outside the vehicle using the key fob. The W209 was introduced in 2002. At introduction, it was available with a 3.2 liter engine, a 5.0 liter engine, and a 5.5 liter engine. The 2004 CLK was the last Mercedes Benz automobile to use the venerable D2B (Digital Data Bus) optical fiber media system introduced a decade earlier. The most obvious problem with this system was the clearly obsolete CD-ROM based navigation system. The 2005 update included a new 3.5 liter 6 cylinder and the MOST (Media Oriented Serial Transport) media system used in the rest of the Mercedes Benz line, bringing along a significantly upgrade DVD based navigation system and iPod integration as optional features. The 2006 included an improved 3.5 liter 6 cylinder engine and added the steering wheel shift paddles from the AMG model to the CLK500.
The second generation C-Class was introduced in 2000, with an even sportier look than the previous generations, with a steeper front-end and shorter rear-end. The sedan debuted with a range of straight-four and V6 gasoline engines and straight-four and straight-five Diesels. The V6s were versions of the previous model with increased displacement, to 2.6 L and 3.2 L, this one with 218 PS (160 kW/215 hp). The diesels now featured common rail direct injection and variable geometry turbochargers. Six-speed manual gearboxes were now standard for nearly the entire range (except the C320 and C 270 CDI). For the first time, the number designations were no longer equivalent to the engine displacement, more specifically in the C 180 (2.0 L), C 240 (2.6 L) and C 200 CDI (2.2 L). In 2001, Mercedes increased the range, with the introduction of the new T-Modell (station wagon) and Sportcoupé body types. The Sportcoupé was actually a three-door liftback made to counter the BMW Compact, but like its competitor, it proved unpopular with the younger buyers it was targeted towards, due to high prices compared to the lower entry-level models it was competing against, and unfavorable exchange rates. Although removed from the North American lineup in 2005, it continued on sale in other markets. From October 2000 until 2007, a total of 230.000 Sportcoupés were built in the Bremen factory and in Brazil. In Canada, it was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. A new family of supercharged four cylinder engines, dubbed M271, also debuted. All of them used the same 1.8 L engine, with different designations according to horsepower levels, including a version powered by natural gas. The 193 PS(142 kW/190 hp) C 230K was initially available only in the Sportcoupé. 4MATIC four wheel drive versions were also offered for the C 240 and C 320. The C-Class was refreshed in early 2004. In this year, the interior styling was changed in all three body styles. Different taillights were added to the Sportcoupé and several all-new M272 and OM642 V6 engines were introduced later in the year. These were available in both petrol and diesel configuration, ranging between 2.5 L and 3.5 L, and the three-valve twin spark design was replaced by the more standard four-valve design, now with variable valve timing. The C 350 could now reach 272 PS (200 kW/268 hp), while the C 320 CDI was good for 224 PS (165 kW/221 hp). In addition, these engines also received the new seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission as optional, the diesel four cylinder’s power was slightly increased, and a more economical naturally-aspirated 1.8 L (C 160) was added to the Sport coupe lineup. The C-Class is arguably one of the most popular automobiles in its class in many of the European markets. The second generation was for a long time after its release the second most popular new car in the German market, right after the Volkswagen Golf, and in 2002 it achieved success in the field of safety by scoring the maximum five stars in a EuroNCAP crash test. In the United States, the C-Class automobiles are the least expensive of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. However the W203 C-Class did acquire a poor reputation for reliability compared to other Mercedes-Benz models, an area which was targeted for improvement in the replacement model. The last W203 C-Class sedan was produced on December 14, 2006 at the Sindelfingen plant, after almost 630,000 units of the sedan were produced.
