2009 Mercedes CLC
Mercedes unveiled today the CLC-Class, a model designed for 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. The new Sports Coupe will go on sale in May 2008.
The CLC is offered in six different versions: four four-cylinder and two six-cylinder engines with power outputs ranging from 122 hp to 272 hp. The CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR develops 204 hp and has a fuel consumption of 7.8 to 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle - the equivalent of up to 0.7 litres less than before. All the engines are mated with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but you can also choose a five-speed automatic transmission for the four‑cylinder units, and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission for the V6 models.
The CLC 200 CDI is powered by a 2148 cc Inline-4 engine that delivers 122 hp and a peak torque of 270 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm. It makes the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 11.3 seconds and hits a top speed of 206 km/h. The CLC 220 CDI is powered by a 2148 cc Inline-4 engine that delivers 150 hp and a peak torque of 340 Nm at 2000 rpm. This version makes the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 9.7 seconds and hits a top speed of 224 km/h.
The CLC 180 KOMPRESSOR is powered by a 1796 cc Inline-4 engine that delivers 143 hp and a peak torque of 230 Nm at 2500-4200 rpm. 0 to 100 km/h sprint will be made in 9.7 seconds and you will be able to hit a top speed of 220 km/h. The CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR is powered by a 1796 cc Inline-4 engine that delivers 184 hp and a peak torque of 250 Nm at 2800-5000 rpm. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint will be made in 8.6 seconds and the top speed is 235 km/h.
The CLC 230 is powered by a 2496 cc V6 engine that delivers 204 hp and a peak torque of 245 Nm at 2900-5500 rpm. 0 to 100 km/h sprint will be made in 8.4 seconds and you will be able to hit a top speed of 240 km/h. The top of the class, the CLC 350 is powered by a 3498 cc V6 engine that delivers 272 hp and a peak torque of 350 Nm at 2400-5000 rpm. You will be able to make the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 6.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited).
The CLC features as standard 18-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels and 225/40 R 18 (front) and 245/35 R 18 (rear) tyres. Optional extras available for this model variant include multi-spoke light-alloy wheels (18 inch) and AMG light-alloy wheels (18 inch).
UPDATE 06/17/2010: The Mercedes CLC went on sale back in May 2008 at the Mercedes plant in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Unfortunately, sales for the sportscar were worst than expected so after only two years of production Mercedes has decided that the sun will set on the Mercedes CLC’s day. Don’t despair, though, it seems that automakers change their minds as often as they change their pants so any fans of the CLC may still have a chance!
2009 Mercedes CLC
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a stand-alone model series in the guise of the new 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 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.
A choice of seat covers in black, alpaca grey and a particularly stylish combination of black and red are available to give the interior its individual colour scheme.
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 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.
The new Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS units come with a Europe-wide DVD or hard-disc navigation system. The LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system, which Mercedes-Benz has upgraded with a new whole-word recognition capability, is fitted as standard if the integrated six-disc DVD changer is specified. LINGUATRONIC enables the driver to conveniently operate the telephone, audio and navigation system.
Success story: Sports Coupé with extensive conquest potential
The new 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.
Thanks to its sophisticated design, high-quality equipment and appointments, and enhanced technology, the new Mercedes-Benz CLC offers even more conquest potential than its predecessor. The public will get the chance to take a close look at the Sports Coupé for the first time at the European Mercedes sales and service outlets and authorised dealerships in May 2008.
CLC - a new addition to the Mercedes alphabet which stands for a new stand-alone model series - the new member of the successful Mercedes-Benz coupé family. The CLC is the "youngster" in this coupé line-up - a thoroughly sporty model, lively, self-assured and exciting. A compelling blend of attractive design, reliable safety, tried-and-trusted technology and everyday multipurpose functionality. In short, a genuine Mercedes-Benz whose price tag of less than EUR 30,000 offers an entry route into the coupé line-up of this renowned brand.
