(2004 model shown)
This upscale, mid-size, sporty luxury coupe/convertible line gets a cosmetic facelift for 2006 with a revised grille, front apron, and taillights, and new alloy wheels. The base model is now called the CLK350, by virtue of its new 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter twin-cam, four-valve per-cylinder V-6 engine; it comes mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The CLK500 continues with its 302-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine; for 2006 this model gets a sportier looking interior and a specially tuned AMG exhaust system. The top model remains the CLK55 AMG, and is powered by a 362-horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8 that's mated to a specially modified five-speed automatic with Speed Shift manual gear-changing capability. Standard safety items include four-wheel disc power anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, front- and rear-side and head-curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Automatic Slip Control, and - new for 2006 - active head restraints to help reduce whiplash injuries. New for 2006 is an available interface that allows an Apple iPod MP3 player to integrate with the car's audio system. The player is operated via steering-wheel controls and the multifunction display in the car's instrument cluster.