New Car: 2011 Mercedes CL-Class

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.

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.

Thanks to: Autocar


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