The CLC opens up a new chapter in the success story of the C-Class Sports Coupé, which has enthralled some 320,000 drivers around the world since 2001. It was a conquest model, not least because 70 percent of its buyers had never before opted for a Mercedes-Benz. The two-door model took them by storm, primarily attracting new customers for the brand bearing the famous star. With this virtually unrivalled conquest rate, the Sports Coupé is one of the star performers of the Mercedes strategic product initiative.
It is one thing to conquer new customers, but maintaining their enthusiasm for the brand over the long term is another challenge. The Mercedes Sports Coupé has managed to do both: more than two thirds of buyers of the predecessor to the CLC were very satisfied with their car and remained loyal to the brand. Better still, some 43 percent of these loyal customers actually opted for a larger Mercedes-Benz after the Sports Coupé and are currently driving an E-Class, CLK or an SLK.
In the spring of 2008 the new Mercedes Sports Coupé will take to the road, bringing with it even more winning attributes so it can continue to secure new conquests like its predecessor.
Standard equipment: typical Mercedes-Benz
The designers and engineers have enhanced or newly developed over 1100 parts, creating a contemporary Sports Coupé, whose all-new front and rear design, along with its even more agile handling in particular, all testify to its metamorphosis, achieved without compromising the proven Mercedes standards in terms of safety and comfort. The progress is measurable in terms of fuel consumption, too: retuned engines have managed to cut fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres compared with the predecessor, the equivalent of some 10.8 percent.
Even with just its standard equipment, the new CLC offers a wealth of attractive and practical features. Take for instance the sports seats with better lateral support than ever, THERMATIC automatic climate control system, six-speed transmission, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, six airbags, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats as well as the new projection-beam headlamps.
A selection of the extensive range of standard equipment:
- Stowage compartment with cup holder in tunnel covering
- Adaptive airbags for driver and front passenger
- Acceleration skid control (ASR)
- Electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors
- Outside temperature display
- Brake Assist
- Diesel particulate filter (for CDI models)
- Headlamp Assist
- Front power windows
- 1/3 : 2/3 split-folding rear seats
- Luggage net in front-passenger footwell
- Belt tensioner and belt-force limiter for driver, front passenger and rear passengers
- THERMATIC automatic climate control with dust and activated charcoal filter
- Instrument cluster with white needles
- Light-alloy wheels (from CLC 230)
- Steering column adjustable for reach and height
- Three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with eight buttons
- Fog lamps
- Head restraints adjustable for fore-aft position and height, front and rear
- Halogen projection-beam headlamps
- ELCODE locking system with infrared/radio remote control
- Power steering
- Sidebags for driver and front passenger
- Front sports seats with EASY-ENTRY system
- Diffusor-look rear bumper
- Heat-insulating glass
- Central locking with crash sensor
- Trim elements in brushed aluminium
Optional extras: factory-fitted individuality and innovations
Individuality is a key component in any coupé. Mercedes-Benz offers its customers a wide range of factory-fitted options so they can tailor the CLC to their own tastes and lifestyle. For instance, customers have a choice of three different upholstery fabrics, three leather colours and many optional extras – ranging from the panoramic sliding sunroof to the dark-tinted rear window and rear side windows, the newly developed infotainment system with colour display and voice control to the bi-xenon headlamps with additional cornering light function. CLC customers also have the option of ten different light-alloy wheels and tyre sizes.
Selected optional extras include:
- Bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light function and cleaning system
- Five-speed automatic transmission
- Direct-steer system
- Latest-generation infotainment units
- Leather appointments
- Leather steering wheel and gear lever
- Light-alloy wheels (standard from CLC 230)
- Media interface for external MP3 players and other audio devices
- Panoramic sliding sunroof
- PARKTRONIC with new sensors and reprogrammed control logic
- Rain sensor
- Rear sidebags
- Seven-speed automatic transmission (for CLC 230 and CLC 350)
- Heated front seats
- Voice-operated control system with whole-word recognition capability
- Surround sound system
- THERMOTRONIC luxury automatic climate control system (in the Exclusive package)
- Trim elements in bird’s-eye maple
Sports package: even more agility
The sports package further underlines the sporty credentials of the new Mercedes-Benz CLC. Take for instance the headlamps with the dark-tinted surround, darkened tail lights, special aluminium trim elements in the interior, a black roof liner and 18-inch light-alloy wheels. The message from this exclusive model variant is unmistakable: get in and experience a heightened sense of driving enjoyment.
