The new Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
4th July, 2010
With a design perfected through an immaculate sense of style, highly
exclusive appointments and cutting-edge technology, the extensively updated Mercedes-Benz CL-Class underscores its
claim to supremacy as the summit of automotive refinement.
The entirely re-designed 320 kW (435 hp) V8 biturbo engine of the CL 500 BlueEFFICIENCY, with a combined fuel
consumption of 9.5 litres premium-grade petrol per 100 km, opens a new dimension of efficiency in the luxury coupé
category. Its NEDC figures show savings of up to 23 per cent over its predecessor model, CO2 emissions having dropped
from 288 grammes per kilometre to 224 grammes per kilometre. This significant reduction is achieved thanks to the
newly-developed BlueDIRECT technology with third-generation spray-guided direct injection, with the contribution of
the specially-designed BlueEFFICIENCY package of the CL 500 BlueEFFICIENCY. The package includes, among other things,
energy-efficient control of alternator, fuel pump, air-conditioning compressor and power-assisted steering system, as
well as the ECO start/stop function. It also features the use of low rolling resistance tyres and the
energy-optimised Active Body Control system. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz developers equipped the CL-Class with
state-of-the-art multimedia technology, thus helping this model, produced with a high proportion of hand-finished
work, to retain its position as the epitome of quality in its class.
With the new of the CL-Class, the Stuttgart-based automaker focuses on fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions
in the exclusive high-end segment, too. According to Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of
Daimler AG: “The CL is the ideal ambassador for our brand. It combines in a particular degree those things that
characterise Mercedes-Benz: fascination, perfection and responsibility. And with the new generation we have gone a
step further, too – especially in the realm of efficiency. But in terms of design, safety, comfort and output, too –
the CL shows the way forward: simply follow Mercedes”.
In addition, a combination of cutting-edge camera and radar-based assistance systems unique in the luxury coupé
segment, including the innovation of the Active Lane Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist systems, makes of the
CL-Class a "thinking" partner of the driver. The modified Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilisation
system and the Direct-Steer system also contribute to enhancing safety and driving enjoyment.
Design: a 'muscular', self-assured presence
The exterior appearance of the new Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is characterised by the terse profile of the bonnet,
the dynamic V-shape radiator grille and the curving headlamps – design details that discreetly but effectively
emphasise the car's elegant yet powerful lines.
The front bumper, too, presents a new design with three air intake openings and a chrome trim strip. An LED
strip with chrome surround for the daytime running lights is elegantly integrated in the side openings for the
brake cooling air. With their standard-fit "Intelligent Light System" (ILS) and "Adaptive Highbeam Assist", the
headlamps offer state-of-the-art illumination technology. The latest LED technology in the turn indicators and
position marker lamps rounds off the car's advanced image. The rear of the vehicle is characterised by the
newly-designed tail lamps.
New V8 bi-turbo engine with innovative technology
The new CL-Class also assumes a pioneering role in the drive system sector. Under the bonnet of the CL 500
BlueEFFICIENCY and CL 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY a new V8 biturbo engine with BlueDIRECT technology delivers its
impressive power. With its 4,663 cc displacement, the eight-cylinder engine produces 320 kW (435 hp) so that
despite 0.8 litres less displacement, it is still around 12 per cent more powerful than its predecessor, which
had an output of 285 kW (388 hp). At the same time, torque was raised from 530 Nm to 700 Nm – an increase of 32 per
cent. Combined consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), on the other hand, drops by 23 per cent to 9.5
litres of premium petrol per 100 kilometres for the rear-wheel drive version. CO2 emissions consequently sink from
288 grammes per kilometre to 224 grammes per kilometre. The CL 500 BlueEFFICIENCY requires a mere 4.9 seconds to
accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h (previous model: 5.4 seconds). Summing up: the CL 500 BlueEFFICIENCY is
significantly more agile, torquey and thriftier than its predecessor.
