2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

CL550 AWD 2-Dr Coupe V8 auto trans

2011 mercedes-benz cl-class Reviews and News

2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 Promo
For 2011, that doyenne of decadence, the Mercedes-Benz CL coupe, has undergone a bit of restyling at the front and rear, although the more substantive changes are under the long hood. Both the CL550 and the CL63 AMG have new, smaller V-8 engines (although that's not reflected in their names). But never fear, masters of the universe. Despite the downsizing, the new engines are significantly more powerful than their predecessors.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG Front End
The CL550 engine has gone from 5.5 liters to 4.7 liters, but it gains two turbochargers and direct injection. Output jumps by 47 hp to 429 hp, and torque increases by nearly a third, to 516 lb-ft. As before, output flows through a seven-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. (The CL550 is the only big Mercedes coupe with 4Matic.)
The CL63's powertrain features even more changes and ushers in a new era for AMG. The old 6.2-liter normally aspirated V-8 gives way to a new twin-turbo, direct-injected 5.5-liter, an update that will eventually come to all of AMG's "63" models (including the S63, which gets the new engine concurrently with the CL). Standard output is 536 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, up from 518 hp and 465 lb-ft. Opt for the AMG Performance Package, however, and the engine spins out 563 hp and 664 lb-ft (and a more indulgent top-speed limiter allows 186 mph). So equipped, the CL63's 0-to-60-mph time is4.3 seconds, per AMG, against 4.4 seconds in standard trim.
The CL63 has AMG's seven-speed Speedshift transmission, which uses a wet clutch in place of a torque converter. Seen previously in the SL63 and the E63, the gearbox here has a different clutch pack and new software and is better mannered. Not only does it snap off superquick gearchanges and match revs on downshifts, but it now also equals the smoothness of a torque-converter automatic when taking off from a stop.
Speaking of stops, the CL63 incorporates an auto stop/start function-a first for Mercedes (outside of its hybrids). It should give a boost to real-world fuel economy, and indeed, preliminary EPA estimates for the CL63 are 15/21 mpg, significantly better than the 2010 model's dismal 11/18 rating. (The CL550's figures improve by 1 mpg both in city and highway driving, to 15/22 mpg.) The auto stop/start function works well, restarting quickly enough so as not to impede takeoff. But it's strange how the sudden silence at red lights actually calls attention to itself-expect conversation to stop as well. The auto-stop feature works only if the transmission is in Comfort mode (which also makes for earlier upshifts and second-gear starts); in the Sport and Manual modes there is no engine shutoff.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG Rear
Although the CL63's twin-turbo 5.5-liter outmuscles its big-block predecessor, don't expect the sharp staccato bark that we know-and love-from the 6.2-liter-and-Speedshift combo in the E63 and SL63 AMG cars. The CL's rumble is a much more subtle baritone. The CL550's 4.7-liter V-8 is quieter, enough that you can sometimes hear the whistle of the turbochargers. With its new engine, the CL550 is now nearly as quick as its AMG counterpart, its factory-measured 0-to-60-mph time having dropped from 5.4 seconds to 4.8. That's only 0.4 second behind the new CL63, or 0.5 second slower than the performance-enhanced version. What this means is that, when you bury the long-travel accelerator in either CL, you're instantly beamed to the bumper of the car ahead.
The more muscular V-8s pretty much render the V-12 engines superfluous, but they remain in the lineup. The CL600 retains its twin-turbo 5.5-liter twelve (510 hp, 612 lb-ft). The CL65 AMG's biturbo 6.0-liter V-12 sees a minor power increase (now 621 hp and 738 lb-ft). Still, the CL65 can only tie the 563-hp CL63's60-mph sprint, likely due to traction limitations. The V-12 cars are available by special order only.
Besides their new powertrains, the big coupes' driving experience is little changed. The air-sprung CL550 is nearly as compliant as an S-class. With its standard Active Body Control, the CL63 is a bit stiff-legged over bad pavement, but the upside is iron-fisted body control. The CL63 has essentially no body roll, and for such a heavy machine (some 4800 pounds) it's also amazingly resistant to understeer.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 Front Three Quarters
