Hidden behind the development abbreviation C216 the next generation of Mercedes’ largest coupe is being tested and prepared for its world premiere at the Geneva Auto Salon in March 2006.
The 6th generation top-of-the-line Mercedes model will grow in length, width as well as sporty and elegant character. The design will be similar to the next S-class (see photos on the right) with some touches from the new CLS. The side profile with the curved roof line and the frameless windows give the CL a very dynamic appearance especially with the so-called "Character Line" which runs across the profile of the car into the rear tailamps. Another new design element that will be exclusively used for the next CL- and S-classes are the large, wide front fenders that run towards the front of the car.
The new CL retains many styling cues of the current C215 such as the flat hood and distinct rear window. Rear lights almost mimic those of the new SLK and have a shape close to the Saturn Aura concept's rear lights.
Huckfeldt from Autobild.de really hit this one perfectly:
The “smallest” CL engine from the current CL 500 will be replaced with a new V8 550 engine with 5.5 liter capacity and 388hp. The CL 600 remains unchanged (V12 bi-turbo - 500hp) as well as the AMG model CL 65 AMG with 612hp. The new normally aspirated CL 63 AMG will get a power boost to 535hp as it replaces the supercharged 500hp CL 55 AMG. Rumors say that a diesel hybrid engine could find its way into the next CL-class although not confirmed by Mercedes yet.
Being a technical twin of the S-class, the CL will share many new features. The new CL will feature cutting-edge technology systems that were partly presented in the Concept F500 Mind research vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show 2003. The technical highlights of the next CL include:
- Using infrared technology a new night vision system will help drivers get a better view.
- In response to BMW’s iDrive and Audi’s MMI a new central mounted control system is being developed and tested.
- Lane departure warning system will alert the driver if the vehicle wanders from its lane.
- Improved Active Body Control (ABC)
- Parking assistant equipped with small cameras in the side mirrors and bumpers.
Unfortunately, not all of the mentioned highlights will be offered with the first models. Some of them are still in development and may be ready in 5-10 years from now as features of the safety package, PRESAFE III.