MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse SportCoupe/CLC
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the CLC as a successor for the C-Class Sportcoupe at the Berlin Fashion Week in 2008, but it was a bridge between the C-Class W203 and W204.
By 2008, Mercedes-Benz still didn’t have a proper competitor for BMW 3-Series Coupe, and the two-door hatchback version of the C-Class was more of a competitor for the 3-Series Compact. But it was its best bet until a proper C-Class Coupe was available. The CLC was based on the same platform as its predecessor and shared the main shell, roof, and door panels with the C-Class Sportcoupe.
The 2008 CLC featured similar-shaped headlights, with the 2007 C-Class (W204) and body-colored door mirrors and handles. In the back, Mercedes-Benz installed new taillights with a similar shape as those from the C-Class sedan. On the new tailgate, the carmaker added an LED light strip for the brake lights.
Inside, it carried over most of the parts from the 2005 C-Class Sportcoupe. Its dashboard featured two larger dials for the speedometer and tachometer, flanked on the left by the coolant-temperature gauge and the fuel level on the right. In the middle, the carmaker placed an LCD for the onboard computer. The seats were new and provided a higher bolstering.
Under the hood, Mercedes-Benz installed a wide choice of engines with gasoline or turbo-diesel. The 1.6-liter and the 1.8-liter supercharged engines were paired with either a six-speed manual or with the old five-speed automatic gearbox, while the more powerful versions were mated with the seven-speed automatic transmission. The carmaker used only the 2.2-liter CDI unit for the diesel versions in two power outputs: 122 hp and 150 hp.
The mid-life cycle of the C-Class W203 affected also the Sport Coupe version.
It was launched in 2004 and it came with improvements in more areas.
The second generation of the C-Class was launched in 2000 and in 2004 it was already the time for a mid-life cycle refresh. The 2004 model brought modifications on all parts: exterior, interior and engines. It also solved the problems with the paint quality, which suffered in the first models.
On the outside, the main difference was noticed at the headlights. The 2004 model featured new headlights with clear lenses for the standard version. The front bumper featured an enlarged lower air intake with a new louver structure in place of the previous mesh grille. The front track was wider by 40 mm (1.6”) than the 2002 model. The models equipped with EVOLUTION or EVOLUTION AMG sports packages came with a special paint finish in brilliant silver and perforations on the radiator grille slats.
The instrument cluster featured a new layout with four round dials and a vertically mounted information LCD between the speedometer and tachometer. The steering wheel featured different buttons design for the onboard computer and the audio system. On the center console, there was a new infotainment unit available and new controls for the climate control unit.
Under the hood, the 2.2-liter diesel engines were upgraded to Euro4 emission norms and new, direct-injected gasoline units were installed. The newly developed 7G-Tronic was available for the 230 Kompressor version, while the older 5G-Tronic was kept for the others.
The Sportcoupe was released to broaden the C-Klasse line-up as well as to compete against the ever increasing in popularity BMW Compact.
Despite the good marketing of the car, oriented towards younger buyers, the coupe did not meet the German producer’s expectations due the high retail price compared to that of competition-delivered vehicles. The car was powered by a wide array of engines including the later developed M271 series comprising 1.8 L units that were either normally aspirated or supercharged. An engine that initially belonged to the SportCoupe only was the C 230K which developed an impressive 190 hp.