In addition to the sports package, Mercedes-Benz offers two other attractive, favourably priced equipment packages for the new CLC:
- The Exclusive package includes the THERMOTRONIC luxury automatic climate control system as well as electrically adjustable front seats with memory function for seat, head restraint, steering wheel and mirror settings
- The Comfort package includes automatically dimming mirrors, electrically folding exterior mirrors, a rain sensor and a system which warns the driver if the tyre pressure is too low
Agility, vitality, performance - the characteristic attributes of the new CLC are literally written on its face. The front design encapsulates this consummately: the lines generate a powerful appearance courtesy of the wide coupé radiator grille, the centrally located Mercedes star, the projection-beam headlamps extending well into the front wings and the bumper featuring a large air inlet, symbolising at first glance what the new Sports Coupé has to offer - pure verve and dynamism.
At the same time, these expressive front design styling touches firmly position the two-door model as a member of the contemporary Mercedes family. Similarities with familiar models are anything but coincidence. The Sports Coupé bears the typical family traits of the well-known, established coupé members, including the luxury CL Coupé, the four-door CLS and the CLK. The new CLC steps forward as a self-confident newcomer, emphasising its distinctive personality.
One typical feature of the contemporary Mercedes design idiom is the arrow shape of the front end - a styling touch with a symbolic character that emphasises typical attributes such as forward motion and agility. The front design of the new Sports Coupé embraces this hallmark and takes it to new heights. For instance, the distinctive line, which adds visual emphasis to the V‑shape, begins at the bottom louvre of the radiator grille and extends along the whole bonnet. It then reappears at the rear end, divides up the spoiler and chrome trim strip and finally flows downwards into the bumper. Design quality down to the last detail.
These lines, which interact harmoniously with the large, smooth surfaces, define the contemporary Mercedes design style. No extra flourishes, no superfluous embellishments and no design complexities. Instead you have clarity and calm. The design idiom concentrates on what is important, thereby emphasising the intrinsic and functional beauty of things.
Even at first glance the new Sports Coupé comes across as a striking proposition, reinforced inside and out by numerous nods to the world of motor racing, such as the subtle side air intakes in the front bumper. With the sports package this is also reflected in the black instrument cluster with its filigree chequered flag pattern used as a background: its luminous red needles are located at the "six o’clock position" when at rest and spring into action when the engine is turned on to create a very striking effect.
Dynamic wedge-shaped side view
The side view of the CLC is unmistakable with its muscular lines. The dominant upper edge of the wings underscores the wedge shape of the downward-slanting shoulder line, which combines at the rear with the upper edge of the tail lights. Taken in conjunction with the gently sloping bonnet, the sweeping silhouette of the roof and the obliquely angled rear windscreen give rise to the wedge-shaped side view which harmonises perfectly with the car’s racy temperament. The all-round chrome trim strips, which are an additional eye-catcher, particularly when combined with dark exterior paint finishes, provide the finishing touches to the coherent lines.
The message is "Ready for action" - all you have to do is get in, start the engine and press the accelerator to actively experience the verve of the Mercedes Sports Coupé.
Athletic rear end
The rear too illustrates that the new CLC is youthful and progressive. Well built and extremely fit, this is a car with an allure that’s hard to resist. The spoiler integrated in the tailgate spans the entire width of the body in a gentle curve and - along with the redesigned, two-part tail lights – it extends with these flowing lines well forwards into the sides of the body, providing a visual link between the rear end and the flanks. Spoiler, tail lights and bumper divide up the CLC rear end, emphasising its width and adding decisively to the car’s outstanding expressiveness. The row of LEDs that makes up the third brake light unit and the chrome tailgate handle add further lustre, while the diffuser-look rear bumper is equally effective, reminiscent of the Sports Coupé’s "big" brothers and their motor racing triumphs.
