Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

Production Cars 27 Jun 2006
Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

Mercedes-Benz has released the official images and information about the new CL-Class coupé, that will be launched in autumn 2006.

From the official Press Release:

Mercedes-Benz new CL ClassThe large Mercedes Coupés have been synonymous with style and exclusivity in the automotive industry for decades. They set the standard in terms of design and equipment, combine exemplary safety with an outstanding level of comfort and assured handling. In short, Mercedes Coupés are extraordinary dream cars — automobile classics.

The new CL-Class is another Mercedes-Benz masterpiece. Just as the luxury coupé points the way to the future with its innovative technology, the design has also set the mould for a new Mercedes style.

Its hallmark is the interaction between distinctive tightly drawn lines with large, unruffled surfaces.

This design lends the Coupé its own particular expressive power, emphasising the calm and power of its powerful, self-confident nature.

Mercedes-Benz CL-Class model chronology
Mercedes-Benz CL-Class model chronology
Familiar Mercedes features have been given a contemporary twist, resulting in a harmonious blend of the classic and contemporary.

Examples include the hallmark Mercedes radiator grille with its wide chrome louvres, and the design of the C-pillar.

The unique, slightly downwards-tapering pillar configuration is a typical feature of the large Mercedes Coupés whose roots go right back to the 1950s: in 1956 the 220 S/SE Coupé (W 180/W 128 model series) first captured attention with this striking C-pillar design, and a few years later the concept was further refined in the successor model, the 220 SE Coupé (W 111/112).

Other design features which were already acclaimed back then have also been reinterpreted for the CL-Class, keeping alive the large coupé tradition of the Mercedes-Benz brand: the fully retractable side windows, for instance, whose continuous aperture is not interrupted by a B-pillar, and the large, curving panoramic rear window.

Mercedes-Benz new CL Class In the early days this was a typical styling feature of the Mercedes Coupés, and in its stylistically evolved form for the new CL-Class it is just as appealing as in the 220 SE Coupé of 1961.

Mercedes innovations such as the Active Body Control (ABC) suspension system, the Intelligent Light System with five lighting functions and PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection all come as standard. Furthermore, the luxury Coupé raises the bar in terms of vehicle safety with the PRE-SAFE® brakes: the unique system automatically brakes the Coupé before an imminent rear-end collision.

Two powerful engines with eight or 12 cylinders are available, delivering a notable increase in output and torque.

Exterior Design

According to Mercedes-Benz, the new CL-Class’ design "joins the S-Class in being a protagonist for a new aesthetic appearance – a new Mercedes style, based on the principles of modern purism, i.e. on a clear, unostentatious design idiom with interplay between striking lines and calm surfaces. This lends the Coupé a very special presence, underlining the unruffled calm and strength of its unique character."

Mercedes-Benz new CL ClassMany links with the past emphasise the heritage of passenger cars. This is done by including familiar Mercedes characteristics, which are reinterpreted and incorporated into the design concept to form an exciting composition of progress and tradition.

One example is the front end, where the louvred radiator grille with its central Mercedes star unmistakably confirms the car’s identity.

The designers in Sindelfingen have positioned this traditional feature of sporty Mercedes models at a steeper angle than in the preceding series, also equipping it with wide, highly expressive chrome louvres.

This contributes to the extremely powerful and self-assured appearance of the new CL-Class, which is further reinforced by the more pronounced wedge shape of the entire front end.

Mercedes-Benz CL Class headlamp detailThe headlamps, equipped with the Intelligent Light System, are one of the most striking features of this Mercedes Coupé and lend a special touch to its overall appearance.

The bi-xenon module and an additional high-beam headlamp are enclosed in highly polished cylinders reminiscent of expensive camera lenses.

Viewed from the front, the transparent lenses of the headlamps form a single unit with the radiator grille which impressively emphasises the visual width of the vehicle body.

The side view shows that the headlamps are perfectly blended into the wings, creating a flowing transition from the front end to the flanks. As a result the entire front section appears to have been moulded from a single piece. The indicator strip horizontally arranged in the lower headlamp section harmoniously follows the sweeping contours of the front bumper, which likewise extends well into the flanks to frame the lighting units.

Wings: expressive anatomy

Mercedes-Benz new CL Class"The eye is directed towards the wheel arches and wings, where new highlights are to be found in the body language of the Mercedes Coupé. The stylishly contoured wings enable the two-door car to flex its muscles discreetly yet purposefully. Intentionally rather taut and physical, the pronounced, rounded contours of the wings arch over the wheels and symbolise the power residing beneath the elegant outer skin of the CL-Class."

"Athleticism coupled with serenity, power with prestige: the body "anatomy" created by the designers ensures that from every angle, the two-door Coupé has a wide, self-assured presence on the road. The interplay between lines and surfaces is equally expressive, as the soft, rounded forms of the bumper and wings contrast with the taut outside lines of the bonnet – visual demarcation lines which lend additional contours to the front end and mark a transition to the large, calm surface of the bonnet itself."

The sharp outer lines of the bonnet have another importance for the design concept, as they form a gentle, flowing transition to the A-pillars, elegantly connecting the front end to the passenger compartment.

