No, 4MATIC does not mean that the CL500 has a 4-speed slushbox; it actually has Mercedes' 7-speed automatic. 4MATIC is Mercedes' all-wheel-drive system, which makes this the first time ever that the big CL coupe has been fitted with such a drivetrain. That means the V8 will send 55% of its 388 HP and 391 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, and 45% to the front. The launch to 100 km/h (62mph) takes just 5.4 seconds, but this isn't really a machine intended for stoplight battles. With all that newfound traction, you'll probably want to stuff your Rossignols in the standard equipment ski bag, and head up a wintery alpine road for a weekend on the slopes. Full press release after the jump.
CL 4MATIC: Luxury CL 500 Coupé with all-wheel drive for first time -Even better traction on slippery surfaces -The latest-generation 4MATIC system
From summer 2008, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering all-wheel drive for its luxury CL-Class coupé for the first time. The new CL 500 4MATIC offers even greater traction and handling stability in the wet, in snow or on ice. Mercedes-Benz is equipping the CL 500 4MATIC with the same latest-generation all-wheel drive system which is also proving its merit in the S-Class. 4MATIC is permanently active and therefore requires no response time to come to the driver's aid in unfavourable weather and driving conditions. As a result, critical situations can be mastered with greater ease.
The heart of the all-wheel drive system is a transfer case with a central differential, which has been integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission. From here, the drive torque is split between the front and rear axle at a ratio of 45 to 55. Another new feature is the twin-plate clutch at the central differential. This produces a basic locking effect of around 50 Newton metres between the front and rear axle, which allows variable torque shift between the axles as the situation dictates and thereby achieves further significant improvements in traction and stability in the 4MATIC models.
Mercedes-Benz combines 4MATIC as standard with the Electronic Stability Program ESP® and the 4ETS traction system, which brakes spinning wheels as required, increasing the drive torque to the wheels with good grip. The automatic brake pulses which increase traction when pulling away on slippery surfaces and can improve active safety in critical situations are metered by the system on the basis of sensor signals.
This allows 4ETS to achieve the effect of conventional differential locks while offering more comfort than the technology found in other all-wheel drive cars. Weighing just 70 kilograms, the new permanent all-wheel drive system developed by Mercedes-Benz is the lightest drive system of its kind.
Extra-efficient all-wheel drive technology: no fuel penalty in 4MATIC model
Beneath the bonnet of the new CL 500 4MATIC is a cutting-edge eight-cylinder engine with an output of 285 kW/388 hp and 530 Newton metres of torque, which is on tap between 2800 and 4800 rpm. The combined fuel consumption on the NEDC driving cycle is 12.1 litres per 100 kilometres, which places it on a par with the rear-wheel drive version of the CL 500 - a further bonus of the new, highly efficient Mercedes all-wheel drive system. The CL 500 4MATIC requires just 5.4 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h, and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
The new 4MATIC model in the CL-Class range is characterised by the same high-quality safety and comfort features as the luxury coupé with rear-wheel drive, and additionally offers PASSION leather appointments, a ski bag, multicontour front seats and 18-inch nine-spoke light-alloy wheels. Other Mercedes innovations available as an option include the radar-based Brake Assist PLUS, the PRE-SAFE® brake and night view assist.