Redefining the Coupé standard: the C 216 series
- Taking driving safety into a new dimension with the PRE-SAFE® brake
- A control concept featuring fewer switches and more functions
In the fall of 2006 Mercedes-Benz brought the large Coupé of the C 216 series. The two-door model combined peerless exclusivity and charismatic design with the sort of cutting-edge technology that no other manufacturer worldwide can match. The luxury Coupé raised the bar in terms of vehicle safety with the PRE-SAFE® brakes: the unique system automatically braked the Coupé before an imminent rear-end collision. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz 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 came as standard. Two powerful engines with 8 or 12 cylinders were available, delivering a notable increase in output and torque. Thanks to their exemplary smoothness they also lived up to the Mercedes-Benz heritage of superb motoring refinement.
Compared with the outgoing model, the new Mercedes-Benz top-of-the-range Coupé grew only slightly in all dimensions. 5065 mm (199 in) long, 1871 mm (74 in) wide and 1418 mm (56 in) high, the body was just 75 mm (3 in) longer, 14 mm (0.55 in) wider and 20 mm (0.78 in) higher than before, providing even more comfort and space in all four seats. The boot capacity was increased by 40 litres (1.4 cu ft) to 490 litres/17 cu ft (VDA measuring method).
Launch with 8 and 12-cylinder powerplants
Equipped with the most powerful Mercedes-Benz engines available at the time of its launch, the new luxury Coupé was equal to any challenge whether on country road or motorway. The eight-cylinder powerplant in the CL 500 delivered 285 kW (382 hp) and generated a maximum torque of 530 Nm (391 lb-ft) from 2800 rpm. As such the newly developed engine outperformed the existing V8 unit by 26 percent in terms of output and 15 percent in terms of torque.
Equipped with four-valve technology, variably adjustable shifting camshafts, a two-stage intake module and tumble flaps in the intake ducts, the new V8 was among the most advanced, powerful engines in its displacement class. The CL 500 accelerated from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.4 seconds (previous model: 6.3 seconds).
An ultra-modern biturbo twelve-cylinder engine under the bonnet of the new CL 600 generated its impressive power. Mercedes-Benz engineers enhanced numerous details of the power unit and, compared to the predecessor model, increased output by 12 kW (16 hp) to 380 kW (510 hp). The maximum torque, already on tap from 1900 rpm, was improved further by 30 Nm (22 lb-ft) to 830 Nm (612 lb-ft) and remained constant up to 3500 rpm. The new CL 600 accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds (previous model: 4.8 seconds).
Mercedes-Benz combined the standard-fit automatic transmission with the new DIRECT SELECT gearshift. This allowed the driver to select the transmission settings “P,” “N,” “R” and “D” by nudging a lever on the steering column. Operating commands were transmitted electronically by wire.
PRE-SAFE®: automatic partial braking before an impending accident
The C 216 series incorporated technical innovations as standard that featured in no other passenger car worldwide. Mercedes-Benz was the world’s first car brand to develop an anticipatory occupant protection system that could recognise a potential accident situation in its early stages and take anticipatory occupant protection measures: PRE-SAFE® was standard-fit in the C 216 series. Mercedes-Benz complemented this multi-award-winning anticipatory protection system in the new Coupé for the first time with the newly developed PRE-SAFE® brake.
The PRE-SAFE® brake operated in tandem with Brake Assist PLUS (BAS PLUS), which warned the driver of an imminent rear-end collision with visual and audible signals and automatically calculated the required braking pressure to prevent an accident. This braking-power support was available as soon as the brake pedal was operated. If the driver failed to react to the BAS PLUS warnings, the PRE-SAFE® brakes triggered automatic partial braking where an accident was imminent and slowed the CL-Class down using around 40 percent of the total braking power. The automatic partial braking provided the driver with another clear warning to act. If the driver then immediately applied the brakes, the maximum braking force was available and – depending on the situation – the accident could be averted at the last moment. If an accident was unavoidable, the PRE-SAFE® brakes reduced the impact severity and, in turn, the risk of injury to the vehicle occupants.
Active Body Control and Intelligent Light System
An even more sophisticated version of the Active Body Control ABC suspension system was used in the C 216 series, giving the Coupé unprecedented handling dynamics while offering an equally appreciable improvement in ride comfort.
The Intelligent Light System made driving even safer in the dark. Together with bi-xenon headlamps it formed part of the standard specification for the new CL-Class and provided five different lighting functions that were activated to match driving and weather conditions: the new country road mode illuminated the driver’s-side edge of the road more widely and brightly than the existing low-beam headlamps. Motorway mode, which came on automatically when driving above 90 km/h (56 mph), delivered a uniform cone of light that illuminated the entire road width. In the centre of this cone the driver was able to see around 50 metres (164 ft) further. The enhanced fog lamps were also new, which Mercedes-Benz used to provide better orientation in adverse weather conditions. Active light function and cornering light function were also part of the standard-fit Intelligent Light System on the CL-Class.
The CL Coupé established the mould for a new Mercedes-Benz style. Its hallmark was the interaction between distinctive tightly drawn lines with large, unruffled surfaces. This design idiom lent the Coupé its own particular expressive power, emphasising the calm and inner strength of its athletic, self-confident nature. Familiar Mercedes-Benz features were given a contemporary twist, resulting in a harmonious blend of the classic and contemporary. Examples included the hallmark Mercedes-Benz radiator grille with its wide chrome louvres and the design of the C-pillar. The unique, slightly downwards-tapering pillar configuration was a typical feature of the large Mercedes-Benz Coupés.
The interior was also designed for stylish comfort and relaxation. Five colour combinations were available; automatic climate control, COMAND with car radio and CD/DVD player as well as a glass sunroof were all part of the standard specification, elements that came together to deliver a unique motoring and comfort experience. In the top-of-the-line CL 600 the Exclusive PASSION leather appointments, specially selected poplar wood and an Alcantara roof liner with quilted seams provided the finishing touches to an exquisite first-class ambience, a look and feel also echoed in the seats with their designo styling, the chromed door sill panels and floor mats with leather edging. The standard specification also included dynamic multicontour seats with massage function and seat ventilation, the hard-disc navigation system COMAND APS, the LOGIC7® surround sound system with DVD changer and the KEYLESS-GO access and drive authorisation system.
A newly developed control system, which had already been successfully implemented in the S-Class worldwide, refined driver-vehicle interaction even further. Above all, it provided convenient, rapid access to frequently used functions such as car radio, DVD player, car phone or navigation system. The standard-fit automatic climate control with four independently adjustable temperature zones was also integrated into the new control system. The driver and front passenger could select temperature, air distribution and other settings either using the COMAND controller and menu-based control, or by means of an attractively styled switch array beneath the air vents.
The newly developed integral seats in the CL-Class provide maximum individual seating comfort. “Integral” means that all components of the seat-belt system are incorporated directly into the seat; hence the seats form an important component in the occupant protection system. Optional extras include luxury seats with active ventilation (standard in the CL 600) that provide even more individual comfort, along with the further enhanced multicontour seats with nine air cushions, and dynamic multicontour seats with massage function (standard in the CL 600).