Sports package: exclusive appearance
The sports package brings out the very best in the CLC. The Mercedes designers have emphasised the particular character of this model variant by using different colours for certain body details: the inner surrounds of the headlamps are painted black, the radiator grille louvres are also in black, while the wide air intake in the bumper is offset with its mesh-type grille in an elegant grey. At the rear, the darkened covers on the tail lights and the third brake light unit as well as the oval stainless steel trim on the exhaust silencer catch the eye. Last but not least, the CLC with sports package is shod with stylish 18-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels.
Colour touches in the interior
Design, feel and ergonomics – these are the characteristics that set the interior of the new Mercedes-Benz CLC apart. A harmonious three-part composition consisting of attractive shapes, high-quality materials and precision design work. Sitting down comfortably in the standard sports seat and gripping the three-spoke sports steering wheel immediately brings on a feeling of well-being, of being at home.
Everything fits like a glove; the controls are easily accessible and the instruments convey a clear message - the ideal conditions for a sporty driving experience.
Colour and trim - the right choice of colours and materials for the interior of a car - is an increasingly important aspect. More than ever before, customers attach importance to the design and appointments in the interior when making their buying decision. And no wonder – these days, drivers are spending more and more time behind the wheel, and naturally want to spend this time in the most attractive and comfortable surroundings possible. In the new CLC, Mercedes designers have set the tone by offering three different upholstery colours: black, alpaca grey and, in the case of fabric upholstery, a particularly stylish combination of black and red.
There is also a choice of black and alpaca grey for the optional leather interior. In addition, a further attractive interior colour - cognac brown - is available exclusively in conjunction with the sports package.
Mercedes customers have a choice of interior trim as well as colours. Even the standard specification for the CLC features light brushed aluminium trim elements, while the sporty interior atmosphere provided by the sports package is accentuated with trim in darker aluminium. The interior is lent even more elegance by the optional fine wood trim in black bird’s-eye maple.
A closer look at the aluminium trim in the Sports Coupé reveals a small detail that adds a particularly elegant touch, namely a fine chrome strip surrounding the aluminium surface. The two materials – chrome and aluminium – are formed and finished together. To ensure the bright sheen of the chrome surround comes to the fore as it should, great care must be taken during painting to prevent the paint destined for the aluminium surface from getting onto the chrome. A painstaking process that requires great precision, and one that underlines a typical strength of Mercedes designers - attention to detail.
The sports-car-like experience begins from the moment you turn the ignition in the new CLC fitted with the sports package: the needles of the speedometer and rev counter spin once around the dial from their "six o’clock" rest position to the maximum, then return to their start positions. That is the signal for the driver: "Start your engine."
Six engines are available for the CLC: four four-cylinder and two six-cylinder units, four petrol and two turbodiesel units. Power outputs range from 90 kW/122 hp to 200 kW/272 hp; the torque scale starts at 230 and goes up to 350 Nm; fuel consumption ranges between 5.8 and 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres depending on the engine model and output class, and has been reduced by up to 10.8 percent compared with the outgoing Sports Coupé.
More output or less fuel consumption? The new CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR delivers on both counts. The engineers in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim have given the four-cylinder unit a more dynamic turbocharger, optimised pistons and a modified engine management system. The powerplant now develops 135 kW/184 hp instead of the previous 120 kW/164 hp, producing 250 Nm of peak torque from 2800 rpm instead of the previous 240 Nm. As a result, the Sports Coupé is even livelier during acceleration - both in-gear and though-gear: the CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, i.e. 0.5 seconds faster than its predecessor.
The second development aim was to reduce fuel consumption and the results are no less impressive in this respect. The CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR consumes just 7.8 ‑ 8.2 litres of premium petrol per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle, 0.6 – 0.7 litres or some eight percent more economical than the previous Sports Coupé with this engine.
