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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - CLS-class

First look: CLS gets AMG action

Strong looks: The CLS 55 AMG is the latest in a long line of Benz performance cars.

Benz's four-door CLS coupe gets the AMG supercharged V8 treatment

7 Jul 2004

MERCEDES-Benz has wasted no time giving its new CLS four-door coupe a performance edge, releasing first pics and details of the 55 AMG version.

The car follows a now predictable path long followed by Benz’s highly respected performance division, in this case plugging the supercharged 350kW and 700Nm 5.5-litre V8 in under the bonnet to produce eye-brow raising acceleration figures.

Try 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. Impressive - unless you compare it to the new 373kW BMW M5! The sheer speed of the CLS 55 AMG is backed up by a five-speed automatic transmission with manual operation option called "Speedshift", sports suspension, a high-performance braking system and bespoke bodywork.

The CLS 55 AMG makes its European debut in January 2005, just months after Europe get its first taste of the standard car.

Based on the E-class platform, that car will be offered in Europe as a 3.5-litre V6 and a 5.0-litre V8. It goes on-sale in Australia later in 2005, probably only as a V8.

There is no official word on whether the CLS 55 AMG will come to Australia, although considering Benz's local subsidiary takes most AMG vehicles, it does seem likely.

The CLS 55 AMG features "Airmatic" DC semi-active air suspension with an adaptive damping system this suspension set-up has been specially modified for AMG by giving it tauter tuning. Large, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs promise strong deceleration and high fading resistance.

Standard alloy wheels are relatively understated – for this age of 20-inch wheels and more – 18-inch items, with 255/40 and 285/35 wide-base tyres.

4 center image The AMG body-styling comprises an front apron with large air inlets and round fog lamps, side skirts, a distinctive rear apron and two chromed, twin oval tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system.

Further differentiation is provided by a radiator grille with three silver-painted louvres and "V8 Kompressor" lettering on the front wings the AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid adds the final styling touch, as well as increasing the downforce on the rear wheels.

Inside there are specific AMG sports seats featuring lateral piping, double stitching and Alcantara panels at shoulder height. The specification also includes nappa leather in a choice of three colours, an AMG instrument cluster with a 320km/h speedometer scale and chromed door sill panels with an AMG logo.

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