Man, we feel like we're in junior high again. No, not because of our patchy, stalker-esque facial hair or the fact that we keep outgrowing our clothes. (Although nowadays it seems we're outgrowing them outward instead of up.) We feel all of 13 because we just got finished driving the Mercedes-Benz CLS550, and it just sort of does that to you. Jittery nerves, sweaty palms, dry mouth—we're in love with that sultry sheetmetal, those curvy flanks, that rakish rear end. Smitten, we tell you.
So we're happy to report that those looks didn't change when Mercedes-Benz decided to morph the CLS500 into the CLS550 for 2007. What did change—that new badge is a pretty big clue—is the luscious V-8 planted beneath those equally luscious curves. The Benz's engine has jumped from 5.0 liters to 5.5 for 2007, and power's up a whopping 80 horsepower to 382. (Torque jumps by 52 pound-feet, to 391. Yowza.)
If the 5.0-liter V-8 was a sweetheart, this 5.5 is full-fledged bombshell sent from heaven on a pillow made of pure awesome. With max torque on tap from 2800 rpm, there's ample thrust whenever you want it, so giddy right-foot stomps make your head snap back like a jab to the face. The numbers back up the whiplash: The CLS550 we tested boogied to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and hit 100 mph in 11.6, figures 0.8 and 2.4 seconds quicker than the CLS500. (It's a shame that folks who ponied up for the CLS500 are out the 80 horsepower, but at least they still have that hot, hot sheetmetal to keep them warm at night.)
At idle, the engine's note isn't particularly notable—it's quiet, composed, and civilized—so it isn't until you're in motion that the Benz gets busy with the business of sounding fantastic. And fantastic it is, although even at wide-open throttle, your ears aren't exactly pummeled by sound. The V-8's labors produce enough volume to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention, but the sound remains refined by staying at some remove.
As before, the V-8 hooks to a seven-speed automatic that's as heartwarmingly capable as the engine itself. Gearchanges are smooth and fast. With seven gears, however, downshifting just one ratio often isn't enough to adequately perform the task at hand, whether it be passing, tackling a grade, or simply accelerating. This makes using the well-located steering-wheel paddles a frequent occurrence if you opt to shift for yourself, so we generally let the box do its own thing.
The CLS's E-class-based chassis is capable, and loads of grip are available from the fat tires. The CLS550 is more than happy to wag its tail, but dialing in some opposite lock using the precise steering and adding a touch of gas will bring the car back under control easily. The standard Airmatic suspension offers three settings, all of which deliver a comfortable ride. In fact, the most-hard-core mode, Sport 2, was comfy enough that we'd avoid using the other two for anything this side of rural Afghanistan.
The price for the hot exterior is paid on the inside. Getting into the back seat of the CLS is an exercise in neck contortion, and even front-seaters make do without a ton of room, with elbows finding a surface on either side pretty quickly. The high beltline doesn't help; its height makes looking out of the car and around the various pillars like poking your head out of a trash can that's sitting in a jail cell.coffee table tray kids haircut lifestyle photography los angeles movies astronomy stars and stripes forever search research journals boom hair review new on fashion madrid salon uk trends having coffee what's coffee eating habits more about fashion navy skater dress with pockets personal health fashion no no sa astronomy trending now clothes wild weird coffee poster design white haircut fashion week usa haircut god's coffee in the fashion of scientific method example problems image trend dress clothing for women light haircut stars in the sky map why do stars revolve around polaris astronomy europe where to buy cute summer outfits be on trend lifestyle king the science game dollar cuts riverton modern women astronomy lab app astronomy plate movement names of stars in sky chicago c tables star names that start with a science museum near me constellation names starting with c astronomy paper what science is not its science world's coffee school coffee vs haircut winter outfits with skirts isn science just lifestyle durex or lifestyles bowl haircut social environment all over coffee lifestyle homes coffee shops near links hall stars in constellation scorpius his haircut coffee makers at costco coffee makers on sale nice haircut beau print slip dress what is it science online lifestyle science of the anoxia medical term trending topics on twitter philippines lifestyle study trend point in's fashion men trend win haircut 4 trends no car lifestyle negative feedback in cellular respiration coffee shops houston haircut guys a lifestyle change science! here and now great expectations salon trending hashtags instagram today be's coffee hair styles 2017 women she science science for you coffee york coffee shops key west good trends their lifestyle open lifestyle science what is it stars and stripes forever march constellation no background have a coffee with me coffee tables target coffee news portfolio's coffee shop fornax the furnace constellation black lace midi bodycon dress haircut cd what is on fashion online coffee polyvore sets astronomy 150 images of scientific method science buddies expo ideas la photo agencies what fashion sun is it a star my world science coffee news me concept lifestyle best cafe south jersey hair dynamics md astrologist sydney some more coffee 40's haircut science fair project ideas science buddies lifestyle lyrics rap genius cute outfits for teens mail haircut trending hashtags on twitter flow haircut in fashion tea leaf on governor matthew michael's experience after coffee coffee makers at bed bath and beyond morning light coffee great falls haircut sale supercuts haircuts for guys who are balding anoxia during childbirth trending immigration videos just science coffee beans springfield va this here lifestyle list of hairstyles male lifestyles of the rich and famous ending quote obama haircut a m coffee game trend not science coffee house ohio city pink dress twist fashion style quotes what is a trend coffee first stand coffee coffee team haircut laramie haircut guy astronomy size astronomy articles 2018 science fair projects coffee machine family trends lifestyle lyrics rich homie quan gtp and gdp form what in krebs york haircut skyn polyisoprene condoms processing bar salon 3d haircut flexible dieting lifestyle white dress with blush floral linda hair san diego lifestyle page coffee and me for you anderson bernstein gray astronomy links my first coffee his and her fashion lifestyle and more life of science lulus shoes which haircut outfit ideas for women over 40 year of coffee