What Changed for 2008:
- New V-8-powered CL63 AMG
- New V-12-powered CL65 AMG
- Limited-production CL65 40th Anniversary Edition flagship
Evolved from the Mercedes-Benz flagship S-Class in the late 1970s, the CL-Class is the grand touring model of the brand, often tasked to debut the latest technology and most powerful engines from Mercedes-Benz. The fourth generation of the CL-Class debuted in late 2006. The new CL models offer a sleek coupe devoid of an obstructing B-pillar. Changes for 2008 are limited to a new body paint option, and two new powerful AMG-sourced engine choices.
The four CL-Class offerings each offer a different powerplant and model name. The standard models are the CL550 and the CL600, powered respectively by V-8 and V-12 engines. Passenger compartments are swathed in fine leather and wood, while the occupants relax under fiber-optic ambient lighting. Fourteen-way power seating for the driver and passenger and a power rear-window sunshade are included as standard equipment. Available options on these models include numerous seating and stereo upgrades, and several wheel and tire packages.
The CL63 AMG and the CL65 AMG, powered respectively by V-8 and V-12 engines, offer upgraded engines, tuned active suspensions, and stronger braking systems. Standard wheels are 20 inches in diameter, in staggered sizes, with high-performance tires. Options on the AMG-series CL models include dynamic seating with automatic pneumatic adjusting and an infrared-based Night View Assistant for improved nighttime vision while driving.
The 2008 CL-Class offers four engine choices. The CL550 is powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 engine rated at 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is a 7-speed automatic (2008 EPA mileage ratings of 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway). The CL600 features a biturbo V-12 engine providing 510 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission handles shifting (2008 EPA ratings 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway). The CL63 AMG is equipped with a 6.3-liter V-8 engine rated at 518 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic with AMG SPEEDSHIFT (2008 EPA ratings 11 mpg city/18 mpg highway). The flagship CL65 AMG boasts a biturbo V-12 engine providing 604 hp and 738 lb.-ft. of torque, working through a 5-speed automatic transmission (2008 EPA ratings 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway). All of the CL models are rear-wheel drive and offer a 48-month/50,000-mile warranty.
All CL models come standard with PRE-SAFE, a Mercedes-Benz system that uses sophisticated electronics to sense an impending accident and prepare the vehicle and passengers for the situation. In the event of a collision, driver and front passenger are protected by dual-stage front air bags and side-impact air bags. Both front seats offer 3-point seat belts with pre-tensioning devices. The driver benefits from an additional air bag for the knees. In the event of a severe side impact, window curtain air bags deploy from the headliner and cover both the passenger windows in the front and rear. The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class has not been recently crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In the center of the instrument cluster is a color multi-function display. The driver is able to use steering-wheel controls to display various menus and features on command. These include a digital vehicle speedometer, radio and entertainment information, navigation route guidance, and cruise control settings. A unique \"tunnel mode\" button offers one-touch closing of all open windows, sunroof, and interior vents-pressing the button again restores everything to its original position. In addition to a Harmon/Kardon 600-watt digital surround-sound system, all CL models offer the Mercedes-Benz COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data) system for integrated control of all radio, navigation and vehicle settings.