Mercedes-Benz W203 is First Produced

The second generation C-Class was introduced in 2000, with a sportier look than the previous generations, with a steeper front-end and shorter rear-end.

The styling cues were similar to that of the W220 S-Class. The sedan debuted with a range of straight-four and V6 gasoline engines and straight-four and straight-five Diesels. Most of the engines were carried over from the W202, but the C 320 was exclusive, offering 218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp), also the C240 now had 2597 cc but output was unchanged at 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp). The diesels now featured common rail direct injection and variable geometry turbochargers. Six-speed manual gearboxes were now standard for nearly the entire range (except the C320 and C 270 CDI). For the first time, the number designations were no longer equivalent to the engine displacement, more specifically in the C 200 (1.8 L), C 240 (2.6 L) and C 200 CDI (2.2 L).
In 2001, Mercedes increased the range, with the introduction of the new T-Modell station wagon and Sportcoupé. The Sportcoupé was a three-door liftback made to counter the BMW Compact, but like its competitor, it 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, and 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[5]. In Canada, it was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. In 2003, a new family of supercharged four cylinder engines, dubbed M271, also debuted. 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 (replacing the 2.3 L engine in 2002 and older models). The newer 1.8 L was less powerful but smoother and more efficient than the older 2.3 L (192 PS (141 kW; 189 hp) compared to 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp). 4MATIC four wheel drive versions were also offered for the C 240 and C 320.
The C-Class was refreshed in early 2004. In this year, the interior styling was changed in all three body styles. The instrument cluster was revised to display a full set of analog gauges, as well as a full revision of the center console and audio systems. A fully integrated iPod connection kit was available as was a better bluetooth phone system made opional. New eletrics made it more reliable after the "Modellpflege" (model revision.) For the USA market C230, the "sport" package was made standard which included AMG edition bumpers, side skirts and front 4 caliper crossdrilled brakes from the C55. Widebody rear suspension with sport tuned springs and dampers completed the package for 2005. In 2006, Mercedes softened the ride some due to complaints that the 2005 models with the standard AMG edition springs/dampers were too stiff for standard issue. Different taillights were added to the Sportcoupé and several all-new M272 and OM642 V6 engines were introduced later in the year. Both petrol and diesel engines were added. The C230 V6, C280, C350 replaced the C240 and C320, the new-generation 6-cylinder engines developed substantially more power than the older version, by as much as 24% more, whilst also increasing fuel economy and reducing C02 emissions. The C230 V6, C280 and C350 developed 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp), 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) and 272 PS (200 kW; 268 hp) respectively. The three-valve twin spark design was replaced by a four-valve design, now with variable valve timing. . On the diesel side too, things were much improved, with a brand-new V6 3.0 litre CDI diesel. The new V6 diesel offered masses of more power compared to the C270 CDI, by as much as 32% more, the CO2 emissions and fuel economy were also bettered, the output of this engine 224 PS (165 kW; 221 hp) and its torque of 510 Nm made it the worlds most powerful diesel at the time. The C220 CDI received a power increase from 143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp) to 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) In addition, these engines also received the new seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission, a more economical naturally-aspirated 1.8 L (C 160) was added to the Sportcoupé lineup.
The last W203 C-Class sedan was produced on December 14, 2006 at the Sindelfingen plant.
However, the W203 Sportcoupé liftback will continue to be produced in Brazil beyond this date, since Mercedes-Benz does not foresee producing a W204 Sportcoupé. Indeed, it has decided to offer an updated W203-2 or CL203 Sportcoupé with a new restyled front end inspired by the W204 sedan [6] and an improved engine range parallel to the one of the W204. It was also spun off into its own separate line as the CLC-Class.

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 L 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 354 PS (260 kW; 349 hp)) at 6100 rpm and 450 N·m (332 lb·ft) at 4400 rpm. Like its predecessors, it used a five-speed automatic, helping it to complete a 0-100 km/h sprint within 5.2 seconds. The second version was C 30 CDI AMG, using a 3.0 L five-cylinder engine, capable of 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) at 3800 rpm and 540 N·m (398 lb·ft) at 2000 rpm. Both were available in all three body styles, but the diesel model did not reach sales expectations and was retired in 2004, as well as the C 32 AMG Sportcoupé.
By the revision of the C-Class in 2005, C 32 AMG was also replaced, giving way to a new 5.4 L 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 367 PS (270 kW; 362 hp) at 5750 rpm and torque climbing to 510 N·m (376 lb·ft) at 4000 rpm. Unlike the less-powerful V6s and V8s in the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, it continues to use Speedshift five-speed automatic. Though maximum speed is still limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) and 4.9 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is improved, this model is considered the sportiest AMG model in the C-Class history before the recent release of the W204 (third generation) C 63 AMG.

The second generation C-Klasse saw the arrival of a completely redesigned vehicle, with a longer, curvier nose and sportier, shorter rear. Styling was taken a step further with redesigned interlocked headlights that gave the new C an organic look. The engines were mostly carried over from the previous generation except few models such as the C 320 which delivered an increased output of 215 hp. Diesel units were also upgraded, having been fitted with common-rail direct injection systems and variable geometry turbochargers. Six speed manual transmissions became standard on nearly all versions while letter and number labeling no longer reflected the engine's displacement, i.e the C 180 had a 2.0 L plant while the C 240 had a 2.6 L unit.

Production
Sedan & Wagon 2000–2007
Hatchback 2001–2007

Body style(s)
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon

Platform Mercedes-Benz W203

Engine(s)
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 V6
3.0 L OM612 Diesel I5 AMG

Transmission(s)
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
7-speed automatic

Wheelbase 2,715 mm (106.9 in)

Length
Saloon: 4,526 mm (178.2 in)
T-Modell: 4,541 mm (178.8 in)
SportCoupe: 4,343 mm (171.0 in)

Width 1,728 mm (68.0 in)

Height
Saloon: 1,426 mm (56.1 in)
T-Modell: 1,465 mm (57.7 in)
Coupe: 1,406 mm (55.4 in)