THE RIDE: Two-door, four-passenger 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL63 sports coupe.
DOWN THE ROAD: This all-new CL from the Benz' high-performance AMG division can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. You get the picture. So, when you take a seat in the speedster, go light with the pedal to the metal. The ride of course is awesome and exhilarating in this power-at-all-times car.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 6.3-liter AMG naturally aspirated V-8 engine blasts off 518 horsepower at 6800 rpm and 465 pounds-feet of torque at 5200 rpm. Fear not for your safety as the steel unit body of the CL sits on a sturdy four-wheel independent Active Body Control suspension, which reduces body roll at corners and effectively nixes squat and dive. The car maker's renowned 7-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is barely noticeable as it moves from one gear to the other. There are three transmission shift programs: sport, comfort or manual. So, take your pick. The Distronic Plus cruise control allows the car to stop and go in traffic. The previous version of this technology only maintained a safe distance from the vehicle in front. An infrared night vision system sees nearly 500 feet of road ahead and displays the image on a screen in front of the driver.
LOOK & FEEL: Muscular would be an understatement to describe the exterior of the CL63. The front fascia boasts titanium-colored bixenon headlights that slot in an eye-catching grille with two chrome horizontal louvers and numerous black vertical slats. That this is a vehicle for the sports car enthusiast is evident from the 6.3 AMG badge on both front fenders and on the automatic rear trunk closer. Slide behind the wheel and you will be left gasping at the multicontour heated and cooled seats with a special piping finish. The optional Alcantara roof liner looks striking. Burl-walnut wood trim on the center console and doors enhances the upscale appearance. If you like to control your transmission shifts, you will enjoy toggling the aluminum-shift paddles on the four-spoke leather steering wheel. The powered rear-window sunshade will come in useful during those scorching summer days.
SAFETY FIRST: Front and side airbags as well as a head curtain for both rows are standard. The CL also is equipped with a driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear three-point seatbelts and a Pre-safe system, which senses an accident and tightens the seatbelts to hold occupants firmly in place.
OUT THE DOOR: $137,775, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 255/35ZR20 front, 275/35ZR20 rear; wheelbase, 116.3 inches; length, 200.2 inches; weight, 4,599 pounds; fuel capacity, 23.8 gallons; highway, 18 mpg; city, 11 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: If you crave a car that packs a punch, and also is loaded with tech gadgets and luxury amenities, the CL63 should have a place in your garage. Provided, of course, you can afford the $138,000 price tag.