This is Mercedesí brand new CLK, caught preparing for battle against stylish competitors like the Audi A5 and BMW's 3-Series Coupe.

Itís only been five years since the current CLK was launched, but in a market as competitive as the premium coupe segment Mercedes canít afford to rest on its laurels.

So, as well as raising the bar for luxury, the new CLK will take styling cues from the attractive new C-Class saloon. However, unlike the 3-Series coupe, the CLK will not be pitched as a two-door version of the saloon, but a completely unique model aimed further upmarket.

The new coupe will sit on a modified C-Class chassis, but like the current CLK it will feature a cabin distinct from the saloon in order to distinguish it as the more premium product.

A wide range of engines will be available when the car is launched early next year, starting with two diesels Ė a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit generating 204bhp and a 252bhp 3.0-litre V6.

Petrol power will come courtesy of a trio of V6 engines producing 300bhp, 354bhp and 428bhp, the latter pair featuring twin-turbochargers. Mercedesí 4Matic four-wheel drive system will be available on higher-powered models, whereas more lowly variants will be front wheel drive.

Mercedesí tuning arm AMG will be let loose on CLK to produce a high-performance flagship too Ė the 481bhp CLK63 AMG. Insiders suggest AMG will also unveil a Black Series version with a mighty 525bhp powering all four wheels.

A convertible version will appear in 2010 featuring a folding cloth top, as well as Mercedesí ĎAirscarfí neck-warming system for maximum open-air comfort.

Prices for the new Mercedes CLK will start at around £30,000.
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