Mercedes-Benz CL65

AMG's most powerful engine

Text & Photos: Mercedes-Benz AMG

Six months after celebrating the company's 35th anniversary, Mercedes presents its most powerful model to date in the shape of the CL 65 AMG. This exclusive flagship coupé is powered by a newly designed 6 litre V12 engine whose bi-turbo technology gives it a level of performance previously unheard of in this engine size class: the twelve-cylinder power plant has an output of 612 hp and develops its maximum torque of 1000 Newton/metres between 2000 and 4000 rpm.

The Coupé has the performance characteristics of a thoroughbred sports car and is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds (provisional figure) and then on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. The CL 65 AMG will have its market launch in autumn 2003.

The new engine is the latest in a series of high performance V12s begun in 1995 with the 7.3-litre SL 73 AMG (525 hp). In 1997, the street version of the CLK-GTR with its 600 hp 6.9-litre V12 set new standards for super-sportscars and in 2001, Mercedes-AMG presented another two exclusive V12 high-end models in the form of the S 63 AMG and the CL 63 AMG (444 hp).

The increase in the displacement from 5513 to 5980 cc is achieved by an increase in cylinder bore from 82.0 to 82.6 millimetres and a new crank giving extended stroke from 87 to 93mm. These are just some of many measures responsible for the enhanced performance and torque available which also include new forged pistons, new main and conrod bearings, modified oil pump and larger oil cooler as well as turbo pressure increased to 1.5 bar. Needless to say a completely revised engine management system which also includes new wastegate valve actuation control for both turbochargers, completes the list of major modifications to be found in the new AMG V12.

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Outstanding performance

The characteristically rich sound of an AMG twelve-cylinder engine is due to the new AMG exhaust system featuring a new muffler design and two twin tailpipes. The CL 65 AMG already complies with the EU-4 exhaust emission standard which comes into force from 2005.

A special plate on the new engine cover reflects the exclusive character of the high-performance V12 bi-turbo power plant. The "one man, one engine" philosophy is documented by the signature of the specialist who assembled the twelve-cylinder unit by hand in the AMG engine facility.

Power is transmitted by a five-speed automatic transmission with SPEEDSHIFT and steering-wheel-mounted gearshift controls. Various transmission components have been optimised to ensure safe and reliable handling of the high maximum torque level of 1000 Newton metres, which is available across a broad engine-speed range (between 2000 and 4000 rpm).

The CL 65 AMG is equipped as standard with Active Body Control (ABC) and special AMG spring struts designed for a firmer response. Dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, Brake Assist, ASR and ESP® having had to be fully reworked in order to cope with the high level of power available from the bi-turbo engine.

When designing the AMG high-performance braking system, the engineers drew on their extensive experience acquired during more than three decades of motorsport. The front wheels are equipped with a newly developed eight-piston composite brake with a 390 x 36 mm grey cast-iron disc and aluminium brake-disc bowl. Compared with conventional braking systems, this system offers a weight saving of about 20 percent and also has a greater thermal capability. Contact with the road is taken care of by AMG 19-inch twin-spoke wheels equipped with mixed-size tyres. The 8.5-inch-wide front wheels are fitted with 245/40 ZR 19 tyres, while the 9-inch-wide rear wheels have 275/35 ZR 19 tyres.

Exclusive features

The CL 65 AMG is equipped as standard with the distinctive AMG styling package; the chromed "V12 Biturbo" lettering on both front wings indicates the exceptional dynamic qualities of this top coupé.

This sporty exterior is complemented by the superb interior appointments: the "Exclusive Nappa" leather upholstery, which is available in three colours, and the extensive use of fine wood trim elements creating a typically stylish ambience. Electrically adjustable sports seats with the exclusive AMG piping layout and perforation pattern, optimised lateral support, memory function, and seat heating aim to make every journey a delight, whether it involves twisting country roads or long-distance motorway cruising.

The distinctive style of the twelve-cylinder flagship model is rounded off by the instrument cluster calibrated up to 360 km/h, the ergonomic steering wheel with gearshift buttons, and chromed stainless-steel door sills.

The facts; Mercedes CL65 AMG

Engine: 5980cc 36-valve V12
Power: 612bhp @ 4750-5100rpm
Torque: 1000nm @ 2000-4000rpm
Transmission: 5 speed automatic transmission with SPEEDSHIFT & wheel-mounted gearshift controls
Brakes: Discs front and rear. Front discs 8 piston set-up with 390 x 36mm grey cast-iron disc in aluminium carrier
Wheels/tyre: AMG 19" alloy wheels. 1245/40 ZR 19 tyres/front, 275/35 ZR 19 tyres/rear.
Dimensions: Length:4993 mm Width: 1857 mm. Weight: 2130 kgs
Acceleration: 0 to 100 kmh/62 mph 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 250 kmh/155mph - limited.
Price & availability: Price TBA, from Summer 2003