What is it?
A heavily reworked version of Mercedes-Benz’s four-year-old CL 500, incorporating elements of the German car maker’s new corporate design and an advanced new engine among some interesting additions to its long list of standard safety features in the form of Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist.
Among the more predictable changes to the big Bentley Continental-rivalling coupe is a brace of exterior styling tweaks.
Included are edgier bumpers; the front unit includes new LED running lamps integrated into the middle of the brake cooling ducts, larger and curvier headlamps, and a more contoured bonnet with a more prominent grille.
At the rear there are revised tail-light lenses and, in a bid to give the car greater visual width, new reversing lamps integrated in the boot lid and trapezoidal shaped, chromed tailpipes.
More significant, however, are the changes that have taken place beneath the bonnet. In the place of the outgoing CL 500’s naturally aspirated 5.5-litre V8 is a new twin-turbocharged 4.7-litre V8 boasting added power and torque along with big reductions in consumption and emissions.
With 429bhp and 516lb ft of torque, the new engine delivers 46bhp and 125lb ft more than its predecessor despite its smaller displacement.
Mercedes-Benz also claims an impressive 22 per cent reduction in combined cycle fuel consumption at 29.7mpg – a figure equating to 224g/km in overall CO2 emissions – due, in part, to the incorporation of a stop-start function.
What’s it like?
Effortless, unfussed and wonderfully refined. The added reserves are instantly noticeable; the combination of forced induction and direct injection endow the CL 500’s advanced new engine with greater low-end muscle and a smoother nature through the mid-range than the old naturally aspirated unit.
The result? Fewer revs are required for any given speed and overall refinement is exceptional.