If there’s one thing Mercedes Benz does so well, it would have to be the luxury coupe. And it’s no surprise why after so many years, the Mercedes Benz CLK Class still brings good memories to car enthusiasts who happen to love style and luxury all rolled into one. The mid-size luxury coupe, which came in a rear wheel drive, was designed after the W202 and W203 platforms of the C-Class. However, some of the style elements in the coupe quite resembled the more contemporary E-Class. The CLK joined the league of other two-door cars such as the Toyota Camry Solara and Volvo C70. It was highly recognized for its style, luxury, value, and technology. And with its arrival, then came various models under its lineup. These included the Mercedes Benz CLK430, which was part of the first generation CLK. It came with a little bit more of a sporty edge to it. The CLK430 was powered by a V8 and was based on the CLK320’s platform. It also had great body armor. Driving this coupe was a pleasure to many car owners, coupe lovers, and MB fans.
1999: The arrival of the Mercedes Benz CLK430 from the first generation CLK
The first generation CLK was launched in 1996, several years after the W202 first generation C-Class model was introduced. Different versions came out of this. The CLK lineup included the CLK 200, CLK 200 Kompressor, CLK 230 Kompressor, CLK320, CLK 55 AMG, and the CLK 430. The last could generate up to 279 metric horsepower (205kW; 275 bhp).
The CLK 320 Coupe was released as a 1997 model. Equipped with a 3.2L V6 engine, it was among the earlier CLKs to be launched in the market. A year later, the CLK GTR racing coupe was added to the lineup. This high-performance coupe had a 6.9L V12 engine. It was in 1999 when the CLK320 Cabriolet and the Mercedes Benz CLK430 first made appearance. The CLK430 was powered by a 4.3L V8 engine. It had a facelift sometime in 1999, giving the 2000 model a revised look on the outside and inside. The updates included a redesigned instrument cluster, which had a larger display for various functions. The steering wheel was also revamped and came with controls for the radio and the multifunction display. The Tiptronic automatic gearbox was used by the 2000 model. For the exterior, the coupe had revised bumpers and new side skirts while the side-view mirrors were mounted with turn signals.
The Mercedes Benz CLK430 was best known for its superb driving characteristics. It was polished and powerful, and it had great features. It lived up to Mercedes Benz’s reputation for delivering the best coupes of their kind, combining performance and style. Among its rivals are the Lexus SC400 and Jaguar XK8. Other models were introduced in the second generation CLK, which came out longer, higher, and wider than the earlier batch of the mid-size luxury coupe.