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Old 04-18-2007, 12:00 PM
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Arrow 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Preview

2008 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Preview

We are in the midst of a horsepower race. As an enthusiast, you've got tobe holding your breath waiting to see who'll fire back next. No stranger to ridiculous engine outputs, Mercedes-Benz has responded by unveiling its latest weapon: the 2008 CL 65 AMG. But first, a bit of history behind those three important letters. The AMG we know today started out in racing, its first vehicle being the illustrious 1971 300 SEL 6.3 race car ?? yes, AMG converted a big, full-size sedan into a full-out racing machine. From that point on, as an aftermarket tuner, AMG began to tune a wide range of Mercedes-Benz products, focusing on the popular 190 and 300 series sedans, the most famous of which was the 360-hp, 5.6-liter 300E ???Hammer???. After becoming the official partner to the Mercedes-Benz's DTM racing team, the three-pointed star began to carry AMG's wheels and body kits for its production vehicle. From there, Mercedes-Benz purchased AMG outright, and, as they say, the rest is history.

The most ultimate of cars in the AMG hierarchy (save for the SLR,developed by McLaren) should have the biggest engine with the most power, and the CL 65 does, with twelve cylinders, 6.0-liters of displacement and two turbochargers to make 612 horsepower. Even more impressive is the torque figure. With 738 lb-ft, this Benz has almost as much twist as the highway truck that delivered it to the New York International Auto Show where it debuted, and more than that aforementioned SLR. If you were wondering why it's mated to a five-speed automatic transmission instead of the whiz-bang seven-speed 7G-Tronic found in so many other Mercedes products, it's because the latter tranny couldn't handle the massive output of the tuned V12. All that torque would sheer the teeth right off of those seven little gears, whereas the beefier five-speed has no issues. The company says the car will get to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which might seem a little conservative for a vehicle with such staggering power.

Consider the following: the CL 65 tips the scales at 4,900 pounds, slightlymore than the weight of two Chevrolet Aveos. With that in mind, the performance figures that the CL is capable of are much more impressive. Equally as important as accelerating quickly is the braking system's ability to bring this seething mass of kinetic energy to a safe albeit rapid halt. The CL 65's binders incorporate a new double frame sliding caliper system that, coupled to immense composite rotors, is incredibly effective. This new approach to brake design incorporates the low heat transfer of a floating caliper system while keeping the performance capabilities of a fixed caliper system intact. AMG engineers figure the anchors are good for stopping distances from 60 mph in the 117 feet range, or a rate that's equal to 33.1 feet per second squared. As a quick refresher to high school introductory physics, that's more forceful than gravity (32.2 ft/s2).

CL 65 features a more aggressively tuned version of Mercedes' second generation Active Body Control System, which relies upon adaptive hydraulic spring rates that increase the stiffness of the suspension to counterthe effects of cornering, accelerating and braking for a ride that's truly parallel to the road. The bulk of this 17-feet long coupe is cloaked by this system, granting agility that belies its size. Large 255 / 35 ZR 20 front tires and even larger 275 / 35 R 20 tires provide the grip necessary to slingshot the CL 65 through corners.

2008 marks the 40th anniversary of AMG, and in celebration of the momentous event Mercedes is building a special version of its latest hot rod CL. There will only be 40 of these limited examples produced ?? one for each year of AMG's existence - and it probably won't take long until they're all spoken for. To differentiate the 40th Anniversary from the regular car, the limited edition model gets diamond-pattern Nappa leather, genuine carbon fiber trim, and the ???ONE OUT OF FORTY??? numbered badge on the console. Most importantly though, is the special ???Alubeam??? paint job. Mercedes usually reserves this finish for its show or concept cars, as it contains special pigment particles that cause the paint to ???gleam like liquid metal??? ?? ideal under show lights. This is expensive stuff, probably making up the majority of the price difference between it and the regular car, and no doubt Lindsay Lohan's body shop will be eagerly anticipating her arrival should she decide to pick up one of these limited edition coupes.

Mercedes hasn't announced pricing of either the "base" CL 65 or 40th Anniversary version yet, but you can expect the least expensive to be solidly within the $180,000 bracket. A quick look at the brand's pricing sheet reveals that the CL 600 costs $144,975, which is $1,300 more than its four-door counterpart, the S 600. If the pricing difference is consistent, the CL 65 should ring in at $183,575, considering the S65 starts at $182,275. Again, the 40th Anniversary edition will demand a further premium, but the 40 lucky souls who get to purchase the vehicle probably won't notice the difference. In the era of continuing horsepower one-upmanship, it will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate to battle the mighty CL 65, and what they'll be bringing.

Source: [url=http://car-reviews.automobile.com/Audi/concept/2008-mercedes-benz-cl65-amg-preview/2805/]Automobile.com[/url]
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:51 AM
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