Mercedes CL facelift (2010): first official photosFri, 02 Jul 2010 00:00:00 -0700
This is the newly facelifted Mercedes CL500; although previously tipped to be called the S-Class Coupé, Mercedes stuck with the original name after all.
Alongside the soon-to-be industry-standard daytime running lights and updated grille, lights and exhaust, most of the changes on the new 2010 Merc CL are in areas you can't see.
The biggest change is in the engine bay: out goes the old 5.5-litre V8 and in comes a more powerful and economical 4.7-litre bi-turbo. Headline figures are 429bhp and 516lb ft of torque, yet CO2 is a slimline-for-the-grunt 225g/km and nearly 30mpg is claimed. The big coupé powers to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, while Mercedes has still kept the 510bhp 6.0-litre V12 for the UK market, tweaking it slightly to meet Euro V emissions targets.
You bet. There are acronyms aplenty, including a rather terrifying new gizmo that over-rides the driver if you try and change lane into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The Active Blind Spot Assist system spots the hazard and triggers the brake on the opposite side to tug the car away from danger. It's yet another erosion of driver liberties or a brilliant safety innovation depending on your outlook.
Being the S-class's two-door sibling, the CL makes sure that the driver is very much kept on their toes in other ways too. Its supercomputer brains make sure that you're staying in lane, keeping an eye out for people (and animals) in the dark, watching your blindspots, taking in road signs, compensating for crosswinds and not falling asleep. On top of this the computer will change its headlight brightness and direction depending on road conditions and whether anyone else is on the road. All familiar gadgets from other top-dog Mercs.
The Splitview front display is now available, letting front passengers watch a DVD or TV on the move. The voice-controlled sat-nav is now in 3D and owners are able to store 2500 MP3s on the built-in hard drive, listened through a Harman Kardon surround-sound system.
Being a top-of-the-range Mercedes, expect all of this to be experienced in a cocoon of leather and wood, which Mercedes now emphasise is responsibly sourced. Reassuring.
Currently Mercedes have only officially unveiled the V8 and V12 but expect the AMG variants to come thick and very fast. Currently Mercedes are offering AMG options, such as wheels, brakes and bumpers, but we will have to wait a little bit longer before the beefy engines are available.
By Mark Passer