The new CLC has adopted the high-torque six-cylinder units virtually unchanged from the outgoing model. There is a choice of two V6 engines, whose outstanding features include variable camshaft timing on the intake and exhaust sides, a variable intake module and intake ducts with tumble flaps. This technology enhances both power and torque output while reducing fuel consumption.
The six-speed manual transmission with its sporty, precise action and short gearshift travel comes as standard on all CLC models. As an option, Mercedes-Benz can supply a five-speed automatic transmission for the four-cylinder models 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.
Direct-steer system: turning every corner into an experience
The athletic character of the CLC is due in part to a new development in the field of steering technology. Mercedes-Benz calls it the direct-steer system, leaving no doubt what this technology has to offer: a more direct response on bends, more agile handling - in short, more driving pleasure.
The direct-steer system is based on the previous speed-sensitive power steering and is part of the standard specification with the sports package. The retained speed-sensitive power steering function assists drivers particularly at low speed, when manoeuvring or parking, by substantially reducing the steering effort. However, the previous system has been enhanced with a variable rack ratio rack ratio which changes as a function of the steering angle. This ratio increases sharply from a steering angle of five degrees so that the driver only has to move the steering wheel slightly when cornering: the CLC responds more spontaneously than with a constant-ratio steering set-up, giving the driver even better control of the vehicle.
The new direct-steer system has been set up precisely so that its sporty, dynamic rack ratio makes itself positively felt particularly when handling and agility are most called for: on winding country roads, in other words at medium speed and medium steering angle.
By contrast, the benefits of the tried-and-trusted speed-sensitive power steering are retained in other handling situations and are even augmented in certain cases: for instance, the new Mercedes steering can be set up with an even more indirect ratio in the centre position than previous steering systems, providing the driver with a very assured steering feel at high speed, while improving straight-line and directional stability. At low speed or while parking, the new technology in conjunction with the speed-sensitive servo assistance is even more convenient than before because the steering effort is reduced further thanks to the large ratio.
Enhanced safety in critical handling situations
Comfort and agility are not the only benefits of the new direct-steer system. In a series of on-road tests involving 26 drivers, Mercedes engineers noted a substantial increase in safety in critical handling situations. Thanks to the direct response of the newly developed steering, the test subjects responded more confidently and competently to sudden evasive action at 60 km/h than with conventional systems. The maximum steering wheel angles - an indicator of steering effort - were reduced during the obstacle-avoidance test by 22 percent on average; steering wheel angles of more than 180 degrees, which force the driver to move their hands on the steering wheel, were eliminated.
Conclusion: enhanced driving pleasure, greater convenience and increased safety - the new direct-steer system offers benefits across the board.
Suspension: tried-and-trusted technology for agile handling and a high level of safety
The suspension on the new CLC is based on tried-and-trusted technology. The front axle is a three-link suspension design with aluminium torque struts and McPherson spring struts offering outstanding precise wheel location and a high level of ride comfort. The standard-fit anti-roll bar is attached to the spring struts by means of a linkage. Rebound buffer springs on the front shock absorbers boost the effect of the stabiliser during dynamic cornering, thus improving the Sports Coupé’s agile handling.
Springing and damping on the multi-link independent-suspension rear axle is provided by coil springs and single-tube gas-filled shock absorbers with large rubber bearings. Here too, the anti-roll bars improve handling stability. Front and rear disc brakes (front: internally ventilated) with a diameter of up to 330 millimetres and a thickness of up to 28 millimetres (CLC 350) provide reliable deceleration.
Wheels and tyres: spoilt for choice
A wide range of wheels and tyres is available ex factory for the new Sports Coupé. Customers have a choice of ten different wheel types featuring different tyre sizes - from the 16-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheel to the 18-inch AMG wheel. The six-cylinder CLC 230 and CLC 350 models already come with standard-fit 16-inch and 17-inch light-alloy wheels respectively.
