2011 Mercedes-Benz CL Class Review

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Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
June 26, 2011
Fuel efficiency likely isn't a consideration for most buyers of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, but the company has introduced a new line of direct-injection and turbocharged engines to this big luxury coupe that bring higher mpg ratings along with better performance.

In 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic guise, the new CL comes with a 429-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.6-liter V-8 engine that cuts fuel consumption by 10 to 15 percent compared to the previous 6.3-liter naturally aspirated engine. Zero-to-60 times are just 4.9 seconds.

But that's just the entry model. As before, the CL-Class comes in four different forms, from quick and luxurious to downright scorching. Those interested in a true prestige-touring feel will want the CL600 flagship, which upgrades to a 510-hp twin-turbo V-12 engine, producing 612 pound-feet of torque, bursts of effortless acceleration on the highway, and a 4.5-second zero-to-60 time. Then there's the CL63 AMG, which includes a 536-hp version of the V-8 and a host of go-fast enhancements. And at the top of the lineup, topping $210k and nearly twice the price of the CL550, is the CL65 AMG, with a higher-output version of the V-12 making 604 hp and 738 pound-feet.

In appearance, all the 2011 CL models get a somewhat edgier, more tightly detailed front end, along with a new taillight design and a few other updates throughout.

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The CL remains loaded to the brim with a combination of sumptuous, old-style luxury appointments, as well as must-have comforts like multicontour seats and leading-edge active-safety electronics such as Adaptive Blind Spot Assist and Adaptive Lane-Keeping Assist

We still haven't driven the 2011 CL-Class extensively enough, at the time of posting, to bring you a full review. However the 2011 model isn't a ground-up redesign, so many of our observations from previous model years (except for performance, of course) still hold. Please see our full review of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, and stay tuned as we hope to bring you a full review of the 2012 model.

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