The BlueDIRECT technology package of the V8 biturbo includes a series of new developments, unique in their
combination. Worthy of mention among these is the third-generation spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo
injectors and multi-spark ignition with up to four ignition sparks within a millisecond. Together both enable an
innovative combustion process called "homogenous split". Other factors contributing to the exemplary low fuel
consumption continue to be the consistent use of friction-optimised pistons, piston rings and cylinder barrels,
the on-demand control of oil pump and the new three-phase thermal management in the coolant circuit. The luxury
coupé's package includes the ECO start/stop function and alternator control in accordance with the handling
situation and on-board voltage with kinetic energy recuperation in overrun mode.
The Mercedes-Benz CL 600, with its 380 kW (517 hp) 12-cylinder biturbo engine remains the top-of-the-line model:
it accelerates the luxury coupé from a standstill to 100 km/h in a mere 4.6 seconds and now also complies with the
Euro 5 emissions control standard.
A unique combination of driver-assistance systems
The new CL-Class consolidates its position as an automotive masterwork and a technology platform of the
Stuttgart-based company with the most advanced assistance and protection systems. These highly perceptive
assistants convert the Mercedes model into a "thinking" partner that can see, feel and react instantly if it
detects a hazard, acting autonomously to prevent accidents or to mitigate their effects. The trailblazing
driver assistance systems in the CL-Class are based on state-of-the-art radar, camera and sensor technology.
Thus, in the new Mercedes-Benz CL-Class "Active Lane Keeping Assist" celebrates its premiere (at the same time
as in the S-Class). If the vehicle threatens to cross a continuous lane marking line, the system actuates an
electric motor in the steering wheel, causing it to vibrate briefly – giving the driver a discreet but effective
warning hint to countersteer immediately. The active system springs into action if the Mercedes coupé
unintentionally crosses a continuous lane marking line to the right or to the left. In this case, it intervenes
by gently braking the wheels of the opposite side of the car, helping the driver to stay in the lane. In order to
do this Active Lane Keeping Assist avails itself of the ESP® Electronic Stability Programme.
Active Lane-Keeping Assist evaluates information provided by a camera mounted on the inside of the windscreen.
It identifies the contrast between the road surface and the lane marking lines. In addition to this, using radar
the system scans the side of the roadway for crash barriers and other roadway edge markings. This Mercedes
assistance system also evaluates the driver's actions and can thus reliably determine whether the car is
departing from the lane intentionally or not. For this reason, there is no warning if the driver accelerates hard
just before overtaking or when accessing a motorway, or if he brakes hard or steers into a curve.
Targeted brake actuation: active Blind Spot Assist
A further innovation Mercedes-Benz offers for the CL-Class is "active Blind Spot Assist", a system that makes
use of a multi-stage warning concept. If it detects that a change of lane would be too dangerous, it warns the
driver by displaying a red triangle in the glass of the exterior mirror. Close-range radar sensors monitor the
area immediately to the side and to the rear of the car. If the driver disregards this warning and, for example,
actuates the turn indicator, an audible warning also sounds. If the driver continues to ignore the warnings and
comes dangerously close to a vehicle in the neighbouring lane, a novel feature of the system acts: a 'corrective
braking intervention' via ESP® on the wheels of the opposite side of the vehicle. This causes a yaw movement
about the car's vertical axis due to the unequal distribution of the braking forces. If despite this course
correction an accident cannot be avoided, the active Blind Spot Assist system can reduce the consequences of a
collision through the brake actuation.
Assistants to see and be seen better
"Adaptive Main Beam Assist" is another standard-fit system featured by the CL-Class. This camera-based
system can recognise oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead with their lights on, and then controls the
headlamps to ensure the best possible beam range without dazzling other road users. In addition,
Mercedes-Benz offers the "Night View Assist PLUS" system for the CL-Class, featuring a special infra-red
camera for pedestrian detection: as soon as the system detects pedestrians on the road ahead, these are
highlighted additionally in the display, in order to catch the driver's attention better.
The images supplied by the windscreen camera are also used by the new, optional "Speed Limit Assist",
which recognises speed limit signs in passing and shows the relevant speed limit in the central display
and on the navigation system's map display (standard for CL 600).
For the new-generation CL-Class, Mercedes-Benz has also improved the long and medium-range radar used
by "Brake Assist (BAS PLUS)" and "DISTRONIC PLUS proximity cruise control".