The dynamic, powerful appearance of the CLC with sports package is accentuated by the standard-fit 18-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels and 225/40 R 18 (front) and 245/35 R 18 (rear) tyres. Optional extras available for this model variant include multi-spoke light-alloy wheels (18 inch) and AMG light-alloy wheels (18 inch).
Headlamps: projection-beam technology for greater visibility after dark
The Mercedes engineers have developed halogen projection-beam headlamps for the new CLC model series, which provide a major boost to driving safety after dark thanks to their long range and uniform beam distribution. Fog lamps are also included in the standard specification. Even more powerful bi-xenon headlamps are available as an option, which Mercedes-Benz combines as standard with the cornering light function and a headlamp cleaning system.
The cornering light function is integrated into the fog lamps and is automatically activated if the driver turns the steering wheel and/or operates the indicator at a speed below 40 km/h. This illuminates the frontal area beside the car to an angle of up to 65 degrees, with a range of approx. 30 metres. As such, this lighting function not only enhances safety when negotiating junctions or turnings but is also active even when taking bends slowly, more effectively illuminating the sides of the road that would otherwise remain in the dark.
PARKTRONIC: parking aid with new control logic
The optional PARKTRONIC parking aid is just one of the many systems and details that have been newly developed or enhanced for the Sports Coupé. The ultrasonic sensors are now set flush in the front and rear bumpers; these sensors identify obstacles that appear at a distance of 100 (front) or 80 centimetres (rear) in front of or behind the CLC. The system response during straight-line reversing has been reprogrammed: in this situation, the visual and acoustic warning for the driver is suppressed if the front end of the Sports Coupé passes a stationary obstacle. This means in practice that if the CLC, for instance, is backed out of the garage, a warning is no longer given if the ultrasonic sensors have identified the garage walls or the door frame. The driver can concentrate fully on reversing. The system then only responds if the driver turns the steering wheel and an obstacle appears in the area covered by PARKTRONIC.
Sports seats: enhanced lateral support with the familiar Mercedes comfort
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz CLC is akin to a tailor-made suit. A sporty cut with its perfect fit and top-quality comfort. The standard-fit sports seats with their enhanced lateral support and contemporary material combination add decisively to this all-round feeling of comfort. The side bolsters are made out of ARTICO man-made leather, while the centre sections of the seat and backrest are lined with fabric. A foam cushion with multiple ventilation holes trimmed in a breathable fabric provides the hallmark Mercedes “springing and damping” qualities.
Both the fore-aft setting and the seat height are continuously adjustable. The seat cushion can also be adjusted individually. First-class comfort for seat, head restraint and steering wheel settings comes courtesy of the optional Exclusive package for the new Sports Coupé. Simply by pressing a button in the door trim, the electric motors adjust the seat, head restraint and steering wheel to the desired positions that are stored together with the settings for the electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. This practical memory function works on the driver and front passenger seat.
The Exclusive package for the new CLC also includes the THERMOTRONIC luxury automatic climate control system that offers even more functions and more sophisticated sensors than the standard-fit THERMATIC. The unit automatically controls temperature and air distribution separately for the driver and front passenger side by analysing sensor signals relating to exterior and interior temperature, sun position, humidity and level of pollution in the outside air. THERMOTRONIC also includes an activated charcoal filter.
Infotainment: new generation of units provides digital music experience
Information, communication, navigation, entertainment - four components that are currently just as important when driving as, say, agile handling, a high level of comfort or powerful engines. Nobody wants to be without news, telephone, navigation or music in the car. That is why these topics feature at the top of our list of priorities when developing new Mercedes models, including the CLC: the Sindelfingen engineers have developed a new generation of units for the Sports Coupé that bring luxury-class cutting-edge technology to the two-door model.
Three units are available; all include a colour display, a twin tuner for enhanced radio reception, speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies as well as a Bluetooth interface that wirelessly links a mobile phone to the hands-free system.
· Audio 20 with CD player
The car radio with integrated CD player (MP3-compatible) features an FM/ MW, SW and LW tuner with automatic station search, RDS function (with FM reception), direct frequency selection via the keypad in the centre console and a five-inch colour display.
