Merc mega-coupé returns
26 June 2006

Mercedes is following up the bold new S-class with a similarly radical CL coupé. The new CL, unveiled today, borrows many of its four-door sibling’s styling features, including trapezoidal headlights, chunky exaggerated wheelarches and a bootlid that sits slightly proud of the surrounding bodywork.

It’s not just looks that the CL borrows; under the skin it also uses much of the new S-class’s technology, including the new COMAND control system, radar-controlled cruise control, Pre-Safe braking technology and night vision equipment.

Under the bonnet are eight- and 12-cylinder engines. The eight-cylinder powerplant in the CL 500 delivers 383bhp and 391lb ft, up 26 per cent and 15 per cent compared with the old CL, and pushing it from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds. The V12 in the CL600 is a bi-turbo unit with 532bhp 612lb ft from just 1900rpm, producing a 0-62mph time of just 4.6 seconds (provided you can find the traction). Underneath, the CL uses the latest version of Mercedes’ Active Body Control (ABC) suspension system.

Inside, the dash is instantly recognisable from the S-class, with an extended binnacle containing instruments and the colour sat-nav screen, a column-mounted shifter for the standard automatic transmission, a small analogue clock and lashings of wood. As on the S-class, the rotary dial for the COMAND system lies at the end of the central armrest.As you’d expect for this top-of-the-line luxury coupé, everything is electric, there is leather everywhere, and, on the CL600, an Alcantara roof lining. The CL600 also gets a surround-sound hi-fi, massage seats and a DVD changer as standard.

The new CL arrives in the UK next spring. Prices have yet to be fixed, but are expected to start at around £75,000. An AMG-range-topper will follow, most likely using the new 6.2-litre V8.

Our Verdict

Ferrari 599

The Ferrari 599 offers mind-blowing pace and handling. Quite possibly the best Ferrari of its generation

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