DaimlerChrysler introduced a new generation of the C-Class on January 18, 2007 and displayed it in the 2007 Geneva Auto Show. Sales started on March 31, 2007 in almost all European countries. The new vehicle has an extended wheelbase and tracks, a stiffer bodyshell and a design inspired by the most recent S-Class and some hints from the CLS-Class. The model has three levels of equipment – Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde. A high performance AMG version with a 6.2 L engine followed in September 2007, labelled C 63 AMG with 457 PS (335 kW)to rival the Audi RS4 and BMW M3. The Classic and Elegance lines retain the traditional Mercedes-Benz radiator grille, with a three-point star bonnet emblem. The Avantgarde line has a grille similar to that on Mercedes’ sport coupe models, with two horizontal bars and a large centre-mounted star. In the UK the Classic line is known as the SE and the Avantgarde line is known as the C-Class Sport , and comes with an AMG bodykit, and AMG alloy wheels as standard. The North American version is slightly different, as the Classic model is dropped. The Elegance is known as the C-Class Luxury and the Avantgarde wearing the AMG sports package is known as the C-Class sport. Both lines have an additional amber light in front of the front wheel well. New saloon and estate versions were announced in 2007, while the CLC-Class Sportcoupé will remain based on the W203 chassis. There will be an increase of component-sharing with other Mercedes’ models, namely the redesigned E- and S-Class, as well as the upcoming GLK-Class compact SUV. Versions of the car are available with a choice of rear- and all-wheel drive (in the latter case an improved version of the 4MATIC system, not available in right-hand drive format), along with a variety of four and six-cylinder engines (and a 6.2 litre V8 in the C 63 AMG). Engines are the straight-4 M271 and V6 M272 petrol engines, straight-4 OM611 + OM651, and V6 OM642 Diesel engines. Six-speed manual transmissions are standard on all models (except the C 350), with the 7G-Tronic seven-gear automatic transmission available for six-cylinder engines (7G-Tronic is available for C 230K, C 280, C 300, C 320 CDI and standard for C 350) and a five speed automatic transmission available for the four cylinder models. In the United States, the C 300 Luxury and C 350 Sport are only available with the 7G-Tronic transmission, and the C 300 Sport comes with a six-speed manual transmission, and the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission as an option. The development of the W204 C-Class involved the use of a “digital prototype”, which put a 2.1 terabyte digital replica of the car through a 15 million mile road course. This is an industry first which allowed for crash testing and more, before a physical prototype was actually constructed. The C 63 AMG is reportedly the first AMG Mercedes designed from the ground up for performance, as compared to previous AMG cars which were more or less focused on the engine. The C 63 has a revised front end architecture that is taken from the CLK 63 AMG Black series. The revised 7-speed automatic transmission now has three shift modes – Comfort, Sport and Manual – with the last one running with the converter locked allowing the driver to hold the engine at the rev limit. The ESP can now be completely turned off, interfering only under heavy braking. The car also has the quickest, most responsive steering of any Mercedes to date. Car and Driver recently tested the car and got a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds; a 0-100 mph time of 9.2 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.3 seconds at 116 mph (187 km/h). The top speed is electronically limited to 151 mph (243 km/h). This makes the C 63 the fastest production 4-door sedan in the world in terms of acceleration.
The Mercedes-Benz W126 was a series of flagship vehicles manufactured by German automotive marque Mercedes-Benz. Premiering in September 1979 as the successor to the earlier W116 line, the W126 was the second generation of the Mercedes-Benz flagship to officially bear the S-Class name referring to Sonderklasse or “special class.” The W126 was initially offered in straight-6, V8, and turbo diesel sedan models. In September 1981, 2-door coupe versions of the W126 were introduced. Compared to its predecessor, the W126 was more aerodynamic, fuel efficient, capacious, and powerfully engined. The W126 S-Class debuted a new Mercedes-Benz design style which was subsequently used on other vehicles in the company’s lineup. The W126 line also introduced many notable Mercedes-Benz safety innovations, including the first airbag supplemental restraint systems, seatbelt pretensioners, and traction control.
The W126 had a twelve year production run between 1979 and 1991, the longest of any S-Class generation since the flagship models were first built in the mid-1950s. The different body styles of the W126 S-Class achieved a combined sales total of 892,123 units (818,063 sedans and 74,060 coupes), making the W126 the most popular S-Class ever produced.
The Mercedes-Benz W140 was a series of flagship vehicles manufactured by the German automotive marque Mercedes-Benz. The car premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1991, with the first examples rolling off the production line on August 6, 1991. Short (SE) and long (SEL) wheelbase sedans were offered initially, as well as the coupe (SEC) body style from January 1992. Like all Mercedes-Benz lines, the W140 S-Class was rationalized in 1994 using the new “letter-first” nomenclature, dropping the named distinction between body styles. The SE/SEL/SEC cars were renamed the S-Class, with alphanumerical designations inverted. For example the both 500SE and 500SEL became S500 regardless of wheelbase length. The W140 series S-Class was superseded by the W220 S-Class in 1999 after an eight year production run, and C215 CL-Class for 2000.