Inside, the S-class-inspired cabin continues largely unchanged, although the large Comand screen can now be equipped with Mercedes-Benz's split-view technology, which allows the front-seat passenger to watch a DVD, for instance, while the driver sees the navigation screen. In other technology news, the optional lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems will now brake the wheels on one side to nudge the CL back into its lane if the driver ignores their warnings.
The appearance tweaks and substantially improved powertrains should help keep the big Benz coupes relevant and on the radar of an audience whose stature is undiminished.
The Specs
On Sale: Now
Price: $114,025/$152,125 (CL550/CL63 AMG, est.)
Engines: 4.7L twin-turbo V-8, 429 hp, 516 lb-ft; 5.5L twin-turbo V-8, 536/563 hp, 590/664 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel/rear-wheel (CL550/CL63 AMG)
2011 Mercedes Benz CL600 Front Three Quarters Passenger
Five years after the current Mercedes-Benz CL coupe made its debut, the big two-door has gone in for some minor cosmetic surgery, and a heart transplant. Although their model designations have not changed, the CL550 and CL63 AMG both have new, smaller V-8 engines, but never fear, plutocrats, they're nonetheless significantly more powerful than their predecessors, thanks to the miracle of turbocharging.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL600 Front Three Quarters Passenger
It's turbo time for the V-8s
The CL550 engine has gone from 5.5 liters, with 382 hp and 391 pound-feet, to 4.7 liters, but twin turbochargers and direct injection help the new engine make more with less. Output jumps to 429 hp and torque increases by nearly a third, to 516 lb-ft. The additional power is sent through the same seven-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive as before. As in 2010, the CL550 is the only one of the big Mercedes coupes to come with all-wheel drive.
The CL63 AMG's powertrain has been more extensively changed. It now uses a 5.5-liter version of the 90-degree CL550 V-8-also twin-turbocharged and direct injected. The new AMG V-8 eventually will replace the old 6.2-liter engine in all the "63" AMG models. (The S63 gets it this fall, concurrent with the CL63.)
That means AMG will have switched from supercharging, to normally aspirated power, and now to turbos. While the new bi-turbo V-8 strikes a blow for consistency, you can't argue with its output: 536 hp and 590 pound-feet, up from 518 hp and 465 pound-feet. Sound good? But wait, there's more. Opt for the AMG performance package, and the black boxes allow the engine to make 563 hp and 664 pound-feet; the package also raises the electronically limited top speed from 155 to 186 mph.
Auto stop-start debuts
The new AMG engine is paired with the seven-speed Speedshift gearbox, which uses a wet clutch in place of a torque converter. This is a revised version of the transmission currently in the SL63 and the E63. With a new clutch pack and reprogrammed software, the gearbox is better mannered here, not only whipping off super-quick gear changes and matching revs on downshifts, but now also equaling the smoothness of a torque-converter automatic when taking off from a stop.
Speaking of stops, the CL63 also incorporates an auto stop-start function-the first appearance of this technology in a non-hybrid Mercedes. Expect this feature to spread in step with the 5.5-liter bi-turbo. It would seem to offer significant city fuel-economy benefits, but we're told its effects don't show up in EPA testing (EPA numbers aren't available at this writing but should be out soon; Mercedes claims the new powertrain overall is 25 percent more efficient than its predecessor).
2011 Mercedes Benz CL600 Front Three Quarters Driver 2
V-12s still come, to those who wait
Given the enhanced capabilities of the V-8s, the V-12 engines might seem superfluous-and they are, but both V-12 models return nonetheless. The CL600 has the same bi-turbo 5.5-liter twelve as before. It 510 hp is no better than the CL63, and its 612 pound-feet can't equal the performance-enhanced version of the V-8 AMG. The CL65 AMG, meanwhile, retains its 6.0-liter turbo V-12. Now with 621 hp, up from 604 hp, and 738 pound-feet, it remains comfortably atop the pack (and ahead of the new Bentley Continental GT). But-what's this?- it can only tie the 0-60 time, and 186-mph top speed, of the CL63 with the optional performance pack. The CL65 continues to use a five-speed version of the Speedshift automatic, and neither of the V-12s gets the auto stop-start capability. The V-12 cars are available by customer-order only; expect four to six weeks delivery time.
Your choice: crazy fast or totally insane
