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 Very popular was the 3.2L 224 hp (167 kW) V6, which was superseded by an enlarged 3.7L 245 hp (183 kW) V6 in the S350.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.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was a V12 midengine race car developed for the 1997 FIA GT championships. It shared only lights and other exterior similarities with the normal CLK. Production of the required 25 road cars began in late 1998. A special version of the CLK is the CLK DTM AMG sports car, which looks similar to the full race car for the German Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters racing series which has to use a normally aspirated 4.0 L V8, limited to less than 500 hp. 100 Coupés and 80 Convertibles were released for sale in Europe, using AMG’s supercharged 5.4 L V8, now producing 428 kW (582 PS) and 800 N·m (590 ft·lbf). The front and rear track are widened by 2.9 and 4.2 inches (74 and 110 mm) respectively, and special tires and suspension modifications allow the car to pull 1.35 g (13 m/s²) of lateral acceleration. 0-100 km/h acceleration is just 3.9 seconds, and top speed is 320 km/h (199 mph). In Germany, the car cost 236,060 euro after taxes. In addition to hard top CLK DTM AMG, 80 convertible versions of CLK DTM were made for 2006 model year, titled Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet. Compared to the coupé version, a speed limiter further reduces its top speed to 300 km/h (likely due to the top not able to withstand higher wind forces safely). Owners of the CLK DTM Cabriolet includes former McLaren Mercedes Formula One drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Mika Hakkinen. Hakkinen is currently racing for Mercedes in the DTM championship. Former McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen owns the hard top version of the CLK DTM.
The R170-platform SLK 230 Kompressor was introduced in 1997 for model year 1998 to compete with the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3. Setting it apart was its folding hardtop, though its additional weight dented the performance of the 185 hp 2.3 L supercharged I4 engine and automatic transmission. The SLK was on Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 1997. A 5-speed manual transmission was added for 1999, but it was the introduction of a 215 hp 3.2 L V6 and 6-speed manual transmission in the 2001 SLK 320 that really brought the Sportlich to the car. An AMG model was added in 2001, with a 354 hp (264 kW) supercharged version of the 3.2 L V6. This SLK 32 AMG was the best-performing SLK ever, and was a direct rival of the BMW M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S. It is only offered with automatic transmission. The SLK AMG engine is also hand built. Not all Mercedes SLKs were built in Bremen, Germany, the SLK 320 being built in South Africa. The very first R170 Mercedes SLK was completed Models of the new SLK include:
– SLK 200 Kompressor – 1.8 L 120 kW (163 hp DIN) I4 supercharged engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 7.9 seconds, top speed of 143 mph. (not available in Canada and the US)
– SLK 280 – 3.0 L (2996 cc) 170 kW (231 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 6.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph. (starting in 2006 model year)
– SLK 350 – new 3.5 L (3498 cc) 200 kW (272 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5.4 seconds, top speed 155 mph (electronically limited).
– SLK 55 AMG – 5.4 L (5439 cc) 265 kW (360 hp DIN) V8 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 4.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph (electronically limited). A tuned version of this was used as the Formula One safety car, replaced by CLK 63 AMG at the beginning of 2006 Season.
A lifting of the R171, with more powerful engines, has been presented at the end of 2007.
– SLK 200 Kompressor – 1.8 L 135 kW (184 hp DIN) I4 supercharged engine
– SLK 280 – 3.0 L (2996 cc) 170 kW (231 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine
– SLK 350 – 3.5 L (3498 cc) 224 kW (305 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine
– SLK 55 AMG – 5.4 L (5439 cc) 265 kW (360 hp DIN) V8 engine
The R170-platform SLK 230 Kompressor was introduced in 1997 for model year 1998 to compete with the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3. Setting it apart was its folding hardtop, though its additional weight dented the performance of the 185 hp 2.3 L supercharged I4 engine and automatic transmission. The SLK was on Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 1997. A 5-speed manual transmission was added for 1999, but it was the introduction of a 215 hp 3.2 L V6 and 6-speed manual transmission in the 2001 SLK 320 that really brought the Sportlich to the car. An AMG model was added in 2001, with a 354 hp (264 kW) supercharged version of the 3.2 L V6. This SLK 32 AMG was the best-performing SLK ever, and was a direct rival of the BMW M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S. It is only offered with automatic transmission. The SLK AMG engine is also hand built. Not all Mercedes SLKs were built in Bremen, Germany, the SLK 320 being built in South Africa. The very first R170 Mercedes SLK was completed on January 29, 1997 and last on April 7, 2004.
The M-Class was the first SUV to feature stability control, a system designed to detect loss of control and instantaneously intervene with selective braking to bring the vehicle back on its intended course. This system is now hailed by safety experts, and studies have shown stability control and systems like it are capable of reducing single vehicle crashes by up to 30 percent. Furthermore, the M-Class boasted front- and side-impact airbags with advanced occupant detection for the front passenger seat, which, combined with Mercedes’ legendary safety structure, earned the M-Class the highest marks in insurance industry crash tests. For the 2007 model it was named a top safety pick. Major model variants have included the ML320, ML350, ML430, ML500 and ML55, along with the 4-cylinder ML230 and the turbodiesel ML270 CDI and ML400 CDI in Europe. The ML55, or ML55 AMG, featured a V8 engine made by AMG, modified body-work, and other performance features. The ML350 replaced the ML320 as the base model in the United States in 2004. The M-Class was Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year for 1998. The ML320 was voted the 1998 North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in January 1998.
The redesigned M-class (chassis name W164) was introduced to the public in April 2005 as a 2006 model after showing at the North American International Auto Show in January. It is almost entirely new, with a more sporting, aerodynamic look the coefficient of drag is down to 0.34. Mercedes-Benz has also made the new M-class larger, measuring 150 mm longer than the first model. The M-Class was named “Best New Sport Utility Vehicle” in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards. The back was commonly referred as a shoebox so Daimler Chrysler spent most of their $600 million dollars on redesigning that part. The W164 platform used for the new M-Class is shared with the new GL-Class and is a unibody type rather than the former (W163) body-on-frame used by the M-Class vehicles produced from 1998-2005. The X164 GL-CLass, a longer 7-seater version of the W164 platform, is also available. New features in the 2006 M-Class include the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed transmission, optional Active Curve-Illuminating Bi-Xenon headlights which “steer” in the path of the vehicle, and an adjustable-height air suspension. 4-valve engines are replacing the previous 3-valve SOHC V6 and current 3-valve V8:
– ML350 – 3.5 L 4-valve V6, 272Hp(258 ft·lbf)
– ML500 – 5.5 L 4-valve V8, 382HP(550 N·m)
– ML550 – 5.5 L 4-valve V8, 382HP(550 N·m)(North America)
– ML63 AMG – 6.2 L 4-valve V8, 503HP (347 kW)
– ML280 CDI – 3.0 L V6 Turbo Diesel, 188HP (325 ft·lbf)
– ML320 CDI – 3.0 L V6 Turbo Diesel, 224HP (376 ft·lbf)
– ML420 CDI – 4.2 L V8 Diesel, 306HP (700 N·m)
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.