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Mercedes’ new 'E' coupe line is based on the smaller C-class despite appearances

21 Jul 2009

MERCEDES-BENZ has replaced the 12-year-old CLK with the E-class Coupe. The thing is, this four-seater, two-door model looks like the new W212 E-class sedan, but feels and drives similarly to the current-generation W204 C-class that spawned it, thus raising questions about whether it is worth the extra money that Mercedes charges, and if the latest coupe from Stuttgart is as good as the impressive new E-class sedan is. There is plenty to like about the E-class Coupe though, and for many, the fact that it wears the three-pointed star should be more than enough.

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Model release date: 1 July 2009 to 1 July 2013

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz C209 CLK

Released: May 2002
Ended: July 2009
Family Tree: E-class

The long-lived second-generation CLK followed its C208 predecessor by being based on the contemporary C-class sedan – in this case the W203 series. But it featured its own distinct styling inside and out, as well as more standard equipment to help justify the extra cash Mercedes charged. Engines included the supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol in the C200K five-speed auto (120kW/240Nm – upgraded to a 135kW/250Nm in 2007), and a 125kW/240Nm 2.6-litre V6 in the CLK 240 five-speed auto (until 2005), the 170kW/300Nm 3.0-litre V6 with a 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic in the CLK 280 from 2005, the 160kW/310Nm 3.2-litre V6 five-speed auto CLK 320 til 2005, its 300kW/350Nm 3.5-litre V6/7G-Tronic CLK 350 replacement from 2005 and two CLK 500 models – the 225kW/460Nm 5.0-litre V8/five-speed auto until 2006, and the 285kW/530Nm 5.5-litre V8/7G-Tronic model that replaced it. Three high-performance AMG models were also sold in Australia – the 270kW/510Nm 5.4-litre V8/five-speed auto CLK 55 AMG from 2002 to 2006, the 354kW/530Nm 6.2-litre V8/7G-Tronic CLK 63 AMG from 2006, and the limited-edition CLK 63 AMG Black Series, boasting a 373kW/630Nm 6.2-litre V8/7G-Tronic combination. Only 50 of the latter arrived in early 2008. The C209 CLK’s replacement is the C207 E-class Coupe released in July 2009.

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