An "electronic crumple zone": the PRE-SAFE® Brake
Mercedes-Benz also offers another radar based system for the luxury coupé as a component of the driver
assistance package PLUS in the form of the PRE-SAFE® Brake. If the driver is distracted and fails to
recognise the imminent danger of a rear-end collision or the warning signal of an assistance system, this
system can intervene and brake the vehicle independently. If the driver fails to react even after
automatic, partial braking action, this most recent development stage of the PRE-SAFE® Brake activates
the maximum braking pressure around 0.6 seconds before what it now recognises as an unavoidable collision
- an emergency braking action that can significantly mitigate the severity of the impact. The PRE-SAFE®
Brake thus acts as a kind of "electronic crumple zone".
Warns driver of overtiredness: ATTENTION ASSIST
Overtiredness is one of the most common causes of accidents. This is why Mercedes experts have
developed the "ATTENTION ASSIST" system which forms part of the standard equipment of the new generation
CL-Class. As the vehicle is being driven, the system continuously evaluates more than 70 different
parameters in order to identify driver drowsiness and provide a warning before the dangerous microsleep
phase begins. Observing the driver’s steering behaviour has proved to be a particularly strong indicator:
several years of practical research by Mercedes-Benz have shown that drowsy drivers make minor steering
errors which they often correct very rapidly in a characteristic way. This steering behaviour is
recognised by a special steering angle sensor. Observing the driver's eyes cannot always provide
conclusive evidence of sleep since many drivers can experience micro-sleep with their eyes open.
Active Body Control reduces the effect of a crosswind
The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class also meets the highest standards in terms of driving dynamics and agility.
This is in part thanks to "Direct-Steer", with a steering ratio that varies with the steering angle, and
modified "Active Body Control" (ABC) with "crosswind stabilisation" (standard for CL 500 BlueEFFICIENCY
and CL 600). This latest stage in active body development modifies the wheel load distribution via the
ABC spring struts within milliseconds, depending on crosswind direction and intensity, to the extent
that it can largely compensate the effects of the crosswind.
The Active Body Control suspension system with which Mercedes-Benz ushered in new dimensions of
dynamics in the preceding C 215 model series in 1999, is unique worldwide as it not only regulates roll,
but pitching and squatting movements as well, ensuring a perfect harmony of comfort and handling
stability. Since the introduction of this innovative system, engineers in Sindelfingen have continuously
improved on it, so that eleven years later it still marks the summit of automotive engineering. In
addition to crosswind stabilisation, the new suspension features an energy-optimised hydraulic pump that
takes part of the burden off the engine, contributing towards reducing fuel consumption.
Additional safety and agility at the physical limits is provided by the standard-fit "Torque Vectoring
Brake" in the new-generation CL-Class – targeted, one-sided braking intervention at the inside rear wheel
when cornering. This enables the luxury coupé to turn into the bend under precise control with even
On-board infotainment: the most advanced multimedia technology
In line with its serene character and claim to be a technological masterwork, the CL-Class also sets
standards where onboard infotainment is concerned. Thus, the Stuttgart automotive manufacturer equips
its flagship model with the new "SPLITVIEW" technology for the COMAND control and display system centrally
located in the centre console (standard for the CL 600 in conjunction with Front Seat Entertainment
package). This innovative display concept allows the driver and front passenger to view different contents
simultaneously on one and the same screen. While the driver e.g. uses the map-based navigation system, the
front passenger can be watching a film on DVD.
The standard "COMAND" control and display system with Bluetooth®, USB and SD card interfaces offers
customers the possibility of exporting their stored data to other vehicles and multimedia devices. It is
also possible to transfer and update navigation data. In the glove compartment Mercedes-Benz integrates as
optional equipment the "Media Interface" – an interface for mobile audio and video devices – devices such
as the iPod® and every other possible customer device.
The optional Navigation package with COMAND APS (standard for the CL 600) features a Europe-wide
navigation system whose data are stored on a 40-Gigabyte hard disc, enabling extremely rapid route
calculation. Another factor contributing to a high level of navigation comfort is the detailed
three-dimension map display including updates free of charge for three years. For musical entertainment
COMAND APS provides a radio, a CD/DVD player with MP3 function, an equaliser with speed-dependent volume
control and the MUSIC REGISTER with a 7.2 GB hard disc which stores around 2,500 digital music files in
MP3, AAC or WMA format. The system recognises music files played on CD, DVD or from the MUSIC REGISTER
using its stored Gracenote® database, and shows the title, album and performer in the colour display.
