The New Mercedes Benz CL-Class | Part Four

Mercedes Benz CL-Class

Mercedes Benz CL-Class

Assistance systems: radar sensors make parking child’s play

The newly developed parking guidance system (optional extra) also works on the basis of radar technology: the sensors measure the length of a parking space when driving past and show on the cockpit display whether there is sufficient space to park. The display then includes a symbolic representation of the parking manoeuvre; guide lines show the required steering angle and indicate the path into the parking space. In this way the system helps the driver park inch perfect.

Night view assist with infrared headlamps, reversing camera, voice control for car radio, DVD changer and navigation as well as tyre pressure monitoring system are other optional Mercedes assistance systems for increased handling safety and comfort.

Engines: eight and 12-cylinder powerplants with noticeably more power

The new luxury Coupé is ready for any challenge on motorways and rural roads thanks to the most powerful Mercedes engines to date. The eight-cylinder powerplant in the CL 500 delivers 285 kW/388 hp and generates a maximum torque of 530 Nm from 2800 rpm. As such the newly developed engine outperforms the existing V8 unit by 26 per cent in terms of output and 15 per cent when it comes to torque. Equipped with four-valve technology, variably adjustable shifting camshafts, a two-stage intake module and tumble flaps in the intake ducts, the new V8 is among the most advanced, powerful engines in its displacement class. The CL 500 accelerates from zero to 62.5 mph in just 5.4 seconds (previous model: 6.3 seconds).

An ultra-modern biturbo 12-cylinder engine under the bonnet of the new CL 600 generates its impressive power. Mercedes engineers have enhanced numerous details of the power unit and, compared to the predecessor model, have increased output by 12 kW/17 hp to 380 kW/517 hp. The maximum torque, already on tap from 1900 rpm, has been improved further by 30 Nm to 830 Nm and remains constant up to 3500 rpm. The new CL 600 accelerates from 0 to 62.5 mph in just 4.6 seconds (previous model: 4.8 seconds). And despite the significant performance boost the V12 engine is 0.6 mpg more efficient than the outgoing model.

Mercedes Benz has combined the standard-fit automatic transmission with the new DIRECT SELECT gearshift: the driver can select the transmission settings "P", "N", "R" and "D" by nudging a lever on the steering column. Operating commands are transmitted electronically by wire.

Tradition: seven generations of the Mercedes Benz Coupé

The new CL-Class ushers in the seventh generation of the large Mercedes Coupés. The two-door model replaces the world-beating outgoing model, which joins the ranks of the best-selling luxury coupés with around 46,800 units sold.

The history of the large Mercedes Coupés stretches back to 1952 when Mercedes Benz launched the legendary 300 S Coupé - a "car for the world's elite" was the verdict of the motoring press in its day. In 1956 it was followed by the 220 S Coupé as part of the W 180 model series, which fired the public’s imagination with its unitised "Pontoon" body in particular. And in 1961 the derder 220 SEb Coupé (W 111 model series) took up the baton with its stylish elongated body.

In 1981 the SEC Coupés from the C 126 model series were based on the then S-Class and remained in the Mercedes Benz line-up for 10 years with over 74,000 units produced. In 1992 the Geneva Motor Show was host to the launch of the successor model (C 140 model series), powered for the first time by a 290-kW/394-hp twelve-cylinder engine. The predecessor to the new CL-Class Coupé celebrated its world premiere in March 1999, setting new standards with leading-edge Mercedes innovations such as the Active Body Control (ABC) suspension system and bi-xenon headlamps.

Mercedes Benz has built over 178,000 luxury coupés since 1952.

Published 27 June 2006 Melanie Carter

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