The notion of diesel in a sport coupe may seem anathema, but the combination of common rail technology and emissions-based tax systems no longer makes the diesel coupe marriage outlandish, according to Dermot Kelly, director, passenger cars, of Mercedes-Benz UK.
'It shows how much diesel has improved and grown in terms of refinement and performance and it will continue to do so,' he said. 'Diesel now accounts for 60% of S-class sales.'
The new CLK arrives in June, with apparently assured success given that demand still exceeds supply for the current model. The UK is the largest coupe market in Europe, thanks in part to an increase in so-called 'empty nesters' with disposable income and no children.
Engines include a 1.8-litre supercharged 200 Kompressor, a 2.6-litre, 170bhp 240, a 3.2-litre 320 and a range-topping 5.0-litre, 306bhp engine.
The common rail 270 CDI, which arrives later in the year, generates 170bhp, yet should return about 42mpg on the combined cycle, so expect carbon dioxide emissions of about 175g/km.
Ironically, one of the cars from which the new CLK may steal sales from is its stablemate, the new E-class saloon, which goes on sale in August.
The executive sector is shrinking in saloon form as buyers opt for coupes, four-wheel drives and higher performance saloons in the class below, although Kelly said he expects full year sales for the new E-class to match the 12,000 achieved by its predecessor in its heyday.