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Mercedes CL65 AMG 2008 Review

Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG combines limo-class luxury with a powerful 6.0-litre engine.
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The energy is delivered by the 6.0-litre V12 twin turbo engine (also in the SL65 AMG) which develops 450kW of power and 1000Nm of torque, which Benz says gets it to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds and to 200km/h, if you feel the need, in 13.3. Its electronically limited to 250km/h, but apparently is capable of more than 300km/h if unleashed.

There's the telltale AMG badging, gaping air dams, 20-inch wheels and quad chromed exhaust tips, but the vehicle's appearance doesn't blaringly advertise its attitude.

The AMG body styling covered in the special “liquid metal Alubeam” paint is as well-tailored as James Bond's suits, with the muscular bulges here and there just giving hints of the artillery concealed underneath.

Blur your vision and the car morphs back into a prestige coupe. Sliding behind the wheel reinforces that idea, with a luxury interior that is superbly finished right down to the final meticulous stitch on the buttery diamond pattern leather and the sheen of carbon fibre and aluminium trim. And it has a full list of kit; all the usual premium loot plus features such as massaging front seats.

The clock has been designed by IWC, makers of arguably the world's finest watches. And there's a lap timer, just to remind you of the car's real purpose.

Press start and the engine fires up with a subdued burble that you almost have to strain to hear in the cabin. Push the matter a little further and there's a louder and throatier response. But unless you really emboss your shoe tread into the carpet, the noise still seems somehow restrained and rarely likely to annoy the neighbours. But be warned that if you plant it, the engine is powerful enough to get a second or two of tyre wail at launch, even with the traction control on.

And planting your foot reveals why the seats are so deeply padded. It's to cushion your shoulder blades when the beast slingshots off the start. From there, the grunt just keeps coming in a smooth progression through the gears, with fast changes from the five-speed automatic at the flick of a finger with the F1-style shift paddles on the steering wheel.

You can reach ludicrous speeds in a flash but there's a strange sense of detachment from what's happening. Even when the needle is fairly well buried into the right-hand arc of the dial, the cabin is still as serene as another car would be during gentle cruising. You can hear the engine, if you try, but there's little in the way of tyre or wind noise to help communicate the sensation of speed.

The blur of landscape might almost be a movie projected on the windscreen (with the sound muted to a polite murmur).

In keeping with this, the ride quality is brilliant over any surface and the sports suspension coupled with a slew of dynamics systems helps keep the CL65 clawed into the road under most conditions. However, you never lose the sense of how substantial that luxury body is, and there's a touch of roll in some of the corners.

But these are minor niggles in a car that offers every possible creature comfort combined with blistering speed.



Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Price: $474,974

engine: 6L/V12 twin turbo, 450Kw/1000Nm

Transmission: 5-speed sequential

Performance: 0-100km/h: 4.4 seconds


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CL600 5.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $88,110 – 101,310 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2008 CL600 Pricing and Specs
CL65 AMG 6.0L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $91,630 – 105,270 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2008 CL65 AMG Pricing and Specs
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