Making its worldwide debut at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class embodies the kind of premium performance character that should have it feeling right at home. While visual changes are fairly modest, this exhilarating uber-coupe boasts a host of new technological innovations plus a more potent and efficient standard engine that add even greater luster to its already formidable presence.

Elegance with an edge

A more keenly drawn hood and soft fascia complement the restyled grille on both the CL500 4MATIC and CL600 while a prominent chrome strip now sets off the revamped lower air intakes. Also featured in the 2011 exterior remix are LED-strip daytime running lights beneath standard bi-xenon headlamps that incorporate both active curve illumination and standard Adaptive High Beam Assist. The rear treatment on this updated CL-Class sees minor revisions to both the taillamp and exhaust outlet designs. Inside, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class benefits from a modified multifunction steering wheel that now boasts softer Nappa leather inserts and a sportier overall appearance.

Power with a conscience

The most dramatic change for the 2011 CL-Class is found under the hood of the CL550 4MATIC where M-B's all-new 4.6-liter twin-turbo V8 replaces the current 5.5-liter engine. Despite its smaller displacement, this new direct-injected gem employs M-B's latest BlueDIRECT technology to turn out 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque compared to the 382/391 relative figures of the outgoing eight. Even more impressive, the BlueDIRECT enhancements allow it to do so while netting a 10-15 percent gain in fuel efficiency and producing 23 percent less CO2 emissions.

No changes are due the 5.5-liter V-12 in the range-topping CL600, which carries over with 510 horses on call and 612 lb-ft of twist. Somewhere in the not-too-distant future, the yet-to-be-revealed AMG version of the new CL-Class will also roll onto the scene motivated by the new and also super-efficient AMG-designed 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine with a peak output of up to 563 horses and maximum torque of up to 664 lb-ft.

Playing it even safer

Given its bounty of current passenger protection systems, the CL-Class hardly found itself wanting in the safety department. But for 2011, this classy coupe gains even more of the potentially life-saving right stuff. The biggest news is the availability of two new features, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. Both of these self-descriptive enhancements incorporate a new selective braking function that's automatically activated by the ESP stability system to help prevent a driver from inadvertently wandering into a potentially dangerous situation. Also for 2011, the standard Active Body Control (ABC) adds a crosswind stabilization feature and the anti-lock brakes gain Torque Vectoring circuitry, both of which had only been offered on the CL63/CL65 AMG models.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4MATIC and CL600 models will go on sale here in the fall. Pricing and formal EPA numbers have yet to be released.

New Car Spotlight


Free Dealer Price Quote

Get the best price and be more prepared with your free, no-obligation price quote