For 2006, the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class undergoes only minor cosmetic changes. There are new wheels on the CL55 AMG, and new optional wheels on the CL500 and CL600 when equipped with the AMG Sport Package. On the exterior, Midnight Blue is no longer available, Barolo Red replaces Bordeaux Red, and Iridium Silver replaces Brilliant Silver.

The CL-Class is available in four models, all pillarless two-door coupes: CL500, CL600, CL55 AMG and CL65 AMG.

The CL500 uses a 5.0-litre V8 with seven-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift manual mode, and includes Active Body Control, auto-dimming rearview and driver’s side mirrors, six-CD Bose surround sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, DVD-based navigation system, eight airbags, electronic cruise control, heated fourteen-way power front seats, integrated garage door opener, Burl Walnut interior trim, leather-trimmed wheel with power tilt and telescopic column, bi-Xenon headlamps with heated washers, heated windshield washer nozzles, infrared-reflective glass, rain-sensing wipers and power sunroof.

The CL600 uses a 5.5-litre V12 with a five-speed automatic Touch Shift transmission, and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, integrated digital telephone, multi-contour front seats, power rear window sunshade, and Parktronic parking assistance system.

The CL55 AMG carries a 5.5-litre V8 with five-speed automatic SpeedShift transmission, and includes 19-inch AMG wheels, AMG-designed Nappa leather upholstery, active ventilated front seats, and pneumatic rear headrests.

The CL65 AMG uses a 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine with five-speed SpeedShift transmission, and includes active ventilated multi-contour seats, anthracite-finish 19-inch AMG wheels, AMG-designed Nappa leather upholstery, integrated digital telephone, power rear window sunshade, four polished stainless-steel exhaust tips, and AMG-design front air damn, side skirts and rear apron.

The taut and muscular CL-Class offers the opportunity for rear-seat passengers to enjoy the experience of Mercedes’ higher-end sporty models. All are stuffed with Mercedes’ high-tech goodies (as they should be for the price) and include Active Body Roll, which uses microcomputers and high-pressure hydraulics to counter body pitch, roll and squat, while virtually eliminating body movement during acceleration, braking and cornering. The climate control even monitors seatbelt use, sending airflow only where it’s needed to warm or cool a passenger. There’s nothing like thoughtfulness in a 604-horsepower coupe that can suck you right into the taillights when you hit the throttle.

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