Cover Story - 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Two Cars In One: The Mercedes-Benz CL65 is a big luxury coupe, and a snarling supercar

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    By WES RAYNAL
    (00:01 Oct. 13, 2003)

    ON A SULTRY LATE-SUMMER morning in the South of France, we slipped behind the wheel for a drive of an innocent-looking Mercedes CL coupe. We put the car in Drive and crept out of the parking area to begin our evaluation.

    A few corners and a couple of stabs at the gas pedal later, it was clear something sinister lay beneath that long silver hood. We quickly discovered the best thing would be to just take it nice and easy... slow deep breaths... eyes straight ahead... relaxed grip on the wheel. And always, always, in the back of our minds remember: This car has 604 freakin’ horsepower.

    Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Mercedes-Benz CL65.

    What exactly is the CL65? It is the next step up from the CL55 and/or CL600, and nothing less than Mercedes’ latest uber coupe. The CL65 indeed plays in some rare air: Though exact prices aren’t firm, expect a $175,000 sticker and a limited supply of about 200 cars per year for two or three years. The CL65 will sprint to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which is supercar territory. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. (All you would-be hotshots with your Bentley Continental GTs, think of the CL65 this way: All of a sudden you’re down 52 hp and a couple of tenths to 60 mph.)

    That 604 hp (a U.S. conversion from the European figure; the final hp number might be a bit different) makes CL65 the most powerful production car in the 35-year history of the Mercedes-AMG partnership. The CL55’s comparatively wimpy 5.4-liter V8 “only” makes 493 hp. Further, the CL65’s 6.0-liter, intercooled twin-turbo V12 produces a thumping 714 lb-ft of torque between 2000 and 4000 rpm.

    The engine is coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission, with an automanual system Mercedes calls Speedshift. It includes steering wheelmounted shift buttons. Clutch pack discs and driveshafts have been beefed up to handle the increased power and torque, but believe it or not, the engine is detuned. The 6.0-liter is capable of an astonishing 700 hp and 885 lb-ft of torque, but AMG engineers figure the five-speed auto would scatter itself like a grenade if all that oomph went through it. Mercedes recently showed a seven-speed automatic under development that is designed to handle these kinds of power and torque levels.

    The standard 6.0-liter in the CL600 has been modified. It gets a stronger crankshaft, main bearings and connecting rods, as well as a higher-capacity oil pump and oil cooler. Engine development began in 2001, and each engine is hand-built, side-by-side that of the upcoming Mercedes SLR’s V8. Forty-two test engines ran for a total of 5500 hours before the engine was approved. Three-time Le Mans winner and triple DTM champ Klaus Ludwig did much of the development driving at DaimlerChrysler proving grounds, where engineers say that with the electronic governor off, a development CL65 reached 208 mph. Whoa!

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    Even electronically limited, what can we say about the performance? The car is just sooooo fast, the torque relentless. We kept thinking how it felt like a CL600, only faster. Or, if you prefer, like a Lamborghini Gallardo, only roomier and more luxurious. This is as fast as the Ferrari 575M we ran a year ago. At slower speeds the big Mercedes is refined and docile, feeling like the big luxury cruiser it is. But it begins to feel smaller and more nimble the faster you go. The 65’s straight-line acceleration is staggering, of course, the power exhilarating. There are great-sounding hot rod noises from the big V12 (open the double-pane windows, otherwise it’s too quiet in the cockpit and you won’t truly appreciate the sound and the experience).

    Mercedes’ Active Body Control and electronic stability control, both standard, help keep things planted and under control once the road gets twisty or the surfaces rough, making this an easy car to push hard. ABC uses sensors to adjust the suspension’s hydraulics to respond to road imperfections. The active suspension cuts body motions way down during acceleration, braking and cornering.

    The steering is precise and direct, more so than we remember any other CL being. AMG guys on hand said steering feel and turn-in were improved with the tire Michelin developed for the CL65 called the Pilot Sport 2. The eight-piston composite (20 percent lighter) disc brakes drag the CL65 down from ultra-legal speeds nicely.

    And it’s all wrapped up in the CL coupe body, one of the more elegant shapes in the car world. Mercedes and AMG tastefully modified the standard CL with AMG front and rear spoilers, side skirts and front air intakes. It is a conservative-looking supercar, though, which is good if you don’t want to stand out in the crowd. The little chrome “V12 Biturbo” badges on the front fenders tell you all you need to know.

