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"Meeting with The King"

Imagine a car whose purchase price exceeds 1 million PLN , its motor is almost twice as powerful as those installed in modern buses, and in addition it was made by hand in a separate factory room, which produces only 20,000 engines within a year. „ One man, one engine” , according to this rule AMG company (Aufrecht Melcher Grosaspach) constructs drive units in its factory in Sindelfingen for the most prestigious models of the brand which is considered one of the best in the automotive industry in the world. Just thinking about Mercedes CL 65 AMG many times I moved to the land of dreams , I heard legends, which said this car leaves more than one motorcycle behind, burns as much fuel as tanker performing port maneuvers and surpasses S class when talking about driving comfort , which undoubtedly occupied two of the first two places in its class through the „centuries” of its existence. There is some truth in every fairy tale, I present to you this car from my point of view, but in turn.
Mercedes CL (W216) came out in 2006 and became the successor of the W215 but had some problems, what probably knows every motoring fan. Its weaknesses referred mainly to vehicle’s suspension which was very complicated and if it broke down, the costs of its repair were simply astronomical, in V12 engines coil packs gone bad, costing a few thousands PLN each (there were two), and the materials used for the interior design were medium quality. These shortcomings left the users of the car disappointed, even the legend of its great-grandfather (W140 model) didnt help and those failures could not have been forgotten. The W216 model was supposed to change that, the bodycar and car interior were redesigned, new technical solutions have been introduced to improve driving safety and ABC (Active Body Control) type suspension has been improved . In my opinion it was bull’s-eye not to put diesels in to the offer just staying with V8 and V12 engines. The car was supposed to be expensive, unique and unrepeatable, well in those days it probably was.

 

A wolf in sheep's clothing”

 

Many times I had to deal with cars with great power and I must admit that they often looked scary, their bodies had sharp lines, heavily body car embossing, big car grills, and plenty of carbon fiber elements emphasizing the sports pedigree. This Mercedes is different, despite the fact that the sample I tested has just turned 10 years it would embarrass more than one younger rival on the road although it is not visible. The body car look is much more luxurious than sporty, we will not find here huge, ostentatious air intakes, headlights resembling the blade of a samurai sword or splitters made of materials used in the aviation industry. I got the impression that all the elements that are characteristic for sports cars found themselves in CL class due to necessity of maintaing the best driveability such a powerful car. Looking closely, I noticed wide, extended fenders, diffuser with huge mufflers of exhaust system and brakes that I have never seen before on a series car. The rest of the body elements are classic of an elegant Coupe, a gently sloping rear window disappearing under the trunk, frameless glass in the door, and tail lights overlapping the fenders, and all in size XL. CL reminds me of a weightlifter, but not one with the hanging belly or weight similar to the railway wagon but that one who managed to turn every pound of fat into muscles, and he wore a well-tailored suit and he entered the salons arousing many positive emotions. It is strong, shaped, but at the same time it moves with grace and is elegant. That's how the Mercedes CL 65 AMG looks.., according to my opinion, of course. Traditionally, I'm looking inside, because I don’t like sticking outside and talking infinitely about lamps, wheels and bumpers;) Inside peachy!, four seats, but as if they were created individually for the needs of each narrow and selected passengers list. The materials used to finish the interior, despite of 10 years of exploitation, look like new, but largely it is owner’s credit, but I judge what I see and I see freshness despite the years. The front seats are huge, they look like a royal throne, which you can additionally adjust using the buttons, placed traditionally on the driver's and passenger's door. The Clock from IWC Schaffhausen, door sill with AMG inscription, looking like a rail, long and wide center console; in a word everything is big, decent and expensive. The central monitor in this car is a combination of modernity and the past, we will find traditional indicators determining the fuel level,, temperature of the coolant, engine speed and an electronic display indicating the vehicle speed, driving mode, active distronic plus device and night vision trailer as well as car settings. On the right side of the center console there is a small color monitor which you can use pressing the button and steer right or left, depending on who is using its functions the driver or the passenger. The functions are not very expanded and are practically limited to controlling the phone, navigation, internal and external lighting, audio/video system control. In modern AMG cars, we can configure driving modes, influence the level of suspension hardness and steering system, we can separately influence the work of the gearbox and engine and we also have decision-making powers regarding the interference of the ESP system into our adult fun on the racetrack. Here it is simply, clearly and legibly, we can choose Comfort, Sport and Manual driving mode, we can operate the traction control system but only (turn on, turn off), I do not recommend the second option, which I will tell you in a moment. By using the button located at the top between the tachometer and the display on the center console, you can lift the suspension, for example, in order to enter the garage with a big slope. Basically, that's all , the rest is controlled by the computer.

