Merc redesigns its luxury flagship, as well as adding new engines to the range
2 July 2010

This is the revised Mercedes CL, which has been given a mid-life facelift three years after the car’s introduction.

Due in the UK in September, the Bentley Continential-rivalling coupe receives a series of minor styling tweaks, including reprofiled bumpers, daytime running lamps, reshaped headlamps, a more contoured bonnet, larger exterior mirrors with integrated indicators, and revised tail-lights.

See official pics of the new Mercedes CL

More significant than the exterior changes, though, are modifications underneath the bodywork, including the arrival of a new twin-turbocharged 4.6-litre V8 direct-injection petrol engine.

With 429bhp and 516lb ft of torque, the new engine delivers 46bhp and 125lb ft more than the naturally aspirated 5.5-litre V8 it replaces in the four-year-old CL500. That’s enough to lower its 0-62mph time by 0.5sec to 4.9sec.

In combination with a revised version of Mercedes-Benz's seven-speed automatic gearbox with an integrated stop-start system and brake energy recuperation, the new CL500's engine is also claimed to provide fuel economy savings of up to 6.8mpg and a 64g/km reduction in CO2 emissions, to averages of 29.7mpg and 224g/km.

Mercedes will sell a four-wheel-drive CL500 in selected markets, but as part of its policy not to engineer many of its four-wheel-drive models for right-hand drive, it will not make it to the UK.

However, the more powerful CL600 will be available to UK customers as a special order - and a follow-up to the CL63 AMG is planned, using a new twin-turbo V8 with 536bhp and 590lb ft (or 563bhp and 663lb ft when configured with an optional performance package).

The AMG will come with a seven-speed multi-clutch transmission. Continuing its flagship role within the new line-up will be the CL65. It retains the same twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 engine as the existing model, with 603bhp and 737lb ft.

Inside, Mercedes has given the CL higher-quality trim materials, new colour combinations, a redesigned multi-function steering wheel and ambient lighting in three different shades: solar, neutral and polar.

The options list includes Active Lane Keeping Assist, which monitors when the car has left the driver's chosen lane via a camera in the windscreen and can intervene by gently braking the wheels to pull it back on course. Mercedes had originally planned to called the facelifted CL the S-class Coupé, in keeping with the naming policy kicked off with the introduction of the E-class Coupé in 2009.

However, officials say the change in name will now not take place until an all-new model, known internally as C217, arrives in 2013.

Greg Kable

See all the latest Mercedes CL reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz CL

The Mercedes-Benz CL borrows much from the S-Class, so it's going to be good. But just how good?

Join the debate

Comments
13

2 July 2010

Ruined. The pre-facelift one was a desperately pretty car - it looks too chintzy now.

2 July 2010

So little change, so much damage... The purity of the original is completely lost.

 

 

2 July 2010

Turbo turbo...

The end of the bel canto...

2 July 2010

Striking and elegant, good job .

2 July 2010

Nice car very attractive although this Cuprite Brown paint finish on this car is doing it no justice! and as nice as it is i'd rather have a Bentley Continental GT

2 July 2010

No 4matic? No sale. Audi are wiping the floor with these guys in the UK - in part because they make better cars - but also in part because of quattro. Large saloon (or coupe) - 0-62 in under 4.9 secs = crash if the road's not bone dry. Whilst journos switch traction control off and hoon around like idiots - actual real buyers want quick AND shorefooted. I know hardly any of these monsters actually sell new to the public - but the new A8 is sold out 'til 2011 at my dealer....

3 July 2010

I thought it was going to be renamed the S-class coupe?

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

3 July 2010

I think this CL looks quite good, although I also think I prefer the pre-facelifted one (but that is the case with almost all cars...). However, I've learnt 2 things about modern Merc design in the last few years: firstly that with time, their designs grow on me and start to see them as nice. Secondly, they look much better in the metal.

[quote happygolucki]No 4matic? No sale. Audi are wiping the floor with these guys in the UK - in part because they make better cars - but also in part because of quattro.[/quote]

The CL is available with 4matic in left-hand-drive countries, but not RHD because apparently it's difficult and too costly to re-engineer, as is the case with the other models not available with 4matic in RHD.

However, I think they will do it for the next-generation models (such as the GLK), so I think they must have seen 'the light'...

Don't agree about the part where you said "they make better cars" though...in what way are Audis better than Mercs?

 

- Follow your own star -

3 July 2010

[quote Christian Galea]Don't agree about the part where you said "they make better cars" though...in what way are Audis better than Mercs?[/quote]

Before I say anything I like both Audi's and Mercs we have both in our household, after owning both a Audi and Merc I would say the Audi has a much nicer interior, the overall fit and finish is much better then the merc and feels a lot more special when you sit inside it.

Over long journeys you feel less tired in the Audi due to the excellent fit and finish of the cabin compared to the our merc. Audi's also look more aggressive and purposeful when in the right color and trim level then the mercs.

Audis also I feel have a better image as a younger driver an Audi is far cooler then a merc which still is seen to be more for the older well off man. so Audi is cooler and offers a better range of cars for younger drives then Merc who seem to cater more for the older generation amongst us.

Ride and handling Merc wins RWD is always nicer then FWD but you dont notice the difference that much when driving to work at 30 mph in traffic and school rush, not driven an 4wd version of an Audi so cant comment on that or if it better then the RWD merc.

Merc still has a better badge for snobs out there but its not much between the two for badge snobs VW have done a great job with Audi to get it where it is now in such a short amount of time. Again Audi is the posh car for youngsters while Merc for older people so it all square there as well.

Ride quality both pretty much the same we have sportback sport A3 and it ride quality feels nicer then the c220 sport merc we have both have lowered suspension, merc feels a lot harder while the audi feels a little softer.

Engines again very similar in all areas good on fuel and lots of power when needed, overall both brands are excellent and would never buy anything else apart from these two

3 July 2010

I would definately have a CL65 (or S-Coupe65 whatever they are going to call it) over a continental any day.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Golf MHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    VW's 48V mild hybrid technology is still a couple of years away from production, but we’ve sampled a prototype Golf fitted with it and are suitably impressed
  • Jeep Compass
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Jeep enters the competitive compact SUV market with its new Compass, blending ruggedness with contemporary styling and tech
  • BMW 1 Series Saloon
    We had a short drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    A brief drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive model shows the future is bright for the 1 Series when it makes the switch from RWD next year
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Toyota Prius PHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Does running a plug-in hybrid really make sense as a 500-mile-a-week driver? Six months with a Toyota Prius Plug-in should give a conclusive answer