Other than some new colors, not much is new in 2002 for the CL-Class coupe, which is essentially a two-door equivalent of the ultra-luxury S-Class sedan. Mercedes-Benz launched the CL500 for the 2000 model year, and the CL600 with V-12 power and a performance-oriented CL55 AMG soon followed.
Distronic Adaptive Cruise Control is optional. This radar-based system adjusts the cars speed automatically to maintain a preset distance behind the vehicle ahead. A Keyless Go option has also been added, and Mercedes Tele Aid telematics system offers an expanded selection of concierge-type services.
Styling themes for these two-door models echo the appearance of the four-door S-Class sedan, and the automaker says the CL-Class recalls the glorious Mercedes coupes of the past. Flowing fenders, four oval headlights, a smaller sloped grille that displays the Mercedes three-pointed star emblem, and a wraparound back window help give the CL-Class a personality all of its own. The CL55 AMG has aerodynamic body trim, a firmer-than-usual suspension and 18-inch tires.
Measuring 196.6 inches long overall, the CL-Class coupe has a 113.6-inch wheelbase and is 73.1 inches wide. All CL coupes have Active Body Control an active suspension system with electronic controls that continuously adjust suspension firmness. The system is intended to eliminate body roll and pitch during cornering, acceleration and braking.
Unlike Mercedes-Benz sedans that seat five occupants, the two-door CL-Class coupes are built for four passengers by using two bucketlike rear seats. The CL600 has unique Nappa leather upholstery and either burl walnut or chestnut interior trim.
A standard satellite-based navigation system has a touchscreen integrated into the dashboard. An SOS button is available for automatic emergency calling and is tied to the Tele Aid system, which also offers such services as travel reservations and sports/entertainment ticket purchases. Voice-activation operates the Bose audio system. An InfoServices option can deliver customized news headlines, stock quotes, sports scores, weather forecasts and other services via a wireless Internet connection.
Under the Hood
Three engines are still available. A 302-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 goes into the CL500 and works with a five-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission that permits clutchless, manually selected gear changes when desired. Mercedes claims that the CL500 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. The CL600 employs a 5.8-liter V-12 that generates 362 hp. And a 355-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 powers the potent CL55 AMG, which Mercedes bills as the performance showcase.
Door-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats, curtain-type airbags that deploy from above the side windows to protect occupants heads and rear side-impact airbags that protect the torsos of backseat occupants are standard. The front passengers airbag deploys at one of two levels, depending on the degree of impact. Antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are also standard.
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