Mercedes-Benz C-Class Second generation W203
|Production||July 2000 – December 2006|
|Body style||2-door coupe 4-door sedan 5-door station wagon|
1.8–2.3 L M111 I4 1.8 L M271 I4 Kompressor 2.0–2.3 L M111 I4 Kompressor 2.6 L–3.2 L M112 V6 2.5 L–3.5 L M272 V6 3.2 L Supercharged M112 V6 AMG 5.4 L M113 V8 AMG 2.1 L OM611 Diesel I4 2.7 L OM612 Diesel I5 3.0 L OM642 Diesel V63.0 L OM612 Diesel I5 AMG
|Transmission||6-speed manual 5-speed automatic 7-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,715 mm (106.9 in)|
|Length||Sedan: 4,526 mm (178.2 in) Wagon: 4,541 mm (178.8 in) SportCoupe: 4,343 mm (171.0 in)|
|Width||1,728 mm (68.0 in)|
|Height||Sedan: 1,426 mm (56.1 in) Wagon: 1,465 mm (57.7 in) Coupe: 1,406 mm (55.4 in)|
Mercedes-Benz debuted a coupe variant in October 2000, labelled the C-Class SportCoupé and given the model designation CL203 (see below). The third body variant, a station wagon codenamed S203 arrived in 2001. Then in 2002 for the 2003 model year, a new family of supercharged four cylinder engines, dubbed M271, debuted for the entire range C-Class range. All of them used the same 1.8-litre engine, with different designations according to horsepower levels, including a version powered by natural gas. The C 230 Kompressor variant sported 142 kW (190 hp).The newer 1.8-litre was less powerful but smoother and more efficient than the older 2.3-litre engine (141 kW (192 PS) compared to 142 kW (193 PS). For the C 240 and C 320, 4MATIC four-wheel drive versions were also offered in addition to rear-wheel drive.
After the performance of the AMG models in the previous generation, Mercedes-Benz attempted to increase sales among high-end buyers by introducing two different AMG versions in the new model, also in 2001. The C 32 AMG scaled back down to a 3.2-litre V6 engine, to match the E46 M3 displacement and improve weight distribution, but it required a twin-screw type supercharger (manufactured by IHI) to reach 260 kW (354 PS) and 450 N·m (332 lb·ft). Like its predecessors, it used a five-speed automatic, helping it to complete a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) sprint within 5.2 seconds. The second version was C 30 CDI AMG, using a 3.0-litre five-cylinder diesel engine, capable of 170 kW (231 PS) and 540 N·m (398 lb·ft). Both were available in all three body styles, but the diesel model did not reach sales expectations and was retired in 2004, as was as the C 32 AMG SportCoupé.
Along with the mid-generation refresh of the C-Class in 2005, the C 32 AMG was also replaced, giving way to a new 5.4-litre naturally aspirated V8-powered C 55 AMG. This was an evolution of the V8 engine found in the previous E-Class, with power raised to 270 kW (367 PS) and torque climbing to 510 N·m (376 lb·ft). The C 55 AMG uses a V8 from the same engine family as the W202 generation C 43 AMG. Though maximum speed is still limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), the 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) time has dropped to 4.9 seconds. Unlike the less-powerful V6s in the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the C 55 AMG continued to use the five-speed automatic with AMG Speedshift.
Both the C32 and C55 AMG models were mainly sedans. However, a limited run of 100 C32 and C55 AMG station wagons were made at the end of each's reign.
The C-Class was refreshed in early 2004. In North America, the refresh took effect for the 2005 model year. The interior styling was changed in all three body styles. The instrument cluster was revised to display a set of analogue gauges, and the center console and audio systems were revised. A fully integrated iPod connection kit was available as was a better Bluetooth phone system made optional. For the North American market C 230, the "sport" package was made standard which included AMG edition bumpers, side skirts and front four caliper cross-drilled brakes from the C 55.
Several all-new M272 and OM642 V6 engines were introduced later in the year. In North America, the changes took effect for the 2006 model year. The C 230, C 280, C 350 replaced the C 240 and C 320, the new-generation six-cylinder engines developed substantially more power than the older versions, by as much as 24 percent, whilst also increasing fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions. The C 230, C 280 and C 350 developed 150 kW (204 PS), 170 kW (231 PS) and 200 kW (272 PS) respectively. The three-valve twin spark design was replaced by a four-valve design, now with variable valve timing. On the diesel side, Mercedes-Benz released a brand-new 3.0-litre V6. Fitted to the C 320 CDI, the new diesel cut CO2 emissions and fuel consumption over the old C 270 CDI, and increased outputs to 165 kW (224 PS) and its torque of 510 N·m (380 lb·ft) made it the worlds most powerful diesel at the time. The C 220 CDI received a power increase from 105 to 110 kW (143 to 150 PS). In addition, these engines also received the new seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission.
As of Sep 20, 2006, over two million C-Class vehicles (including sedan, station wagon and SportCoupé) had been sold since March 2000, with 1.4 million sedans since May 2000, 330,000 wagons since spring 2001, 283,000 Sports Coupé since spring 2001. Over 30 percent of total sales occurred in Germany, and over 20 percent in the United States. The last W203 C-Class sedan was produced on December 14, 2006 at the Sindelfingen plant.