August 29, 2002
Mercedes-Benz Canada announces prices for 2003 E-Class, CLK-Class cars
Toronto, Ontario – Mercedes-Benz Canada announced pricing and availability for the new-generation 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans and CLK-Class coupes. The E-Class sedans will begin arriving at Mercedes-Benz dealer showrooms nationwide with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $69,950 for the E320, while the V8-powered 5.0-litre E500 will be priced at $81,500.
The base price for the new V6-powered CLK320 coupe will be $61,900, the new V8-powered CLK500 will start at $75,900, and the high-performance CLK55 AMG will start at $99,450. The current-platform CLK320 and CLK430 Cabriolet models will continue for the 2003 model year.
Underneath the sleek exterior, the new E-Class features the first large-scale use of electronic braking, an innovative electronic braking system – a Mercedes first. The new electronic braking system – which debuted on the limited-production 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class this past March – provides faster, more sure-footed response, especially in emergencies and is the only such system in any production automobile.
With electronic braking, the brake pedal works with an array of sensors and a computer that tells four fast-acting valves exactly how hard to apply the brakes on each wheel. The system can change brake pressure on each wheel over uneven surfaces and can actually increase brake pressure on the outside wheels in turns. Even ABS anti-lock and Electronic Stability Control (ESP) work more efficiently, since they are more deeply integrated with the brakes.
The new E-Class also sports a newly developed four link front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension which provides cornering that befits a sports sedan with superb ride comfort. A new dual-control version of the Airmatic air suspension system from the S-Class sedan is standard on the E500 model and optional on the E320 sedan, bringing with it a tauter, more athletic suspension and greater driving fun.
Developed from the S-Class sedan’s suspension, the new Airmatic system features sensors that monitor road conditions, driving style and cornering forces to ensure that the system always chooses the best shock absorber and spring settings. Driving safety is further improved on the new E-Class through new safety features including smarter airbags and belt tensioners. The body structure of the new E-Class has larger crumple zones at the front, for even better energy absorption in an accident. In addition, the amount of high-strength steel has been virtually doubled, ensuring maximum strength with minimum weight.
Adaptive front airbags deploy with lower force in less severe accidents and with higher force in more serious collisions. In addition, new crash sensors help determine the severity of the collision and control the seat belt tensioners and belt force limiters accordingly. In more severe collisions, the seat belt tensioners remove belt slack quicker, and the belt force limiters then loosen the belts progressively, reducing loads on the chest and allowing front occupants to gain greater benefit from the airbag. The new E-Class is equipped with a new type of rollover sensor that can signal the central control module to deploy the windowbags and belt tensioners if it detects this type of accident.
The 2003 CLK-Class coupes enter the market five years after the first CLK came to market. Inspired by the premium-luxury CL-Class coupes, all four side windows of the CLK fully retract without posts to create an open, airy feel.
Ernst H. Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada said, “The new-generation CLK coupe takes style to an unprecedented level with its pillar-less hardtop design. With no visible B-pillar, the new CLK offers an expansive, airy feeling and panoramic views. Mercedes-Benz is the only manufacturer with the passion and engineering expertise to offer this type of design”.
The fun-to-drive quotient is also enhanced with a more responsive suspension and new steering system.
The CLK320 coupe is powered by a 215-horsepower, 3.2-litre V6, while the new CLK500 replaces the CLK430 and uses the same 302-horsepower 5.0-litre V8 as the larger CL500. The CLK 55 AMG uses the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Mercedes-AMG has ever offered in Canada – delivering 362 hp and 376 lb. ft of torque.
In addition to the larger-displacement V8 engine, the CLK500 is equipped exclusively with an AMG wheel and body design package, plus larger brakes and additional detail differences from the CLK320. A five-speed adaptive automatic transmission with TouchShift allows manual selection of forward speeds by pushing the gear lever slightly left to downshift or right to upshift while in the “Drive” selector position.
The original CLK coupe’s ability to carry four people and their luggage helped the car succeed in a market segment that has since seen other luxury coupes disappear. The new CLK is even roomier and more practical than its predecessor, adding rear headroom, elbow/hip room and knee room. The split fold-down rear seat now folds completely flat for even greater carrying capacity.
The new CLK adds the latest Mercedes-Benz safety technology, including two dual-stage deployment front airbags, four side airbags and two full-length side-curtain airbags. The full array of Mercedes dynamic handling technology is also present, including anti-lock brakes (ABS), straight-line traction control, ESP stability control, Brake Assist and the BabySmart seat recognition system.
Exclusive to the CLK, the interior design adds the automatic front seatbelt presenters. When front occupants close their doors, rods extend with the buckle for each side, making it easier for the occupants to reach the belts. The belt presenters retract once the seat belts are latched.
Standard luxury features include dual-zone electronic climate control with a sun sensor to optimize air distribution. A separate blower for the rear seat outlets ensures optimal comfort for each passenger. A new premium music system (standard in the CLK55 AMG and option on the CLK320 & CLK500) uses eight strategically located speakers and digital processing to actively adjust system output to compensate for ambient noise. The 10-way adjustable power front seats are unique to the new CLK.