Preview - Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Here we were thinking the supercharged V-8 was strong

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    BY BARRY WINFIELD
    November 2003

    The Mercedes-Benz relationship with its performance partner, AMG, is a classic Jekyll-and-Hyde, good-cop/bad-cop situation. Whereas Mercedes-Benz has to demonstrate a fair bit of corporate responsibility, AMG is pretty much free to explore over-the-top concepts.

    Such as this CL65 AMG. Fitted with a bored-and-stroked high-pressure-turbocharged version of the V-12 engine found in the stock CL600, the coupe produces 604 horsepower and a rib-cage-flattening 738 pound-feet of torque between 2000 and 4000 rpm. Expressed in metric terms, the torque output is a round 1000 newton-meters of drivetrain-twisting force.

    The really funny part of all of this is that the output had to be reduced somewhat in the interest of transmission life. There is another 200 or so newton-meters to be had here, and the aftermarket loonies will undoubtedly go looking for it. But Mercedes-Benz will not warrant that kind of exploration, even though this AMG car is covered by the Mercedes warranty with no transmission upgrades beyond new clutch discs and revised control logic. There are, however, beefed-up driveshafts and hubs farther downstream.

    To get this kind of urge, AMG increased the cylinder bore by 0.6 millimeter and lengthened the stroke by six, ending up with 5980cc of engine displacement. AMG-spec forged pistons with thicker wrist pins fit inside the new holes, where they are cooled by an upgraded oil-spray system.

    The combustion chambers were reshaped for a 9.0:1 compression ratio, and the intake camshafts have higher lift and longer dwell. Both turbochargers have larger housings and wheels and pump nearly 22 pounds of boost via a front-mounted air-to-water intercooler that is about 70 percent larger than the stock item.

    According to AMG engineers, this results in a 25-percent reduction in intake-air temperature at full load. Naturally, the electronic engine-management system had to be reconfigured for every aspect of operation, including those revised waste-gate pop-off parameters. A redesigned aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic engine cover enlightens any bystanders who somehow have missed the prominent AMG and V-12 biturbo badges adorning the bodywork.

    Drivers need no such reminders. Even if they ignore the AMG letters on the big electroluminescent speedometer that reaches to the 360-kilometer-per-hour mark (U.S. cars will probably get a 240-mph gauge), the first full-throttle excursion will likely prompt involuntary Anglo-Saxon expletives containing more letters than the storied initials of this in-house tuner.

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    Despite completely revamped electronic oversight of the power delivery (ABS, ASR, and ESP, plus-we suspect-torque-moderating strategies in low gears), the sheer thrust put down through the 9.5-inch-wide split-spoke rear alloy rims and their meaty 275/35ZR-19 Michelin Pilot Sport tires is mind-boggling. Even to jaded auto writers used to Vettes and the like, the surge comes as a big surprise.

    While driving AMG's test course along the Route Napoléon above France's Côte d'Azur in the Maritime Alps, we had frequent occasion to pass slower cars on the short straights that connect this serpentine roadway. We soon discovered the need to exercise great care with the throttle lest we end up hurtling into curves at unreasonably high velocities.

    Punch the pedal to pass, and a second later the target car is backing past the right-side windows as if it had just popped a parachute. Even with the engine and transmission controls striving to smooth all of this out, an abrupt driver can produce rapidly alternating fore-and-aft accelerations, and care has to be taken to avoid them.

    But after a few deep digs at the throttle, resulting in multiple downshifts and eyeball-depressing launches toward the horizon, a driver learns to simply squeeze the throttle for a pass. With more than 700 pound-feet of torque twirling the rear wheels anywhere between 2000 and 4000 engine revs, downshifts are not necessary. It’s just a matter of toeing the pedal and wafting away on a smooth wave of energy.

    The sound emanating from the four AMG tailpipes is entirely in concert with this avalanche of power, growing from a melodic burble to a hard snarl as the revs rise. Yet the overall refinement of the car meets the best patrician expectations, and the CL65 rides and shifts smoothly, with interior noise levels that almost belie its colossal performance potential.

    The ride is helped enormously by Mercedes-Benz’s active-body-control system, which has been comprehensively recalibrated for its new role in the AMG car. Without having to restrain roll and pitch motions by conventional means, the engineers could strike a better ride-and-handling compromise while tuning the AMG-specific springs and struts. For a 4800-pound coupe, the CL65 has moves in the mountains that will surprise Porsche drivers. As will its braking. The front rotors are 15.4-inch units with eight-piston calipers.

    Expected to cost $180,000 when it arrives in the U.S. next summer, the CL65 has every creature comfort and available option that Mercedes has on offer. What the CL65 will lack is availability. Only 400 will make it to this country during the two years it will be sold here, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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    MERCEDES-BENZ CL65 AMG

    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
    Estimated base price: $180,000
    Engine type: twin-turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 36-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

    Displacement: 365 cu in, 5980cc
    Power (SAE net): 604 bhp @ 4800 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 738 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

    Transmission: 5-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
    Wheelbase: 113.6 in
    Length/width/height: 196.6/73.1/55.0 in
    Curb weight: 4800 lb

    C/D-estimated performance:

    Zero to 60 mph: 4.3 sec
    Zero to 100 mph: 9.9 sec
    Standing 1/4-mile: 12.7 sec @ 116 mph
    Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph


    Estimated fuel economy:

    European combined cycle: 16 mpg

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  2. M4A1

    M4A1 :)

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  3. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  5. stonedworm

    stonedworm mofo in a supra

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  6. BenFer

    BenFer I've seen bigger OT Supporter

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    thats fucking rediculous. i love it
     
  7. sanjay

    sanjay New Member

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    :moan:

    i'd pimp this over the e65 for sure
     
  8. Symphony

    Symphony If you take the blue pill, the story ends.

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    :eek3: I'll never, ever, ever, own one, but damn.
     
  9. daft punk

    daft punk New Member

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    180k... I'll take a used 550
     
  10. M4A1

    M4A1 :)

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    i would saw my testicles off with a rusty saw for that car
     
  11. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

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    :eek3:
     
  12. jewpac42

    jewpac42 New Member

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    That car is awesome, but I would think with all that power a 12.7 is a little low.
     
  13. 93CivicEX

    93CivicEX Charming, Dashing, Rental car bashing

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    Id put airbags on it, and a hitch...



    then use it to tow horses :o
     
  14. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    It needs to lose about 1000lbs. Imagine the performance numbers then :eek3:
     
  15. Offender

    Offender OT Supporter

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    i rather get the bentley continetal coupe for 30 grand less and give up .4 on the 0 - 60 but be able to top out at 190mph+
     
  16. NeonWally

    NeonWally Guest

    $180,000 gets you a supercar with a real shifter :dunno:
     
  17. tekknikal

    tekknikal Nothing's ever been better than that

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    id rather an aston, even if it has a lot less power...
     
  18. And all the people said it couldn't be built :eek3:
     
  19. twinturboteddy

    twinturboteddy Bling Bling!

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    4800 POUNDS???

    wtf
     
  20. NeonWally

    NeonWally Guest

    Oh, and the front rotors are bigger than my wheels :wtc:
     
  21. Jago

    Jago It helps if you hit it.

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    nice. how many AMG models are available from mercedes currently?
     
  22. a red heart

    a red heart Guest

    that + strippage = teh win
     
  23. B17A

    B17A Now with more ///M

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    :sex:
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Stripped?

    Buy something spartan and go a few tenths faster then.
     
  25. a red heart

    a red heart Guest

    buy one of those + strippage= AMAZING track car... imagine how well it brakes / handles at 3500 lbs.
     

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