In February 2004 (four years after the launch) and together with the saloon and estate, Mercedes-Benz significantly enhanced the successful C-Class Sports Coupés in terms of engineering, equipment and design. With its distinctive look and the particular focus on dynamism and design, the two-door vehicle successfully established itself within the model family as a spirited "youngster". The chassis, steering and six-speed manual transmission were given a sports tuning to offer an even more agile driving experience. After the facelift, the body's compact dimensions and powerful proportions emphasised the already sporty and dynamic exterior even more.
The new generation of the C-Class Sports Coupé came with a choice of six four-cylinder engines, including three direct-injection engines: a petrol engine for the C 200 CGI and two diesel units in the C 200 CDI and C 220 CDI. From spring 2004, the output of the C 220 CDI was increased to 110 kW (150 hp) - up 5 kW (7 hp) compared to the previous model. In the shape of the C 30 CDI AMG, there was also a Sports Coupé with five-cylinder CDI engine from Mercedes-AMG and a V6 in the C 320.
After the spring 2004 facelift, the C-Class Sports Coupé appeared even more youthful and dynamic. For example, the front bumper accentuated the powerful look with an enlarged lower air intake with a new louvre structure in place of the previous criss-cross grille. A wider track (1505 millimetres rather than the previous 1465 millimetres) likewise defined the Sports Coupé's new-look, energised front.
The designers had subtly modified the typical Mercedes-Benz Coupé radiator grille, opting for a flatter angle. As a further special feature, those models equipped with the EVOLUTION and EVOLUTION AMG sports packages came with a special paint finish in brilliant silver and perforations on the radiator grille slats. Lifted from the design of the saloon and estate versions, from spring 2004 the headlamp coverings had a brilliant clear glass look. The team applied the same design principle to the side direction indicators in the mirror housings and the standard front fog lamps, which also served the cornering light function in conjunction with bi-xenon technology for main/dipped beam.
The sides of the Coupé body remained unchanged in their design, although newly designed wheel trim and alloy wheels were added. Both sports packages now included alloy wheels with a seven or five-spoke design respectively. Available as an option, a new chrome package provided chrome trim to enhance the bumpers, side protective strips and door handles.
In the vehicle interior, the designers had revised the instrument panel, centre console, controls, seats and more to boost the interior's quality feel and comfort even further. At the heart of the new cockpit design was an elegantly proportioned, three-spoke steering wheel with silver-coloured buttons. The newly designed instrument cluster was another eye-catching feature of the Sports Coupé cockpit. Four white, illuminated circular instruments with discreet chrome edging, black dials, white needles and clear typography matched the high-quality chronometer design which itself highlighted the sophisticated technology and high precision of the instruments. Even more striking was the instrument panel in the EVOLUTION versions of the Sports Coupé. Here the chrome edging to the circular instruments stood out even more clearly from the dials. Pulled slightly forward and bevelled towards the bottom, this gave an interesting optical effect of depth. New switches and controls were added to the centre console, as well as high-quality trim parts, with a special aluminium cover creating a finishing touch in Sports Coupés with the EVOLUTION or EVOLUTION AMG packages. A new fabric cover became available in either black or alpaca grey for the sporty seats inside the Sports Coupé.
Mercedes-Benz continued to extend the range of engines for the successful two-door vehicle following the facelift. Serving as an agile entry-level model, the C 160 received a 90 kW (122 hp), four-cylinder petrol engine from late 2004. The biggest change to the engines for the C-Class Sports Coupé, however, came with the launch of new V6 units in May 2005: for the petrol models, advanced six-cylinder technology was available from mid-2005 in the C 230 (150 kW/204 hp) and C 350 (200 kW/272 hp). Deploying these new six-cylinder engines reduced petrol consumption by up to 13 percent compared to predecessors. Mercedes-Benz offered the C 230 with V6 engine at the same price as the previous four-cylinder C 230 KOMPRESSOR, which was dropped from the range along with the C 200 CGI. The C 230 had 9 kW (12 hp) more power than its predecessor for even greater agility and driving enjoyment combined with the running smoothness and driving comfort typical of a six-cylinder model. With a six-speed manual transmission provided as standard, the C 230 was optionally available with the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC. Other items in the extensive array of standard equipment were THERMATIC automatic climate control, windowbags, belt tensioners and belt force limiters in the front and rear together with a multifunction steering wheel.
A total of 283,000 Sports Coupés which had been part of the C-Class model family since spring 2001 were sold by September 2006. Following the premiere of the new C-Class-saloon W 204 at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show, the two-door Sports Coupé in model series 203 - and also the estate - remained in the product range. In spring 2008 the C-Class Sports Coupé was then replaced by the Mercedes-Benz CLC. While the CL 203 continued to serve as the technical basis of the new model, the CLC scored highly with a fully revised design and some 1100 new or enhanced components throughout the vehicle. Since 2001 approximately 320,000 customers had chosen a Sports Coupé from model series 203 - around 70 percent of them new Mercedes-Benz customers.