The side view

Mercedes-Benz new CL ClassOne of the distinguishing aspects of the modern purism inherent in the new Mercedes style is the interplay between taut lines and elegantly contoured, calm surfaces. A coupé like the CL-Class particularly lends itself to this design theme: two lines drawn at different heights give the flanks their formal structure, subdivide the large areas and act as major styling features to define the dignified appearance of the car’s elongated silhouette. These lines have a special visual impact, attract attention and appeal to the emotions of the observer.

The designers refer to one of these lines as the character line; this structures the upper third of the vehicle flanks, also providing an appealing refractive edge between the concave and convex door surfaces. In this way the design uses light and shadow very effectively, ensuring a variety of contrasts when viewed from any perspective. At the rear this character line precisely meets the rear light cluster, which extends well into the flanks and continues its course gently downwards.

The shoulder line lies above the character line, emerging organically from the front wings and extending to the rear above the waistline. This muscular shoulder supports the slim, almost filigree A-pillar which in turn gives rise to the third characteristic line of the Mercedes Coupé, namely the roofline. This spans the body in a light but pronounced curve, defines the line of the C-pillar and gently dips down with it into the rear end of the Mercedes Coupé. A fine chrome strip on the upper frame of the side windows follows the roofline and emphasises its curved contour.

C-pillar: living tradition

Mercedes-Benz new CL ClassThe design of the C-pillar demonstrates how Mercedes designers are at pains to combine tradition with modernity. This unique, slightly tapering pillar configuration is a typical coupé feature whose roots go right back to the 1950s: in 1956 the Model 220 S/SE Coupé (model series W 180/W 128) first captured attention with such a C-pillar design, and a few years later it was further perfected in the successor model, the 220 SE Coupé (W 111/112).

Other design features which were already acclaimed at that time have also been reinterpreted in the new CL-Class, keeping alive the great coupé tradition of the Mercedes-Benz brand: for example, the fully retractable side windows, whose continuous aperture is not interrupted by a B-pillar, and the large, curving panoramic rear window. In the early years this was a typical styling feature of Mercedes Coupés, and in its stylistically evolved form it is just as appealing as in the 220 SE Coupé of 1961.

Rear end

Mercedes-Benz new CL ClassThe masterly blend of surfaces and lines which characterises the flanks of the luxury Coupé is continued at the rear. The eye is immediately drawn to the large, panoramic rear window, which makes for a rounded, exquisitely modelled rear end together with the soft lines of the C-pillar and the boot lid.

The rear light clusters extending well into the sides of the rear end are intended to shorten the visual impression of the rear and create sporty, muscular proportions. Both rear light clusters act as a continuation of the character lines along the flanks, cleverly extending these by means of a colour division in the lens, and thereby act together with the V-shaped joins of the boot lid to produce the typical Mercedes rear-end design.

The rear-end design makes a statement on two levels: by virtue of its muscular proportions it confirms the sporty attributes of the new CL Coupé, which are also emphasised by the horizontally structured rear bumper and the two prominent exhaust tailpipes. On the other hand the beautifully sculptured rear light clusters, the wide chrome strip on the boot lid and other details provide a touch of elegance. They dominate the overall visual impression and thereby reflect the true character of the Mercedes Coupé.

Interior Design

Mercedes-Benz new CL Class"There is no doubt that the sweeping flanks are the most appealing visual aspects of the new CL-Class – especially when the windows are open to afford an unimpeded view of the interior.

"No window frame or B-pillar interrupts this continuous aperture. This is where the fascination of a coupé begins, blending the exterior and interior into a single unit for the observer."

The large window aperture invites the eye into the interior, where it is drawn to the attractive contours of the dashboard. It immediately becomes obvious that everything in the interior is designed for comfort and relaxation.

Mercedes-Benz CL Class - InteriorThe atmosphere is like that of an exclusive club: take a seat and let the senses of vision, smell and touch be spoiled by pleasing forms, fine materials, tasteful colour combinations and attention to detail.

the area of the dashboard and centre console features a vertically arranged architecture which already proved highly successful in the preceding series.

It is in line with current design concepts for sporty automobiles and shows that in addition to elegance and exclusivity, the CL-Class is certainly no slouch in the performance stakes.

By virtue of the vertically arranged design principle, the centre console and tunnel lining form a single stylistic and functional unit which extends right back into the rear, carries important control features such as the COMAND controller and provides a great deal of stowage space.

Mercedes-Benz CL Class - InteriorIn addition, the continuous tunnel lining with its comfortable armrest emphasises the spacious dimensions of the interior.


For the integral seats have a choice of five colour combinations: black/black, basalt grey/dark basalt grey, cognac brown/black, savanna beige/cashmere beige and sahara beige/black.

They also have a choice of exotic wood trim for the centre console, doors and rear side panels: even the burr walnut coming from California is available in two variations – with a dark gloss or matt silk finish.

Black ash wood is another option, and hand-picked poplar wood is specially reserved for the CL 600. In the top-of-the-line V12 model it is also used for the wood/leather steering wheel and for the handrest of the COMAND controller.

For the seat upholstery, three different grades of leather are available, all with a low level of pre-tensioning for a ruffled effect and a soft, comfortable appearance even at first glance.

(Source: Mercedes-Benz)

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