DaimlerChrysler plans to facelift its C-Class range in the second quarter of 2004 and reports suggest the CLK 55's 5,5-litre V8 AMG powerplant will be shoehorned into the flagship.

DaimlerChrysler plans to facelift its C-Class range in the second quarter of 2004 and reports suggest the CLK 55's 5,5-litre V8 AMG powerplant will be shoehorned into the flagship.


The 3,2-litre supercharged V6-engined C32 AMG currently heads the C-Class range in South Africa, but the next German super-saloon, the C55 AMG, will also offer a glimpse of the features of the facelifted C-Class.


Speaking to CARtoday.com on Tuesday, DaimlerChrysler SA media manager Deon Ebersohn confirmed the C-Class would have a "subtle facelift" around the second quarter of next year.


There will be additions such as clear glass headlights and LED taillights to bring the car's looks "in line with the E and S-Class", he said. Judging from this spy picture, new body mouldings around the sides and a resculpted grille may also be on the cards, although Ebersohn stressed the facelift, an ordinary development for a range at the halfway point of its product life, would probably be "hard to notice by the untrained eye".


The C55, which Ebersohn said hadn't yet been confirmed as a production model, is adorned with an AMG bodykit, low side skirts and modified front and rear bumpers. Twin exhaust pipes and large-diameter five-spoke AMG-spec wheels complete the package.


Mercedes-Benz designers have apparently penned a bespoke front end for the C55, reports. This section is heavily disguised in these shots, but it will include a special radiator grille in the style of the CLK coupé.


Stylists are said to have agonised over which style of three-pointed star to use. Our sources say the grille-mounted badge - normally reserved for coupés and convertibles - may take the place of the more traditional emblem, standing proud on the bonnet.


Power will come from a normally aspirated 273-kW 5,5-litre V8 mated with a five-speed automatic gearbox. A seven-speed automatic 'box will apparently be available later.