Member, P400 Sport, DSC On (>550)
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Given the new CL's factory power #'s that so few non-exotics have, it may remind one a bit of the Arnage T: the top of the line in mega-power luxo-sport vehicles.
Have had the pleasure of recently flogging an Arnage T a few times. The T is a big car and a real brute. It's not quick in the nimble sense, but is incredibly solid, knocks you into the rear seat when mashing the throttle over 20 mph, is worlds better than the Red Label (50% better roll stiffness, plus mechanically 80% different), and looks downright mean in Black on Black, especially with the aluminum and chrome it has.
The point is: given that the CL weighs 1,000 fewer pounds than the T, will have 50 more bhp and a more sophisticated tranny and more gears / better gearing (although about 125 lb/ft less torque than the T), the CL will be a liveable luxo-rocket. The 3 knocks against the current (approx 360 bhp) CL55/600 is that they need a bit more off the line grunt to move the 4200 pounds, a slightly stiffer suspension, and an exhaust you can actually hear. Those should all be resolved with the new CL's, especially the latter 2 with the 55.
The CL's shape is still one of the nicest ones on the road. Hopefully, the CL55 shifting buttons / tranny will be better than the somewhat lame Touchtronic on pre-'03 CL's.
Things will change again when the mid-size Bentley coupe comes next Fall, with 4500 pounds, all wheel drive, 500 bhp and 650+ pound feet of torque and a paddle shifter.