The Mercedes-Benz W220 was a series of flagship sedans which constituted the Mercedes-Benz S-Class during the early-to-mid 2000’s. The W220 (and similar W215 CL-Class coupes) started production in 2000. The W220 was a replacement for the earlier W140 S-Class after the 1999 model year. Compared to its predecessor, the W220 had somewhat smaller exterior dimensions but offered more interior space, particularly in the long wheelbase versions (although the boot is smaller than on its W140 predecessor). Production of the W220 totaled 485,000 units, slightly more than the production totals from the W140. Production ended in 2006 when the W220 and W215 were replaced by the W221 S-Class and the W216 CL-Class.
In many European countries, the diesel S320 CDI version became the most popular model, making it the first S-Class in which a diesel engine achieved broad appeal.
The W220 was available with more engine options than the W126 or W140. The range started with a smaller 2.8L 197 hp (147 kW) V6 motor, although this model was not imported in all countries. Very popular was the 3.2L 224 hp (167 kW) V6, which was superseded by an enlarged 3.7L 245 hp (183 kW) V6 in the S350.
The S430 was powered by a 4.3L 279 hp (208 kW) V8 and the S500 was powered by a 5.0L 306 hp (228 kW) V8. The S55 AMG (’01-’02) was outfitted with a 5.4L 354 hp (264 kW) V8 motor while the later versions (’03-’06) sported the same motor, but supercharged to a rated 493 hp (368 kW). The S600 (’01-’02) was outfitted with a 5.8L 362 hp (270 kW) V12 engine while the later versions (’03-’06) sported a twin-turbocharged (or Bi-Turbo) 493 hp (368 kW) 5.5L V12.
For one month in 2001, AMG produced a S63 AMG, which was sold in very limited numbers. The S63 was powered by a 6.3L 444 hp (331 kW) V12. An undisclosed number of the cars were sold exclusively through AMG in European and Asian markets.
The S65 AMG was introduced in 2005. Powered by a 6.0L 612 hp (456 kW) V12 motor, the S65 was the most powerful S-Class, as well as the world’s most powerful five-seat sedan with a staggering output of 604 hp (450 kW) and 738 ft·lbf (1,001 N·m) of torque.
The Mercedes-Benz W221 is a large luxury sedan built by Mercedes-Benz which serves as the company’s flagship vehicle. Produced since late 2005, the W221 is the successor to the previous W220 S-Class. Compared to its predecessor, the W221 is slightly larger in all dimensions, with a longer wheelbase and more interior room. As Mercedes’ highest vehicle, the W221 also features new interior and exterior styling and a number of technologies and features to improve safety, handling, and comfort.
The W221 S-Class’ exterior styling is a marked change from that of the previous model. While the previous model featured rounded shapes and lines, with a smaller appearance, the W221’s shape possesses more sharp edges and creases, with larger flared wheelarches and radiator grille. The rear end has been one of the most controversial aspects of the W221: some claim that the rear end is a copy of the E65 BMW 7-Series and is unattractive, while others claim that the rear end is bold, aggressive, and in fact derived almost directly from the Mercedes-Benz Maybach – the larger saloon from Daimler AG’s flagship brand, which was released the same year as the E65 BMW 7 series. The large, sharply defined wheelarches are also controversial, with some believing that such features do not belong on a car of this type, while others maintain that the wheelarches add to the vehicle’s more-aggressive theme. Inside, the W221’s interior is also significantly different from the preceding model. The interior features an instrument cluster shroud that also contains the navigation screen, with silver air vents below, and a square, analog clock within the vents. Below the vents are metal tab switches with a black field behind them, to control the HVAC system. On the center console, a silver control wheel for the COMAND system sits above a piece of wood, surrounded by metal buttons. Throughout the interior, buttons are metal, with black fields above them denoting the switches’ function. The interior is also a source of controversy, with many stating that the interior clearly contains direct copies of many BMW 7-Series styling cues (mainly because of the new COMAND controller), while others point out that the interior is clearly an update of previous Mercedes interior styling.