The second generation of the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is the C215-chassis coupé of 2000-2006. It is based on the 1999-2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220), though it r...More »
The second generation of the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is the C215-chassis coupé of 2000-2006. It is based on the 1999-2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220), though it rides on an 8-inch (203 mm) shorter wheelbase. Sales in Germany started in August 1999 for the CL 500 V8.
The C215 exterior design and active suspension was previewed by the Mercedes-Benz F200 concept in 1996.
The CL is offered as five models: the V8-powered CL 500, the supercharged V8-powered CL 55 AMG, the V12-powered CL 600, a limited-edition V12-powered CL 63 AMG, and the rare bi-turbo V12-powered CL 65 AMG. All models seat four.
The CL coupes come equipped with the very latest in Mercedes-Benz technology, and along with the S-Class sedans the CL coupes receive new technological features. It was the second car, (after the W220 S-Class), with Distronic: the first worldwide radar-assisted Autonomous cruise control system.
It was the first car in the world with both low beam and high beam (Bi-Xenon) High Intensity Discharge headlamps.
It introduced the refined Active Body Control fully active suspension system. Active Body Control uses four hydraulic suspension rams that use three pressure regulators connected to a combination power steering and suspension pump, pushing fluid at a pressure of 2,960 psi (20,400 kPa) through the system that, along with several intermediate computers and master CPU, keeps this car absolutely flat through the corners. The CL-class has a lengthy list of custom available features. The following features are standard: climate control, ABC (hydraulic) suspension, all-leather interior, designer wood trim, trip computer, CD, navigation system, front heated seats, power moonroof, as well as power door and trunk closing assist. Optional features include a heated steering wheel and voice-activated telephone, as well as, front fan-cooled and heated seats.
The CL 63 AMG is the rarest W215 CL of all. It was produced only in November 2001 and just 26 examples were ever built for sale. Some UK examples were registered in March 2002. The V12-powered CL 63 AMG was only sold in Europe and Asia. Mercedes-Benz never offered the W215 CL 63 for sale; all were sold exclusively through AMG.
From 1999 through 2003, the V12-equipped cars featured a cylinder deactivation system called Active Cylinder Control. The feature was dropped when the 500 PS (368 kW; 493 hp) bi-turbo V12 was introduced. This disactivation feature allowed the CL 600 to get better fuel economy than the comparable CL500 (when not equipped with ACC itself, an option for the V8), especially on the road where the six-cylinder operation could be effectively used. Basically this engine is two Mercedes six-cylinder series engines mated to a common crank with appropriate engine monitoring systems.
In 2003, the cars were upgraded with Pre-Safe precrash system and a newer electronics package that included a DVD-based navigation system instead of the CD-based COMAND system. Also, the engine options changed. The CL55 AMG became supercharged allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.27sec according to Motor Trend and the V12 CL 600 had turbochargers added and a slight engine reduction, from 5980 cc to 5513 cc. Both cars produced 500 PS (368 kW; 493 hp) the distinction, again, was the quietness of the CL 600 as compared to rather noisy CL 55 AMG. The more powerful CL 65 produced 612 PS (450 kW; 604 hp). The top speed of the car was limited to 250 km/h (160 mph).
Pre-Safe, the integrated Mercedes-Benz collision avoidance and response system, that debuted with the W220 S-Class.
Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Brake Assist were standard features for difficult driving conditions and emergency maneuvers.
The C215 CL-Class added standard front and rear side curtain airbags. In total, the C215 features 8 airbags: 2 frontal (driver and passenger), 4 side airbags (one for each passenger, optional for rear seats) and 2 window-airbags.
LED brake lights were also standard issue on the C215. LED brake lights illuminate faster than conventional bulbs.
Comfort and convenience
Distronic cruise control, which could maintain a set distance between the CL-Class and any vehicle in front.
Speedtronic adjustable speed limiter for not exceeding a set speed on roads with speed limits.
Keyless Go, a smart key entry and startup system.
Rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Light sensors to turn the headlights on and off automatically, depending on lighting circumstances. The instrument display and the COMAND screen's backlight and colour also adjust automatically depending on the ambient light situation.
Parktronic visual and audible parking aid, with sensors in the front and rear bumpers. Also, the passenger side mirror can swivel down automatically when engaging reverse, to help see the curb.
Automatically heated exterior mirrors.
Fully automatic climate control system with pollen and charcoal filters and optional separate rear-seat climate controls.
COMAND system combines the controls for audio systems, the television, the navigation and the telephone. COMAND based cars offer higher quality audio compared to the Audio 10 system.
Optional BOSE sound system.
Summer Open/Close - Ability to open and close all four windows and the sunroof at the sametime upon entry and/or exit from the vehicle.
Self opening and closing trunk.
Electrically adjustable seats are standard. Optional were the memory function for the seats (standard in many countries on the larger engine models) and the multi-contour backrests with massage function.
Easy entry/exit function.
Auto-dimming interior and driver's side exterior rear view mirrors to prevent being dazzled by cars behind.
Linguatronic voice recognition system which can be used to control the audio system, navigation system, and a cellular telephone through voice commands.
The C215 featured only the hydraulic Active Body Control (ABC) system. It is technically more advanced than standard Airmatic air suspension found on the W220 S-Class sibling, and keeps the car level even in fast corners, provides a comfort and sports setting. Also, the car height can be increased by using a button, increasing ground clearance (2 settings) for driving on difficult terrain, lowers automatically at higher speeds.
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