Another new function, "Music Search", enables CL-Class drivers and passengers to search SD memory cards,
USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music titles and performers.
The Navigation package also includes the latest-generation "LINGUATRONIC" voice control system that
controls the navigation, telephone and audio devices via whole-word input. Benefit: the driver no longer
needs to spell out his commands but simply speaks the corresponding words as whole words when entering
the destination or choosing a radio station or a music title from the Music Register, or when calling up
a name from the phone book.
The further developed surround sound system with Discrete Logic7® technology developed by
Mercedes-Benz together with audio specialists Harman Kardon® delivers an outstanding performance with
three-dimensional sound as a natural 360-degree musical experience for all passengers of the CL-Class.
Mercedes-Benz offers the surround sound system together with SPLITVIEW and a six-disc DVD changer as part
of the Entertainment Package (standard for CL 600).
Interior: carefully selected materials and first-class finish
In the interior, too, Mercedes-Benz developers and designers perfected the CL-Class, paying careful
attention to detail. A total of four different kinds of fine wood open up the possibilities for perfectly
matched material and colour concepts according to your personal taste: apart from light and dark
high-gloss burr walnut, there is black ash and high-gloss brown poplar (CL 600). Another particularity:
in line with the central importance awarded to the concept of sustainability within the Mercedes-Benz
corporate philosophy, the CL-Class employs only European wood from renewable forestry sources. Most of
the wood parts are hand-assembled and matched individually for colour and grain by experienced
The seat covers of the new CL-Class are of the most exquisite quality. For this luxury model there are
two different kinds of leather available which thanks to their low pre-tensioning and consequent wrinkle
effect appear supple and comfortable from the very first glance. There is a choice of five tasteful colour
combinations for the vehicle interior: black/black, savannah beige/cashmere beige, sahara beige/black, and
the novel combinations alpaca grey/basalt grey and aubergine/black.
The multifunction steering wheel of the CL-Class has also been modified by the Mercedes-Benz designers:
in future the rim and airbag module are lined with soft nappa leather as standard. The new, flatter airbag
module also lends a sporty touch to the multifunction steering wheel covered in leather sewn with
sophisticated double stitching.
Apart from this, Mercedes-Benz makes more use of light as a styling element in the vehicle interior. In
future customers who specify the optional "ambient lighting" (standard for CL 600) have a choice between
three lighting moods: solar (amber), neutral (white) and polar (ice blue).
Tradition: an exclusive line of ancestors
The new generation CL-Class continues the great tradition of Mercedes-Benz coupés, which reaches back
to the legendary supercharged cars of the 1920s and '30s. Since the 1950s in particular, the brand with the
three-pointed star has produced an uninterrupted series of exclusive two-door cars which combine
sophisticated design with trailblazing technology – every model an automotive classic. The W 188 model
series 300 S Coupé which entered series production in 1952 marked the beginning. A contemporary report
called it the "measure of what it is possible to achieve in automotive engineering".
This statement has retained its full validity for all subsequent models, right down to the current
CL-Class of model series C 216, because the luxury coupés from Mercedes-Benz featured - apart from their
timeless design and the highest level of comfort - trailblazing innovations in automotive technology. Thus
it was that in 1961 the 220 SE Coupé was the first series-production Mercedes-Benz to be equipped with
disc brakes. In 1995 the ESP Electronic Stability Programme celebrated its world premiere in the S 600
Coupé of model series C 140, and in 1999 the Active Body Control suspension system was introduced for the
first time in the CL-Class, model series C 215. With the PRE-SAFE® brake a further technological
innovation made its debut in a large Mercedes-Benz coupé. In the new CL-Class generation, two new
developments, Active Lane Keeping Assist and the Active Blind Spot Assist, will help prevent accidents or
reduce their severity.
Australian specifications and availability will be announced in due course.