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New Mercedes CL breaks cover

26 June 2006

This is the new Mercedes CL luxury coupe, which goes on sale in the UK next spring.

The range-topping coupe is likely to cost from around £78,000, but buyers will be given plenty of power and toys for their cash.

The 383bhp entry-level 5.5-litre V8 CL500 sweeps from 0-62mph in only 5.4sec, nearly a second quicker than the outgoing CL500. The CL600 uses a 510bhp 5.5-litre V12 and reaches 62mph in 4.6sec, 0.2sec faster than before. Expect to pay over £100,000 for this version. Both are limited to a top speed of 155mph.

Even more powerful versions are on the way too if you've got more than £100,000 to spend. Pick from a 510bhp CL63 AMG, probably available from launch, or a 612bhp CL65 AMG arriving in the summer.

All will be crammed with luxury and safety equipment - four-zone climate control, leather upholstery, electric seat adjustment, CD/DVD player, satellite-navigation, cruise control and a large glass sunroof are all likely to be standard.

The CL600 will have extra treats, such as ventilated seats that can give you a massage, keyless entry and start-up, and voice-operated controls.

Innovative technology includes headlights with five different shapes of beam for different driving conditions and an optional Brake Assist Plus system that automatically applies the brakes to avoid rear-end collisions. Currently the system only uses 40% of available braking power. Eventually, once sensor technology has improved, Mercedes promises it will use all braking potential .

Parking sensors are fitted to every model, but can also be backed up by a system which measures the size of free spaces as the CL passes and lets the driver know which ones they'll be able to squeeze into.

They'll need to be fairly big spaces - the CL is 75mm longer than the outgoing model, measuring 5065mm.

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