With its new engine, the CL550 has largely closed the performance gap with its AMG counterpart. Where the previous CL550 needed 5.4 seconds to reach 60 mph, the new car zooms to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That puts it only 0.2 second behind the new CL63 (0.3 second behind the performance-enhanced version). What this means is that, when you bury the long-travel accelerator, either CL is instantly beamed to the bumper of the car ahead. With doubling or even tripling the speed limit within such easy reach, an onboard defense lawyer might be a worthwhile feature.
Although the CL63's blown 5.5-liter can out-muscle its big-block predecessor, don't expect the sharp staccato bark that we know -- and love -- from the 6.2-liter-and-Speedshift combo in E63 and the SL63 AMG. The CL's rumble is a much more subtle baritone.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG Front Three Quarters Static Passenger
The AMG car's auto stop-start function works well, restarting quickly enough not to impede take-off. But it's strange how the sudden silence at red lights actually calls attention to itself. Expect in-car conversation to stop as well. The auto-stop feature only works if the transmission is in the C mode (which also makes for quicker upshifts and second-gear starts); it's disabled when the transmission is in Sport or Manual mode.
The CL550 uses air springs, while the CL63 (and the V-12 cars) adds active body control. Both coupes are a bit stiff-legged over bad pavement, the CL63 perhaps slightly more so, and choosing ABC sport or normal mode doesn't seem to make much difference. But the upside is that the CL-and particularly the AMG-exhibits iron-fisted body control. The CL63 has essentially no body roll, and for such a heavy machine (some 4800 pounds) it's also amazingly resistant to understeer.
An Invisible Hand directs the CL, for drivers who can't be bothered to do so themselves
The CL pioneered many of Mercedes' current high-tech features, from stability control (S600, 1995) to active body control (1999), so of course there is a full complement of high-tech features on board here. For 2011, the CL adds a new capability to the previous lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems. If the driver ignores either system's warnings, the car will automatically apply the brakes on the wheels on the opposite side, to nudge the CL back into its lane. Those systems, along with pre-collision braking, are part of the Driver Assistance Package (which maybe should be called the Distracted Driver Package); it's standard on the V-12 cars and optional on the CL550 and CL63.
Other technological wonders are less Orwellian and more entertaining. An optional split-view Comand screen allows a front-seat passenger to watch a DVD while the driver sees the navigation map, for instance. And the electronic gauge cluster in the AMG cars can call up a lap timer function.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG Front Three Quarters Passenger
Price? If you have to ask...
Despite a new front clip and a revised rear end (bumper and taillights), the overall look of the big Benz coupe is changed only subtly. Its signature element remains the arced roofline, set off by the B-pillarless greenhouse (which also nicely opens up the interior). In this rarified atmosphere, competitors are thin on the ground. No other car company does a two-door off of their large luxury sedan. The next-closest competitors might be the BMW 6-series (currently on hiatus), and the Continental GT, which has undergone its own, similar update this year.
The twelve-cylinder Benz coupes bracket the Bentley in price, with the CL600 at $157,875 and the CL65 AMG reaching $210,175. The CL63 is $151,125, while the CL550 is the bargain of the bunch at $114,025. Any one of them is a singularly self-indulgent machine.
2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550/CL63 AMG
BASE PRICE: $114,025/$151,125
ENGINE: 48-valve DOHC twin-turbo V-8
DISPLACEMENT: 4.7 liters
HORSEPOWER: 429 hp @ 5250 rpm
TORQUE: 516 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
ENGINE: 48-valve DOHC twin-turbo V-8
HORSEPOWER: 536/563 hp @ 5500 rpm
TORQUE: 590/664 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic
DRIVE: 4-wheel (CL550), rear-wheel (CL63)
STEERING: Speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SUSPENSION, FRONT: Multi-link, air springs (active dampers, CL63)
SUSPENSION, REAR: Multi-link, air springs (active dampers, CL63)
BRAKES: Vented disc, ABS
L x W x H: 200.6/201 x 73.7 x 55.8/56.2 in
WHEELBASE: 116.3 in
TRACK F/R: 63.0/63.3 in
WEIGHT: 4619/4806 lb
FUEL MILEAGE: 15/22, 15/21 (est.)
2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
The Mercedes CL class, which is the company's large series of coupes. Is almost as large as the S class sedan. This size allows plenty of room for the rear passengers in both leg and head room. While most large coupes offer either luxury or sport, the CL does an excellent job of offering both.

