Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class

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Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class
Parent companyDaimler AG
Production2008 - Present
AssemblyJuiz de Fora, Brazil
PredecessorMercedes-Benz C-Class Sport Coupe
ClassCompact executive car
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine(s)1.8 L I4
2.5 L V6
3.5 L V6
2.2 L I4 Diesel
Wheelbase2715 mm (106.9 in)
Length4448 mm (175.1 in)
Width2078 mm (81.8 in)
Height1405 mm (55.3 in)
ManualService Manual

The Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class (codename CL203) is a luxury compact car which has been produced by the Mercedes Car Group division of Daimler AG since 2002, as part of the C-Class, and since 2008 as its own lineup. The car is a three-door liftback.[1]

First Generation

The first generation was based on the W203 C-Class and sold as the C-Class Sportcoupé or Sport Coupe. At the launch of the Sportcoupé, a new family of supercharged four cylinder engines, dubbed M271, also debuted for the entire range C-Class range. 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.[2]

While BMW's 3-Series hatchback was criticized as looking like a full-sized 3-series with the rear chopped off, [2] the Sportcoupé's fastback profile was considered a more stylist off-shoot of the C-Class sedan. While the C230 base model enabled the automaker to reach a lower price point than existing models sold in North America, some suggested that the hatchback configuration (as "liftback" is almost never used in North America) and the "inexpensive Mercedes" moniker would undermine the marque which was traditionally composed of expensive cars. It also lacked standard leather seats and a CD player, amenities typically expected of German luxury imports (especially a Mercedes).[3]

Like the BMW 3-Series hatchback, the Sportcoupé 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, as well as 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.[4]

Second Generation

The Sportcoupé was eventually spun off into its own separate line called the CLC-Class, but it still based on the W203 platform, with an updated front and tail inspired by the next generation W204 C-Class. Mercedes found that the Sportcoupé was a popular first Mercedes for new customers, 40 per cent of whom reportedly return to buy more expensive models later on.[5][6]

The CLC is produced in Brazil at the company’s plant in Juiz de Fora, close to the state border with Rio de Janeiro.[7]

The car was presented at the 2008 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, which took place from the 27th to 31st of January 2008.[8]


The CLC range is the following:[9]

Petrol engines
Version Engine Cyl. Power
CLC 180 1.8 16V K S4 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW)
CLC 200 1.8 16V K S4 184 PS (181 hp/135 kW)
CLC 230 2.5 24V V6 204 PS (201 hp/150 kW)
CLC 350 3.5 24V V6 272 PS (268 hp/200 kW)
Diesel engines
Version Engine Cyl. Power
CLC 200 CDI 2.2 16V CDI S4 122 PS (120 hp/90 kW)
CLC 220 CDI 2.2 16V CDI S4 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW)