Home
Join
Events
MB in the news
Classifieds
About Us
Mercedes-Benz Vehicles
Contact Us

  by Marcus B. Fitzhugh

For model year 2011, the CL-Class has been upgraded. More than a mid-life upgrade, this is closer to a model change. Out front, the hood, fenders, bumper, grill and headlamps are all brand new. Out back, the bumper and taillights are also new. The car is still unmistakably a CL, but definitely different than the 2010 model.

The drivetrain has also been significantly revamped. All V8 powered non-AMG CLs come standard with a seven-speed automatic and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive systems. The V8 in this package has also been dramatically improved. The previous 5.5 liter V8s have been replaced with dual turbocharged 4.6 liter direct injected V8s. The new engines are both more powerful and more efficient. The new engine produces 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The 516 lb-ft of torque is not the peak number. That is the amount available from 1800 RPM. In comparison, the new engine produces 45 percent more torque at 2000 RPM. Fuel economy has been improved 10 to 15 percent (exact figures were not available at the time of this writing), and emissions have been reduced by 23 percent. These are dramatic improvements in three major categories, making the standard powertrain upgrades highly desirable.

The standard AMG has also been upgraded. The 6.3 liter naturally aspirated V8 has been replaced by a hand built dual-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8. It too has direct fuel injection, but it also has a start / stop feature that turns the engine off when the vehicle stops and restarts it when the gas pedal is pressed. The new 5.5-liter AMG engine has 536 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. This is an improvement of 3 percent. The AMG engine is also 20 to 30 percent more fuel-efficient than the outgoing 63. This year, an optional performance package is available. With the performance package, output is increased to 563 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. Rather than 4MATIC, the AMG version uses rear wheel drive. Channeling that power to the rear wheels is AMG's seven-speed multi-clutch transmission. Although based on the standard model's seven-speed automatic, the torque converter in this transmission is replaced with an automatically operated clutch.

The CL550 is a fantastic all-weather coupe. Although not as fast as the AMG model, the difference to sixty MPH is minimal. The CL550 reaches 60 in 4.8 seconds and with 4MATIC, the car is securely planted in inclement conditions.

The CL63 is a beast. That's "beast" in a good way. At 4.4 seconds, it's marginally faster to sixty MPH, but there is much more to the story. When the loud pedal is planted in the 63, there's an authoritative roar in conjunction with an emphatic pull to its electronically controlled top speed of 155 MPH. With the optional performance package, top speed is increased to 186 MPH. The AMG also has improved suspension. At higher speeds, the active body control keeps the car flatter, whereas the CL550 has a bit more body roll. Both cars effortlessly absorb road imperfections, and both wind and road noise are held to an absolute minimum.

The interiors are absolutely gorgeous. The seating areas are hand fitted glove-soft premium leather. The front seats have 14-way power adjustments, with heating and active ventilation. A full length central console starts at the dash, runs between the front seats, and continues to the rear seatbacks. The console is opulently trimmed in leather and wood, and is used to establish the four personalized seating areas of the CL. This console is purposely equipped with generous storage areas and beverage holders beneath wood-trimmed covers. Surrounding the occupants is hand polished wood trim in either Burl Walnut or Black Ash on the leather covered dash and doors. The ambience is further enhanced with a network of LEDs and fiber optics that cast a gentle glow from beneath the dash and door panels. Naturally the upper areas have glass, but the glass selected is laminated and infrared reflecting, which reduces ambient noise and reduces radiant heat. The entertainment options include harmon/kardon surround sound with a minimum of 11 speakers fed by an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, that allows one to watch DVDs (while parked of course), an iPod/MP3 interface, HD radio and Sirius.

The list of safety equipment is endless. CLs have nine airbags that offer 11-way protection, crush zones where preferred, high strength occupant protection zones, PRE-SAFE, emergency tensioning devices, belt force limiters, tire pressure monitoring equipment, automatic brake drying systems, brake assist, DISTRONIC PLUS, PRE-SAFE, bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination, night view assist with pedestrian detection, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist, adaptive damping, ESP, and a number of other features that literally make this the safest CL ever built.