This flagship coupe is full of the best safety and comfort features that this German Marquee has to offer. Available in four trim levels starting with the CL550, which is powered by a 382 HP V-8 and drives it's wheels through a seven speed transmission. The CL63AMG has a 510 HP V-8 mated to the same automatic transmission. There are two trim levels with Mercedes biggest engines as well. The CL600 is a 510 Hp V-12 and the CL 65 AMG ups the ante with a 604 HP V-12. Both 12 cylinder cars supply power to the wheels through a five speed automatic transmission. All wheel drive is featured on the Cl550, while all of the other models make do with rear wheel drive only.
2011 Mercedes Benz Cl63 Amg Front Left View Parked
Objectively, the price of any CL is insane given how much less expensive a mechanically identical S-class is, but the point of these coupes is exclusivity and CL shoppers are well past the point of a logical purchase. To go along with that, the CL550, CL600, CL63 AMG, and CL65 AMG are essentially splitting hairs in terms of performance differences, but Mercedes claims there are very specific buyers for each model. The truth is any of these coupes is a revelation to experience the first time.
2011 Mercedes Benz Cl63 Amg Front Hood
Sumptuous interior and impeccable execution aside, AMG-tuned CL coupes always wow me with just how well they perform, especially when driven in anger. For a refresher, this is a 4600-pound car that measures in at nearly 201 inches in length, yet when the suspension is dialed into sport mode, it's surprisingly agile, taut, and responsive. It makes as much sense as suggesting a freight locomotive is the ideal vehicle for tackling the Nordschleife, but somehow, the engineers at AMG are able to bend the laws of physics in their favor.
2011 Mercedes Benz Cl63 Amg Full Left Side View Parked
The CL63 has a great, throaty, rumbly exhaust note on start-up. I pulled out of the parking structure and to the first intersection. The engine went dead. Oh, there's a big green ECO light below the transmission indicator in the main instrument binnacle. An AMG car with stop/start! What a concept. I shouldn't be surprised; In July 2007 I was in Frankfurt, Germany, with Mercedes-Benz to drive its McLaren SLR roadster. Ironically, Mercedes also had us participate in a fuel-economy seminar, and I remember their engineers advising us that if a car is running for more than 12 seconds while sitting, it's best to turn it off.
2011 Mercedes Benz Cl63 Amg Rear Left Side View Parked
2011 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG
2011 Mercedes Benz Cl63 Amg Left Side View Parked
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 4Matic Front Three Quarters Driver
Woah, $127,565. That's Audi R8 money, my friends.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 4Matic Front Three Quarters Driver
Like Joe's experience, I had a cold morning with the CL550 that started a bit rough. Because I had every body-part-warmer in the system dialed to maximum, I luxuriated while the transmission stumbled for the first mile. Then we were all in synch-me in a car that cost two and half times more than my first house, the car rolling across the land like a private jet on four wheels. God, I wished I lived like this every single day.
- Jean Jennings
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 4Matic Front Three Quarters Static Passenger
I just returned from driving multiple Mercedes-Benz 4Matic vehicles in the Alps. Among the various all-wheel-drive models was a CL550 similar to the car I drove here in Michigan. Of the four different CL powertrains, only this twin-turbo V-8 comes with all-wheel-drive. Mercedes' 4Matic is particularly sophisticated; it uses a fixed 45/55 percent torque split with open differentials at each axle, relying on electronic intervention and manipulation of the brakes to move the vehicle forward when a wheel starts slipping. In Austria, we tackled a man-made 20 percent grade that had quickly turned into a sheet of ice as we repeatedly stopped, spun wheels, and accelerated in the same spot. While it occasionally took several seconds of the engine and brakes interacting, the cars consistently moved forward up the grade. As someone who sometimes drives hard, I also appreciate Mercedes' use of a fixed torque split rather than a less predictable variable system. While it may not be ideal for some low traction systems, I'd rather drive this than a system that relies on electronics to apportion torque.
- Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 4Matic Rear Three Quarters Driver
2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 4Matic Front
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We already had our first look at the revised 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, which incorporates new styling tweaks and some updated powertrains. We didn't, however, have our first look at pricing for the ├╝ber-coupe until this morning. According to Mercedes-Benz's North American wing, the revamped CL will start at $114,025.

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Certified Pre-Owned 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$51,675

Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$113,150

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12 MPG City | 19 MPG Hwy
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CL550 AWD 2-Dr Coupe V8
$113,150
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429hp

2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
4.7L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
15 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
23 MPG
Horsepower:
429 hp @ 5250rpm
Torque:
516 ft lb of torque @ 1800rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD
  • Navigation
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
50,000 miles / 48 months
Corrosion
50,000 miles / 48 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 999 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Best Pick
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

Depreciation
37.7%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$30,332
37.7%
Insurance
$16,485
20.5%
Fuel Cost
$15,061
18.7%
Financing
$5,983
7.4%
Maintenance
$5,271
6.6%
Repair Costs
$6,716
8.4%
State Fees
$567
0.7%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $80,415 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent