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News - Mercedes-Benz - CL-class - CL55 AMG

Double take on Mercedes makes

Mercedes-Benz has a couple of diverse new products in the pipeline

6 Dec 1999

MERCEDES-Benz has revealed the first glimpses of its proposed Vaneo people-mover and CL55 super coupe.

The Vaneo, which is based on a stretched A-class platform, will offer seating for five adults and two children.

It is likely to go into production around 2001 and may be sold here in due course if Mercedes-Benz Australia sees a role for the vehicle.

"It's early days yet but when we see the price and specifications of the Vaneo, we will have a look at it," Mercedes-Benz Australia public relations manager Mr Jeff Fisher says.

The Vaneo would give Mercedes-Benz a vehicle with which to compete against the likes of the Volvo V70, which is available in seven-seat configuration.

At the other end of the scale, Mercedes-Benz has released the first official pictures of the AMG-tweaked CL55.

The CL55 uses the same 5.4-litre V8 engine that powers the current E55 sedan, albeit clothed in a suave coupe body. With 260kW and 530Nm at its disposal, the CL55 promises performance to match its looks.

Complementing the straight-line performance will be a host of electronic driver aids such as Active Body Control (ABC), which promotes greater stability during cornering, braking and acceleration.

The previous CL range was sold here between 1996 and 1998 but its somewhat slab-sided looks limited its popularity.

Should the newcomer be offered here - probably late next year or in early 2001 - it may help erase its predecessor's staid image.

It won't be cheap though with the entry level CL500 expected to cost at least $300,000 - almost on par with the Ferrari 360 Modena.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz is preparing to recall 1382 of its M- class off-roaders in Australia after receiving a report of a faulty seatbelt clip.

The recall is part of a global program and affects Australian M- class models built before July 14, 1999.

It is expected the seatbelt buckle will have to be replaced in half a percent of the vehicles inspected.

Mercedes-Benz is contacting those Australian customers affected with a request to have their dealer carry out an inspection and replace the part if necessary.

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