For those who need a little more, there are a few options that can be checked off on the option sheet. However, the ultimate CLs are the twelve cylinder models. The CL600 is a limited production 5.5 liter dual turbo V12 that produces 510 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. The CL65 is the AMG version, which has a higher performance 6 liter dual turbo V12 that produces 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. These are peerless coupes. True flagships that offer an outstanding driving experience.

Vee-Eight Technical Data

Model CL550 4MATIC CL63 AMG
Vehicle type Two-door, four-passenger coupe
Chassis Steel unit body; aluminum front fenders, doors and hood; composite trunk lid.
 
Engine 90-degree gasoline V8
Valve arrangement Four valves per cylinder
Valvetrain Duplex chain-driven dual overhead camshaft
Displacement (cu. in./cc) 284.5 / 4,663 333.3 / 5,461
Bore (in./mm) 3.66 / 92.9 3.86 / 98.0
Stroke (in./mm) 3.39 / 86.1 3.56 / 90.4
Compression ratio 10.5:1 10.0:1
Horsepower @ rpm 429 @ 5,250 536 @ 5,500 or 563 with the Performance Package
Torque (lb-ft.) @ rpm 516 @ 1,800-3,500 590 @ 2,000-4,500 or 664 with the Performance Package
Intake system Direct gasoline injection with piezo injectors, twin turbo w/12.9 lbs. boost Direct gasoline injection with piezo injectors, twin turbo w/14.2 (15.6)* lbs. boost
Max. engine speed (rpm) 6,500
 
Transmission Seven-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic. Seven-speed electronically controlled multi-clutch automatic transmission with AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS
Gear ratios
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
R
R2 comfort mode
4.38:1
2.86:1
1.92:1
1.37:1
1.00:1
0.82:1
0.73:1
-3.42:1
-2.23:1
Final drive 2.65:1
 
Stability control 4MATIC All-Wheel-Drive with Electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control. Electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control.
Suspension Four-wheel independent with AIRMATIC air suspension Four-wheel independent with ABC active suspension; Automatic four-wheel level control, adjustable ride height, automatic lowering, crosswind stabilization
Front Four-link, anti-dive control, AIRMATIC air suspension, gas shock absorbers, stabilizers Four-link suspension, Active Body Control
Rear Multi-link independent suspension, anti-squat and anti-dive, AIRMATIC air suspension, gas shock absorbers Multi-link independent suspension, Active Body Control
Steering Speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turning radius (feet) 38.1
Front Wheels 8.5 x 18 8.5 x 20
Rear Wheels 8.5 x 18 9.5 x 20
Front tires 255 / 45 R 18 255/35 ZR20
Rear tires 255 / 45 R 18 275/35 ZR20
Brakes Hydraulic power assisted 4-wheel discs with 4-channel ABS anti-lock; Brake Assist
Front disc diameter (in./mm) 13.2 / 335; perforated, ventilated 15.4; perforated, ventilated
Rear disc diameter (in./mm) 11.8 / 200; ventilated 14.4; perforated, ventilated
 
Exterior dimensions (in./mm)
Wheelbase 116.3 / 2,954
Length 200.6 / 5,095 201.0 / 5,104
Width 73.7 / 1,872 73.7 / 1,872
Height 55.8 / 1,417 56.2 / 1,427
Ground clearance 5.1 / 130 TBD
Front track 63.0 / 1,600 63.0 / 1,600
Rear track 63.3 / 1,607 63.3 / 1,607
Interior dimensions (in./mm)
Front head room 36.9 / 937
Rear head room (second row / third row) 36.4 / 925
Front Leg room 42.2 / 1,072
Rear Leg room (second row / third row) 32.2 / 818
Front Shoulder room 59.2 / 1,504
Rear Shoulder room (second row / third row) 55.2 / 1,402
Cargo Length -
 
Capacities
Cabin volume in cubic feet 104.2
Cargo volume in cubic feet 13.5
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,619 4,806
Towing (lbs.) - -
Fuel tank / reserve (gallons) 21.9 / 2.9 23.8 / 3.7
 
Performance
0-60 (seconds) 4.8 (estimated) 4.4 or 4.3 with the Performance Package (both times estimated)
Top speed (MPH) 130 - electronically limited 155 or 186 with the Performance Package - electronically limited
Fuel mileage, city/hwy 15 / 23 15 / 21

Vee-Twelve Technical Data

Model CL600 CL65 AMG
Vehicle type Two-door, four-passenger coupe
Chassis Steel unit body; aluminum front fenders, doors and hood; composite trunk lid.
 
Engine 60-degree gasoline V12
Valve arrangement Three valves per cylinder
Valvetrain Duplex chain-driven single overhead camshaft
Displacement (cu. in./cc) 336.4 / 5,513 364.9 / 5,980
Bore (in./mm) 3.23 / 82.0 3.25 / 82.5
Stroke (in./mm) 3.43 / 87 3.66 / 93
Compression ratio 9.0:1 9.0:1
Horsepower @ rpm 510 @ 5,000 621 @ 4,800
Torque (lb-ft.) @ rpm 612 @ 1,800-3,500 738 @ 2,300-4,300
Intake system Dual turbochargers with dual intercoolers Dual turbochargers with dual intercoolers
Max. engine speed (rpm) 5,950 6,100
 
Transmission Five-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic. Five-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic and AMG SPEEDSHIFT.
Gear ratios
1
2
3
4
5
R
R2 comfort mode
3.60:1
2.19:1
1.41:1
1.00:1
0.83:1
-3.16:1
-1.93:1
Final drive 2.65:1
 
Stability control Electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control.
Suspension Four-wheel independent with ABC active suspension; Automatic four-wheel level control, adjustable ride height, automatic lowering, crosswind stabilization
Front Four-link suspension, Active Body Control Four-link suspension, Active Body Control
Rear Multi-link independent suspension, Active Body Control Multi-link independent suspension, Active Body Control
Steering Speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turning radius (feet) 38.1
Front Wheels 8.5 x 19 8.5 x 20
Rear Wheels 8.5 x 19 9.5 x 20
Front tires 255 / 45 R 19 255/35 ZR20
Rear tires 275 / 45 R 19 275/35 ZR20
Brakes Hydraulic power assisted 4-wheel discs with 4-channel ABS anti-lock; Brake Assist
Front disc diameter (in./mm) 13.8 / 350; perforated, ventilated 15.4; perforated, ventilated
Rear disc diameter (in./mm) 12.6 / 320; ventilated 14.4; perforated, ventilated
 
Exterior dimensions (in./mm)
Wheelbase 116.3 / 2,946
Length 200.6 / 5,095 201.0 / 5,105
Width 73.7 / 1,872 73.7 / 1,872
Height 55.8 / 1,417 56.2 / 1,427
Ground clearance 5.2 / 132 TBD
Front track 63.0 / 1,600 63.0 / 1,600
Rear track 63.3 / 1,607 63.3 / 1,607
Interior dimensions (in./mm)
Front head room 36.9 / 937
Rear head room (second row / third row) 36.4 / 925
Front Leg room 42.2 / 1,072
Rear Leg room (second row / third row) 32.2 / 818
Front Shoulder room 59.2 / 1,504
Rear Shoulder room (second row / third row) 55.2 / 1,402
Cargo Length -
 
Capacities
Cabin volume in cubic feet 104.2
Cargo volume in cubic feet 13.5
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,894 5,037
Towing (lbs.) - -
Fuel tank / reserve (gallons) 23.8 / 3.7 23.8 / 3.7
 
Performance
0-60 (seconds) 4.5 4.3
Top speed (MPH) 155 - electronically limited 186 - electronically limited
Fuel mileage, city/hwy 12 / 18 12 / 18

All specifications supplied by Mercedes-Benz USA


 

2012 MBCA - Orange County. All Rights Reserved

Home | Join | Events | MB in the news | Classifieds | About Us | Mercedes-Benz Vehicles | Contact Us