Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013

September 10, 2013
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Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013

Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013

Ever seen a bee splat that starts at the grille and runs fully two-thirds up the hood to the windshield? It looks like the remains of a Scud that flamed out over a Vermont peat bog.

Such hexapod carnage can only be caused by a machine able to defile the law pretty cruelly, and a new Mercedes-Benz CL600 is indeed such a machine.

Recall that we have already formally introduced you to the plastic-fendered CL with a full road test of the V-8-powered CL500 (March 2000). The Mercedes-Benz CL600 coddles the orbs with its shapely pillarless hardtop lines and massages the technoid pressure points with magnesium door guts, infrared-eating glass, and a semiactive suspension.The CL500’s 302-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 generates enough wattage to boot the car to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and run the quarter in 14.7 seconds at 98 mph. The leather-and-burl-lined salon between the self-sealing doors insulates passengers from the fury outside, and the many megabits of stability- and traction-control circuitry carefully usher the power to the asphalt so hardly any is wasted on roasted rubber and sideways motion.

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Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013

Alas, that’s not quite good enough for some discriminating plutocrats who will happily walk past a fine V-8 if a V-12 is on the options sheet.

Well, the Big Kahuna is finally here. The 5.8-liter, 60-degree SOHC 36-valve V-12 (each pot has two intake valves and one exhaust) twists out its 362 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque with the fabulous smoothness afforded only by symmetrical three-plane crankshafts and firing pulses every 60 degrees of rotation. It’s the engine Izzy Newton would have designed had there been autobahns in 1686.

The Mercedes-Benz CL600 warps to 60 mph in only 5.7 seconds, inhales the quarter in 14.2 seconds at a sprightly 102 mph, and bounces off the electronic speed limiter at 130 mph. That’s 0.6 second ahead of the last V-12 S-class two-door we tested here in December of 1993, equipped with the old 389-hp, 6.0-liter, 420-pound-feet V-12 and toting another 685 pounds of weight.

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Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013

And thanks to its cylinder-deactivation system, the new Mercedes V-12 drinks less Texas tea than its predecessor. The left bank of cylinders calls it quits when the computer yanks a hydraulically actuated pin that keeps the rocker arms riding on the camshaft. The valves snap closed in the middle of the exhaust stroke and stay so to eliminate pumping losses and keep the cylinders warm until full thrust is needed.

On the road, the advertised 20-percent fuel-economy gain is too transparent to ruffle enjoyment of the Full V-12 Experience. The system cuts out the cylinders only below a light-throttle threshold that varies with speed and will include some steady-state cruising situations. Mercedes says in normal driving the cylinders will be deactivated about 50 percent of the time. System on, a valve in the exhaust partly restricts the flow to ensure the sound quality remains constant, and the Newtonian protocols remain satisfied with the creamy dynamics of 12 balanced pistons.

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Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013 Interior

The standard-on-CL Active Body Control suspension keeps the big car mostly flat in normal maneuvers by ordering hydraulic rams on each strut to counteract the Mercedes-Benz CL600‘s 4275 pounds’ worth of body roll, pitch, and dive. The impact of frost heaves and other road blight telegraphs into the cabin more succinctly than expected. Stiff bushings are the likely culprits, but the Mercedes-Benz CL600 is no apex hound for the trouble they cause. In the test vehicle, hard cornering resulted in uncivil tire squeal and understeer, as if the Mercedes-Benz CL600 were crying, “I’m big, beautiful, and here to make you look good on the boulevard, so cut the nonsense.”

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Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013 Engine

A palliative is the 18-inch wheels and fatter tires of the $5096 Sport package, just one of the Mercedes-Benz CL600‘s many options. The bumper sensors of the $1035 Parktronic system warn with beeping and colored lights against flattening Junior’s red Radio Flyer, or even Junior himself. Distronic cruise control, a $2912 nick, has radar to sense other cars and works the throttle and brakes to maintain a gap varied with a console thumb wheel. Save another $8633 for the Mercedes-Benz CL600‘s two available Designo packages and their unique leather and wood trim. And for $125 a month, CNN Interactive news and stock quotes will beam to the cockpit’s LCD screen. No price yet on the advanced engineering degree needed to decipher the system’s battery of buttons or the second pair of eyes to watch the road while perusing the day’s polo scores.

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Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013 Interior

Are four additional cylinders, some extra standard goodies such as a swish Alcantara imitation-suede headliner, and the exclusivity afforded by just 450 sales per year worth a $31,198 premium over the CL500? Or even an $18,719 premium over the 354-hp CL55 AMG? Mere wage earners like us say no, but that won’t be of much comfort to the nation’s working Apis mellifera.

Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013 Interior

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Mercedes-Benz CL600 Problems

Summary
Aggregate Rating
4 based on 6 votes
Brand Name
Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013 rival
Product Name
Mercedes-Benz CL600 2013 rival with a new Ford Mustang 5.0 liter engine and F1 paddle shift transmission assembled onto a tube chassis for US$23,000.
Price
USD $23,000
Product Availability
Pre-Order Only

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