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    The driving environment is gorgeous, as is expected. Wood trim accents the Nappa leather that is seemingly everywhere—door panels, the whole dash, the sides of the center console and the rear shelf.

    So the CL65 looks good, is beautifully built, is happy in town and out on the open road, and goes really fast. So what? Mercedes seems to be in a horsepower war—with itself. How else to explain that M-B has seven luxury cars at the top of its range costing more than $90,000 and within about 120 hp of each other. Is it getting crowded there at the top of the range, fellas?

    Maybe. But AMG and Benz officials insist their customers asked for the CL65, and that’s why it is being produced. Buying a CL65 will be a purely emotional decision, and for those who can afford the sticker, it will be money well spent. As is often the case in the $100,000-plus stratosphere, it’s about want, not need.

    “The CL65 is the result of U.S. customers’ requests,” said AMG U.S. manager Rob Allan. “AMG customers buy a new car about every 18 months. Our research says they own four other Benzes and want the latest, the biggest.”

    With the CL65 these mega-rich customers will have the latest, the biggest, the fastest, the mostest. That is until the SLR comes along. Then Mercedes customers can get 10 more hp and a folding roof for more than twice the price.

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    2005 MERCEDES-BENZ CL65 AMG
    ON SALE: Fall 2004
    BASE PRICE: $175,000 (est.)
    POWERTRAIN: 6.0-liter, 604-hp, 714-lb-ft twin-turbo V12; rwd, five-speed automatic
    CURB WEIGHT: 4741 pounds
    0-60 MPH: 4.2 seconds


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  2. TRN

    TRN Well-Known Member

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    At this point in time all I can do is dream.
     
  3. stonedworm

    stonedworm mofo in a supra

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    My buddy has a CL55 AMG... sooo damn sexy:idhitit:
     
  4. DRM600

    DRM600 Guest

    damn i MUST HAVE ONE!
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    If money was no object, I would have a black one of these as my daily driver.

    604HP luxury coupe? I'm all over it. :naughty:
     
  6. fauxdiophile

    fauxdiophile OT Supporter

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    i'd rather have a Z8 :dunno:
     
  7. pixel804

    pixel804 yabba dabba do

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    holy shit that's pretty expensive
     
  8. Accords 4U2 NV

    Accords 4U2 NV OT's Resident Desi

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    imagine the S55, now imagin the 65 engine in the S, and the SL.. :eek2: :wackit: :eek2: and they are also bringing the 55 engine to the C, making a limited production of the C55s
     
  9. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    Ridiculous. :rolleyes:










    Sign me up for one. :yum:
     
  10. monkeybutt

    monkeybutt NOT full of shit...

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    i have jizzed my pants. thank you for posting that.
     
  11. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    A modded ford GT for the track, and one of these for daily driving :o
     
  12. JustGod

    JustGod New Member

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    Might as well go buy one...
     
  13. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    And a '04 FX4 Supercrew for when it snows. :o
     
  14. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

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    I'll take 2!
     
  15. VicenteFox

    VicenteFox Does your mother still hang out at dockside bars?

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    thats overkill.

    but i would rather have a ford gt and have 50k left over for a nice coupe.
     
  16. VicenteFox

    VicenteFox Does your mother still hang out at dockside bars?

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    cl65 isn't out, cl55 is.
     
  17. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    as much as i love it, the ford gt isn't going to be any fun on a road trip though :o
     
  18. assclown

    assclown Active Member

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    Has the lines of an Integra from the first angle.
     
  19. F=ma

    F=ma Guest

    Geez that engine needs some tuning... 490 hp for all that torque, no way... that needs to be around 800 hp.

    Oh btw I heard that they detuned the torque from 900 down to 700... :eek3:
     
  20. stonedworm

    stonedworm mofo in a supra

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    Didnt i read 604 hp
     
  21. stonedworm

    stonedworm mofo in a supra

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    Remove all the cats.. 4" exhaust from each turbo and crank up the boost:bigok:
     
  22. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    It has 604hp, 490 is for the '55.

    The article is poorly written and doesn't mention all the specs at once :mad:. Trishield does tho :cool:
     
  23. Nyce

    Nyce .

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    only fucking thing i can say is:


    " :bowdown: "

    that is the ultimate fucking pimp machine
     
  24. Torch

    Torch Guest

    What a pig 4741 pounds?
     
  25. MiseryIndex

    MiseryIndex i never know why. i only know who. Moderator

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    oh......my.........fucking.........god.
     

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