· Audio 50 APS with DVD navigation
This infotainment system combines car radio, telephone exchange and Europe-wide DVD navigation system in a single unit. Navigation instructions – including a junction zoom function — are indicated using arrows on a colour display (five inch). The integrated DVD drive can be used for navigation or audio data. If the (optional) six-disc DVD changer is fitted, Audio 50 APS also comes as standard with the enhanced LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system with whole-word recognition capability.
· COMAND APS with hard disc for navigation and music library
The multimedia system includes a Europe-wide navigation system with the associated data stored on a hard disc (40 gigabytes). This provides lightning-fast access to navigation data and enables route information to be processed even faster. The roadmap is shown on a high-resolution 6.5-inch colour display. COMAND APS also includes a music library with capacity for four gigabytes of music. Here the driver can store around 1000 tracks in MP3 format from CD, DVD or memory card. The system automatically identifies the tracks and performers and shows the information on the colour display. Above the colour display the unit has a slot for SD memory cards that can also be used as music storage media. As an option, COMAND APS is available from Mercedes-Benz with a six-disc DVD changer and voice-operated control system.
Interactive interface for iPod & Co.
The music library and memory card slot included with COMAND APS demonstrate that entertainment was an important issue when developing the new audio units: Mercedes customers can put together their individual music selection and take it with them on an SD card. For the first time an iPod, USB stick or other external audio devices can be connected up to the infotainment system in the CLC courtesy of a newly developed universal interface; this interface is available ex factory for all infotainment systems in the new CLC. Customers then simply need to obtain a compatible cable that is available from the Mercedes accessories range.
This new interface is dubbed Universal Consumer Electronic Interface - UCI for short. Yet there is more to it than just an electronic socket in the glove compartment. The UCI interface also includes a control unit that connects the external music storage media to the on-board electronics and the Sports Coupé’s control system. This has the advantage that the iPod tracks are displayed in the instrument cluster and on the colour screen in the centre console and can be conveniently selected using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel. Moreover, the audio device’s battery is also charged up as long as the portable music storage media is connected to the car via the UCI interface.
The (optional) "Logic7" surround sound system delivers consummate listening pleasure when fitted in the Sports Coupé, providing a natural 360‑degree musical experience on all seats and transforming the CLC into a concert hall on wheels. Regardless of whether the music comes from a DVD or CD, whether it was recorded to Dolby 5.1 surround standard or simply comprises regular stereo recordings, the experience is unsurpassed. A 450 W amplifier distributes the music output.
Voice control with whole-word recognition capability
The voice-operated control system is part of the standard specification for the CLC if Mercedes customers specify the Audio 50 APS with six-disc DVD changer, or the COMAND APS multimedia unit. LINGUATRONIC conveniently operates the telephone, audio and navigation system using its whole-word recognition capability. So the driver no longer has to painstakingly spell everything out but can simply say each particular word when entering a destination, selecting a radio station or calling up a name included in the phone book.
The sound output is digitised during the brief dialogue, converted into a frequency spectrum and finally analysed. Within a matter of milliseconds the computer extracts various features from the voice input and identifies the phonemes – the distinct sound units that make up speech. The software instantly verifies each sound, combines the various phonemes, compares them against the contents of a stored phoneme dictionary and also calculates the acoustic probability of the word. Consequently, the system can recognise even minute differences in pronunciation; for instance, it can differentiate between the words "street" and "straight". The system includes the phonemes for six different languages.
Mercedes-Benz has also made a major contribution to road safety with LINGUATRONIC since the driver no longer needs to take their hands off the wheel in order to operate the phone or audio units, simplifying things for the driver workload and allowing them to concentrate fully on the traffic. In 1996, Mercedes-Benz was the first car maker to offer this kind of voice-operated control system in a car. This first-generation LINGUATRONIC required a computer with a mere 512 kilobytes of storage capacity; today that figure is well over ten megabytes.