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There was a time, not that many years ago, when it was easy to make heads and tails of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. There was logic to its alphanumeric soup. An E-Class was bigger than a C-Class, but nothing topped the S-Class.
Not so, these days, with Vs and Bs, SLKs and CLKs, and even a CLS. Trying to figure out where the various models line up is a challenge.
Consider the CL-Class. Must be a variant of the compact C-Class, you might reasonably be willing to bet. You would, of course, lose that wager. The sleek two-door is, in fact, “the close associate to the S-Class,” explains Hans Multhaupt, the Mercedes executive in charge of developing the new ’07 CL coupe.
First launched in 1998, the CL-Class has been completely redesigned for 2007, and according to Multhaupt, it has a lot in common with the latest Mercedes S-Class, which took its bow not that many months before. The new car is freshly styled, mechanically enhanced, and more lavishly equipped than ever before, with an emphasis, the German executive says, on “increasing the feel-good factor when you get into the car.”
With its broad shoulders and sweeping, tapered roofline, there’s a clear family resemblance in the styling, not only to the new S-Class, but also to Mercedes’ big, “coupe-like sedan,” the appropriately acronymed CLS. Yet there’s also a certain classic quality to the design, enhanced by the big chrome grille and pillarless side windows.
The overall effect is handsome and sexy, and not as intentionally overpowering as the S-Class. MORE--
Lavish, high-tech interior
As Multhaupt suggests, a lot of attention has gone into the new car’s cabin. Interiors are the new automotive battleground, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the high-end luxury market. Well-established manufacturers like Mercedes face a stiff challenge, not only from traditional competitors, but newer brands, such as Lexus, who are working hard to redefine the concept of luxury. So, the 2007 CL is a real step-up from the last-generation coupe in a number of critical ways.