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Merc's new coupes are all class

Also a V8, the CL63 AMG is the next model in the range, delivering 385kW and 630Nm from the 6.2-litre engine. Priced at $383,000, the AMG engine is hand-assembled and is matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

At the top of the range is the 5.5-litre CL600, with a $389,000 price tag.

The range-topper has a bi-turbo 12-cylinder engine with 380kW, an increase of 12kW over the present engine, and 830Nm from 1900rpm through to 3500rpm, and increase of 30Nm.

The better performance means the CL600 knocks 0.2 seconds off the dash to 100km/h achieving it in just 4.6 seconds.

And these improvements don't mean a sacrifice in fuel consumption, now recording 0.4-litres less fuel per 100km than its predecessor.

The CL600 has longer and wider dimensions, providing more space in the interior and it also features seats that give a well-earned massage.

All models have the COMAND system, which features integrated sat nav, DVD and television tuner. Parking guidance assist and night view assist are also included.

Dodge turns to diesel

Dodge has jumped on board the diesel trend, adding a more powerful turbo diesel model to

the Caliber range.

The 2.0-litre turbo diesel starts from $28,990 for the ST specification level and delivers 103kW at 4000rpm and 310Nm at 2500rpm, through a six-speed manual transmission.

Boasting a low fuel consumption of 6.0-litres per 100km, the diesel model also features the latest safety equipment with Electronic Stability Program, traction control and brake assist

as standard. All models feature dual front

and side-curtain airbags and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. The Caliber has received the US Government's five-star rating for side and frontal impact crash protection.

The CRD is the fourth engine in the Caliber range and Chrysler managing director Gerry Jenkins says the addition of a diesel allows customers to enjoy a better performance, without worrying about higher fuel consumption.

Chrysler spokesman Simon Johnson says the company expects the Volkswagen 2.0-litre diesel engine to be popular with customers. He says the Caliber has been selling very well and the company hopes the arrival of the diesel will alleviate supply constraints, which have prevented larger volume sales.

The SX diesel is priced at $30,490 and the top SXT specification level has a $31,900 price point.

Johnson says there are no plans at present for additional engines to the Caliber range, but if the high performance SRT4 became available in right-hand drive, Dodge Australia will be putting their hand up for it.

Ashlee Pleffer
Contributing Journalist
Ashlee Pleffer is a former CarsGuide contributor via News Limited. Pleffer specialises in classic cars.
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