 

Infinite power”

 

I must admit that I was slightly afraid when I sat behind the wheel of this car, after all I knew what I was dealing with, and the technical data gave me some chills.., or maybe only goosebumps ;). The engine of this monster is V12, its capacity is 6 liters, power of 612 horsepower when assisted with two turbochargers, torque 1000 Newton meters only transferred to the rear wheels via a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Fully aware of how big power plant I will manage I pressed the ENGINE START button… The sound of the working starter is the same as we can hear during the start of engines in supercars, the sound of the CL-engine on low speed is throaty, bass, here is no speaker amplifying engine’s purr, work culture is amazing, no vibrations, just the sound of a great twelve-cylinder machinery.
With the help of the gearshift switch which is in the place of the wiper switch of an ordinary car, I run DRIVE and start. I pressed gas but something went wrong, the car did not really want to go, it took me a moment to realize that the ESP indicator blinks like crazy trying to tell me “ wait a minute buddy, that's not the game, calm down, remind yourself what you drive and then start”, I did as it ordered. Inside you can hear nothing, neither what is happening outside nor the engine. Driving peacefully, the car just flows and we are immersed in comfortable seats, flowing too. Feeling a huge mass, but also a suspension work, which is clearly sport-tuned. In my opinion S-class is more comfortable at least driving on the roughness. At the first length of a straight road, I pressed the gas a little harder, the sound I heard resembled a strong wind blow, and the car with the blinking traction control light started regularly to tear the asphalt out the rear wheels. In the middle range of engine speed, the sound is indescribable, I have never heard the laughter of Hector's the mythological fighter for Troy, Priam's son from ancient Greece, but I'm sure it's more or less something like that. Torque is felt every time, regardless of the gear we are currently driving and the speed at which we move. The emotions must be always and everywhere.., and they are. After activating the Sport mode, operating parameters of the gearbox change, while the steering and suspension work is managed by a computer depending on the surface and the speed at which we drive. The Active Body Control system hardens the suspension and does not allow any excessive tilts of the body in turns. As the speed increases, we can feel more resistance to the steering wheel, the harder work of the suspension, and the driver's seat movement, which alternately controls the side supports, tries to keep us still in a position behind the wheel. I will not intentionally write about the speed of gear changes bearing in mind the age of the car. The modern gearboxes such as PDK from Porsche or modern Mercedes Speedshift work much faster, but 10 years in the world of motorization is a big gulf therefore when describing this car I try to look from the perspective of that period. Driving in this sport mode, I realized at some point that it was completely pointless, because this motor has such strength, that there is no difference between the speed or the gear we are driving at, or the current driving mode. Every gas press basically, regardless of the speed, ends with rear wheels „undercut”. The CL 65 does not accelerate by shooting from the exhaust pipe, tearing off our head by the way, the acceleration can be felt, but you can also see it on the electronic speedometer, whose indicator follows at one speed from zero to infinity. If you add gas on the bend, you can be sure that traction control system will react, every willing use of gas will end in skidding of rear wheels, if overtaking other cars keep in mind that you will first deal with the traction and only then you will properly start maneuvering.., and… I m talking all the time about the dry surface.
I know, I'm monothematic, but I will stubbornly remind that if you ever drive a car type like S600, SL600, or some AMG 63, 65 etc. remember that these cars, despite the prevailing silence in the cabin are accelerating from zero to 250 km/h uniformly accelerated movement.., cool, but sometimes you have to stop them, and here, unfortunately, the laws of physics work the same way for every vehicle regardless of the car brand and model. I remember that the older S-Classes moved forward with the brake pedal pressed until the end like a locomotive without ABS during emergency braking. CL 65 AMG is equipped with eight-piston brakes dedicated to this model, let’s agree that testing their capabilities in urban or even extra-urban conditions is impossible. I took one try of sudden braking this giant outside the city from 100 km/h, my impressions? Indeed, if someone puts on my wheel forceps, the car tried to stick the surface with the whole mass, but what was the ratio to the meters? I do not know. While playing with this galleon, I noticed that the fuel consumption indicator fluctuates within 31 ltr/ 100 km, but I am not surprised by this fact, remember that it is one of the largest engines known to modern motorization. After these few words about this amazing vehicle, it's time to summarize it.

Would I like the Mercedes CL 65 AMG (W216) to be in my garage?
Oh, I would like to, but with some fears. This car is undoubtedly an automotive gem, it looks timeless, its technical capabilities may no longer evoke such emotions compared to many other, faster modern toys, but it is not important. This car has this "something" that distinguishes it from the others. The sound of its engine, great strength closed in a rather inconspicuous body, and the climate that many modern cars are deprived of. Without a doubt, this Mercedes has already permanently enrolled on the automotive history, it has its own separate shelf in a small room, exactly the one in which its engine was created which is the soul and heart of this beautiful car. I consider this car is not for everyone, its operating costs are huge, you need to have big skills to drive it, and above all a great fantasy and a thick wallet to buy it .., but can not a rich man afford this?
So we can end on a happy note, and now I invite you to look at some photos, thank you for your time and greet you warmly.

 

Artur Rojewski

Mercedes CL 65 AMG 2008
09 November 2018

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Attention! This site is for information purposes only, does not promote any driving style and is not of a training nature. All cars covered by the descriptions and photos posted on this site are used in accordance with traffic regulations and with the highest security measures in order not to cause any damage to road users. The author of the blog is not responsible for other road users who in a manner inconsistent with traffic regulations or with the exposure to the health and life of others, will use vehicles on public roads and outside them.