The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class might be considered the Crme d' Le Crme of the high-end touring car genre.
This carryover design from 2009 exudes an air of speed and performance even when at rest. Sweeping rearward, the pronounced body crease makes the car appear lower than its overall height of 56 inches. The swept-back line of the front grille is repeated in the steeply raked roof pillars, and the abruptly cut-off rear-end brings to mind the aerodynamic-style that graced European racing coupes of the 1960s. Aggressively styled 18-inch alloy wheels shod with ultra-low profile high-performance tires virtually fill the fully radiused wheel wells.
The base engine of the CL550 is a 382 horsepower 5.5-liter V8, sending power through a 7-speed automatic transmission to 4MATIC all wheel drive. The other, even more muscular powerplants are a 510 horsepower 5.5-liter twin turbo V12, and a 518 horsepower V8, and a top of the line 604 horsepower 6-liter twin-turbo V12CL65 that powers the AMG CL Class.
Fuel economy for the CL Class ranges from 11 miles per gallon city, up to 21 miles per gallon highway.
The CL600 model that we drove features leather and wood appointed upholstery throughout with heated and cooled, 14-way programmable seats up front and folding armrests both front and rear. The driver and front passenger are protected by dual-stage front and side-impact airbags with side curtain airbags provided for all passengers.
A remote controller provides operation of the vehicle's cabin systems, such as state-of-the-art audio, climate, navigation and mobile communications, with additional controls mounted on the fully-adjustable leather and wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and brake assist technology are standard, as are traction, and stability control.
Initial base MSRP for the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is $110,400. A nicely equipped CL600 will cost around $160,000, while a fully loaded CL65 AMG will top out around $212,000. The CL-Class is backed by a 4-year, 50,000-mile powertrain warranty.
With potent powerplants and elegant styling, the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class can be counted on to provide spirited and sophisticated motoring in the grand European tradition.