2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS coupe
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Stylish CLS Four-Door Coupe Is Even More Irresistible
MONTVALE, nj – After making its fashion runway debut only three years ago as the world’s first four-door coupe, the highly successful Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is getting a facelift for the 2009 model year. An instant style icon from day one, the CLS coupe has spurred an automotive industry trend toward more eye-catching four-door cars – vehicles that blur the line between coupe and sedan.
The sleek new nose of the CLS is complemented by a more dramatic two-bar grill (replacing the original four-bar grill), with upper and lower mesh now finished in Atlas Grey. Larger outside mirrors now feature built-in arrow-shaped turn signals, and new dual-five-spoke 18-inch wheels make the car even more striking. A new rear bumper with trapezoidal dual exhaust pipes and arrow-shaped LED taillights complete the fresh look of the new model.
Opening the driver’s door reveals a sportier three-spoke steering wheel and new gauges in white with silver backgrounds. And, a new COMAND display in the center console now incorporates Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone operation, a six-CD “stacker” unit and voice control of audio and phone.
Two Sleek Models for 2009
For the 2009 model year, the CLS line will include the CLS550, powered by a DOHC four-valve-per-cylinder V8 engine that produces 382-horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, and the high-performance CLS63 AMG, fitted with a AMG-designed 6.2-liter V8 that produces 507 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque.
A handsome, coupe-like car that boasts the comfort and convenience of four doors, the CLS line features sleek, sensuous exterior lines. Its large rear doors and spacious rear seats also represent tangible added value.
Those stylish contours continue throughout the interior, which is complemented by an abundance of leather and wood. Its three chronometer-type gauges and two LCD bar graphs in the instrument cluster are accented by chrome rings and more wood trim. Four-zone climate control regulates temperature separately for each front and rear seat. The rear passengers even have their own digital control panel for setting a desired temperature and adjusting airflow.
The COMAND color display screen uses one set of easy-to-use controls for the audio system (includes AM/FM/ weatherband and CD), standard satellite radio and optional features such as GPS satellite navigation. The system includes a full array of mobile communications functions when combined with the optional phone.
A standard harman/kardon Logic 7 digital surround sound system provides a luxurious listening experience. The system converts every conventional stereo signal from the radio and CD player into surround sound with seven output channels, offering audio perfection for passengers, regardless of where they are sitting. The sound system includes a digital signal processor, has a total output of 480 watts and plays through 12 high-end speakers, including two speakers on the rear parcel shelf that produce the surround effect. The system even adjusts volume automatically to compensate for ambient driving noise.
The CLS offers optional heated and active ventilated seats, an option first introduced in the S-Class. Fans inside each of the front seats draw air from the footwell that flows evenly through the perforated leather upholstery so that seats heated by the summer sun can cool down quickly.
AMG Racing Success Spawns High-Power Production Engine
The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is powered by one of the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8s ever, also the first engine developed entirely by AMG. Built almost completely from a high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, the 6.3-liter features four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, bucket tappets (rather than rocker arms), an 11.3-to 1 compression ratio and a variable intake manifold.
AMG engineers designed the 6.3-liter engine block with an especially rigid bedplate with cast-in steel reinforcements at the main bearing, and a sturdy closed-deck layout beside the cylinder heads. A first for a production engine, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire-arc-sprayed (TWAS) coating, a new process that results in impressively low friction and running surfaces that are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinders. Sharing no parts with Mercedes-Benz V8 engines, the 6.3 AMG engine revs freely to over 7,000 rpm, yet already produces nearly 90 percent of its peak torque at only 2,000 rpm.
Power is transmitted to the rear wheels of the CLS63 AMG via a seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission that can be shifted manually by either a conventional lever or Formula-1 style shift paddles on the AMG sport steering wheel. AMG Speedshift electronic control provides 35% faster gear shifts, and to give performance-minded drivers total control of shifting, the manual mode of AMG Speedshift doesn’t make any automatic upshifts or downshifts – even at max engine speed or full load.
The Super Model Gets a Hot Chassis
AMG engineers developed a sports suspension for the CLS63 AMG that’s based on the Mercedes-Benz semi-active air suspension. The CLS63 AMG air suspension includes automatic level control that maintains ride height even when the car is loaded with passengers and cargo, and the driver can choose from three sport-comfort settings as well. For flatter cornering, the springs, shocks and stabilizer bars are stiffer than on the CLS550.
Speed-sensitive power steering ensures low steering effort for low speed maneuvers such as parallel parking but automatically reduces the steering assist above 60 mph to provide good road feel.
To help handle all the power, the ESP system can apply the brakes on just one wheel to transfer torque to the wheels with better traction, achieving much the same effect as a limited-slip differential. Beefier driveshafts, heavy-duty rear suspension parts and a stronger differential housing with cooling fins complete the package.
To make sure the CLS63 AMG stops as fast as it goes, giant vented and perforated disc brakes all around feature 14-inch discs and six-piston calipers up front and 13-inch discs with four-piston calipers at the rear. Staggered 19-inch wheels with 8 ½ and 9 ½ inch widths carry 255 / 35 tires in front and 285 / 30 at the rear.
A 186-MPH Option
The CLS63 AMG can be ordered with the optional performance package that allows a 186-mph top speed instead of the usual 155-mph speed limiter. Other features in the package include AMG Airmatic sport suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, larger front discs (15.4- inch diameter), a limited-slip differential and a leather and Alcantara-wrapped AMG sport steering wheel.
The technicians at Mercedes-AMG actually assemble every engine by hand, ensuring precision tolerances. Individual workmanship and skill are paramount – each technician is responsible for a complete engine, an approach that has been labelled, “One Man, One Engine.” The craftsman installs each and every part himself with the utmost care, from the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons to the wire harness. When the job is done, a plaque signed by the technician is affixed to the engine as a symbol of the personal pride and care taken with each engine.
AMG has been a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler since 1999 and is located near Stuttgart in Affalterbach, Germany. AMG employs 650 specialists in development, production and administrative areas. AMG develops each of its models, from the engine and driveline to suspension, brakes, chassis and aerodynamics. Each engine is produced and tested at AMG's headquarters in Affalterbach, and AMG models are assembled at the main Mercedes-Benz vehicle assembly plants.
More photos: 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS Photo Gallery
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