Vehicle Overview
Several enhancements are likely for the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class coupe, but details have not yet been released. Essentially, the CL-Class is a two-door equivalent of the company’s high-end, ultra-luxury full-size S-Class sedan.

Mercedes-Benz launched the CL500 for the 2000 model year; it is equipped with a 302-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine. A CL600 coupe with V-12 power and the performance-oriented CL55 AMG soon followed. To save fuel, the V-12 engine can deactivate half of its cylinders. A 493-hp, supercharged 5.5-liter V-8 powers the high-performance CL55 AMG.

Distronic Adaptive Cruise Control and Parktronic parking assist are optional features. This radar-based system adjusts the car’s speed automatically to maintain a preset distance behind the vehicle ahead. A Keyless Go option permits the driver to start the car without inserting a key. Designo editions and a sport package are also available.

The styling themes for these two-door models echo the appearance of the S-Class sedan, and the German automaker claims the CL-Class “recalls the glorious Mercedes coupes of the past.” Flowing fenders, four oval headlights, a smaller sloped grille that displays the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star emblem, and a wraparound back window help give the CL-Class a personality all of its own. Befitting its lofty-performance status, the CL55 AMG coupe has aerodynamic body trim, a firmer-than-usual suspension and 18-inch wheels.

All CL-Class coupes have Active Body Control, which is an active suspension with electronic controls that continuously adjust firmness to eliminate body roll and pitch during cornering, acceleration and braking. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights include heated wipers and washers. A power moonroof is standard.

Unlike Mercedes-Benz sedans that seat five occupants, the CL-Class coupes are built with two bucketlike rear seats to accommodate four passengers. 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 and entertainment ticket purchases. Voice-activation operates the Bose audio system. An InfoServices option can deliver customized news headlines, stock quotes and other services via a wireless Internet connection.

Under the Hood
Three engines are available in the CL-Class. A 302-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 goes into the CL500. The CL600 employs a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12 that generates 493 hp, and a 493-hp, supercharged 5.5-liter V-8 powers the potent CL55 AMG, which Mercedes bills as the “performance showcase.” The CL500 and CL600 work with a five-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission, and the CL55 AMG is equipped a five-speed SpeedShift automatic gearbox. Both the Touch Shift and SpeedShift versions permit manually selected gear changes when desired. The automaker claims that the CL500 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

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 passenger’s 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.

Reported by Jim Flammang  for
Posted on 2/19/03