2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Review

CL-Class

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2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Overview

Two new CL-Class trims debut for 2008. The CL63 AMG and the CL65 AMG both feature performance enhancements and design tweaks courtesy of AMG, Mercedes' in-house high-performance tuner. They join the CL-Class's existing CL550 and CL600 trims, creating a formidable lineup of high-performance, luxury-oriented two-door sport coupes.

Following a major redesign of the CL-Class in 2007, the CL550 and CL600 coupes change little for 2008. They retain their distinctive low, wide stances and smooth, streamlined lines. The CL-Class's pillarless cabin carries over as well, resulting in clean, uninterrupted side profiles with the windows open or closed. Other CL-Class design features, displayed on all four trims, include flared wheel wells, a rakish hood, and a tapered roofline, which adds to the coupes' sportiness. All four trims are rear-wheel-drive vehicles, and all seat four passengers.

At the entry-level position, the CL550 roars out of the gate, charging from 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds, thanks to its 5.5-liter V8 that produces 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. Stepping up a notch, the CL600 retains its hefty twin-turbo V12 engine, which generates 510 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque and pushes the CL600 from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The engines in both coupes link to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Moving into the stratosphere of performance, the new CL63 AMG boasts a beefy 6.2-liter V8 pumping out 518 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. At the top of the CL-Class's lineup sits the CL65 AMG, which leaps from 0 to 60 in just 4.2 seconds thanks to its twin-turbo V12, which produces a whopping 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.

Standard features for the CL-Class include leather upholstery, interior wood trim, 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats, a wood-and-leather multifunction steering wheel, a power glass sunroof, and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with 6-CD changer. Mercedes-Benz's COMAND Cockpit Management and Data system, integrated with a navigation system and a 20-gigabyte hard drive, also comes standard. Outside, standard features include bi-xenon high-intensity headlights, halogen foglights, heated power mirrors, and rain-sensing headlights.

The CL63 and CL65 add such features as an AMG sports suspension, AMG-designed sport seats, an AMG sports exhaust system, and AMG-calibrated Active Body Control, as well as AMG exterior styling. The CL65 also includes F1-inspired manual shifters for its five-speed automatic transmission.

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Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.

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