Future Models - Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz  On the charge: The CL 65 has performance figures that better any other AMG, while the price will be much higher too.

On the charge: The CL 65 has performance figures that better any other AMG, while the price will be much higher too.

AMG's wildest Benz yet drives up performance and pricing


THE mad CL 65 AMG will be coming to Australia after all.

Launched at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, the brute coupe was originally intended to be only built in left-hand drive - with only 250 to be made.

But such was the overwhelming response at the show that Benz's hot-rod division has decided to build more - and make some right-hookers as well.

What has triggered the demand is AMG's biggest, most powerful and torquiest engine yet. The V12 6.0-litre unit (so why call it 65?) is based on the 5.5-litre bi-turbo from the S-class and is uprated to produce 450kW and a truly astonishing 1000Nm.

Claimed performance includes a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 250km/h.

To put that in context, the current top of the heap is the supercharged SL 55 AMG with 368kW and 700Nm. It accelerates to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds and has the same governed top speed.

The CL 65 AMG will arrive in Australia towards the end of 2004 and be accompanied by an S 65 AMG sedan. They will come in extremely limited numbers - maybe five or 10 per annum.

That's because along with the awesome performance will come an awesome price tag that will push well beyond the $400,000 barrier and perhaps even threaten $500,000.

Further down the track there is the possibility of an SL 65 AMG sports convertible.

The availability of right-hand drive was confirmed to Australian journalists during Benz's annual AMG media drive event by the company's worldwide boss, Domingos Piedade.

"I have just got off the phone 20 minutes to the factory and I can confirm the CL 65 will be built in right-hand drive from summer 2004," he announced to the media on Wednesday night.

Mr Piedade also revealed that the 65's V12 engine in its original development tune had produced a staggering 1200Nm of torque, but that had to be toned down in the interests of drivetrain durability.

Engine modifications have increased the cylinder bore from 82 to 82.6mm, lengthened the stroke of the crankshaft by 6mm to 93mm and increased the charge pressure of the turbochargers to a maximum of 1.5 bar.

In addition, AMG engineers have used forged pistons, main and big-end bearings made from extremely high temperature and pressure-resistant materials and enlarged the apertures in the injection nozzles to achieve a higher fuel flow. Power is transferred by a five-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel gearshift.

To cope with the prodigious torque, there have been modifications to various transmission components as well, including the rear axle differential, the drive shafts and the wheel carriers.






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