• Friday, November 28, 2014

TEST DRIVE

Fat Cat Rocket: 2002 Mercedes Benz Cl500

Story: Mohammad Akib Nawaz

You might not have ever seen this car plying through Dhaka city traffic because its extremely rare and it rarely comes out for a drive. Nestled in the heart of Dhanmondi, broods one of the fastest, meanest, and one of the best looking of all Mercs in the country.
German engineering at its finest, meet the Mercedes CL500 Coupe. To start off, this powerhouse packs a mean 5.0 litre V8 engine equipped, pumping out 302 brake horsepower and 406 N-m of sheer torque. Let me translate that into simpler terms. It can have almost any car for breakfast, and still have room for two or three Corollas. The car is very, very fast!
Yours truly had the rare privilege to road test the car, and in all honesty I lost my lunch by the time we were done. The amount of raw torque that this car produces makes every step on the paddle a push that shoves you deeper into the plush leather seats. Even though Mercedes and AMG faces criticism from most users complaining about traction problems, this baby with its Active Body Control handles fluidly enough.

 

Acres of rosy wood trim and many, many buttons.
Acres of rosy wood trim and many, many buttons.

 

When seated in the luxurious cockpit of the coupe, you feel as if you're in a stretched sedan. The aesthetics of the interior will make anyone revel at Mercedes' impeccable attention to detail and finesse. From the hand crafted cherry wood panels to the brightly lit, wide gauges, and a healthy array of buttons, the German car manufacturer spared no expense to guarantee complete drivers' satisfaction. They don't make many cars like these anymore.
However, the feeling of plush romance almost vaporizes the moment you step on the gas. And boy oh boy, does it punch you in the groin! The car reaches 100kmph/60mph in 5.4 seconds flat, and has a limited top speed of 250mph. German road regulations should be damned for making car manufacturers limit their cars to 250mph. I can't begin to imagine what this car would do if it brought out all the stops. God help the tarmac.

 

Many cows died gratefully to make the swathe of leather in this interior.
Many cows died gratefully to make the swathe of leather in this interior.

 

It's a shame though that this car isn't given its rightful place in the streets of Dhaka. It really is like a caged lion, being the king of the jungle, yet in the confines of this concrete zoo. Driving a car like this successfully convinces you that rickshaws really are the work of Satan, them being its greatest road-threat. Despite its Herculean power though, the car rides as quietly as a gentle breeze. You can only hear a soft whisper as it whizzes past you with nothing but a gentle purr. The colossal 16-feet long car surpassingly has little difficulty squeezing through almost impossible gaps in traffic. This is where its magnanimous beauty lies. Weighing in at nearly a ton and a half, packing more horsepower than a Sunday British horse-race, it still has a lot of finesse. The car isn't your usual sports car, no. It won't make you look like a crazed speed junkie. Instead it amplifies your personality in ways much suited to wealthy aficionados, and speaks volumes of its owners' extensive knowledge of cars coupled with exquisite taste. It has suave sophistication underlining its persona. The car has a very real human characteristic. It seems alive, with a mind of its own.

The car is meant not for crazed teenagers on a Hookah-high, but for grown men who possess enough testosterone to melt asphalt. The car's design too, complements its purpose. The entire car is construed from a single unit, aerodynamically crafted to cut through air like a hot knife through butter. Its iconic four oval headlamps remind one of the golden era in Mercedes designs. This particular unit is outfitted with custom aftermarket 19” AMG alloy rims, with wider tyres at the rear than at the front to make sure none of that torque goes to waste. The car proudly wears a Midnight Blue coat and has black meshed grills covering all of its air flow ducts. The active suspension makes sure that even the roughest roads and the deepest potholes go unnoticed during the drive, and a manual control unit is used to adjust ride-height. Security features include a finger-print operated gear-knob, proximity sensors and automatic vacuum powered door lock systems. However, unlike other sports cars of today, this car isn't bombarded with buttons and controls. The designers kept the tech up front to a minimum, for the enthusiasts.
So there you have it. The Mercedes CL 500 coupe, in all its majesty. Only two were brought into the country, and the other one is sadly out of service. So if you ever see this big cat prowling the streets, you'll know that you're witnessing German engineering at its finest. God bless the land of sausages and sauerkraut.

Owner: Javed Noman
With special thanks to Rakib Hasan.

 

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Published: 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2013

Last modified: 12:16 pm Friday, September 26, 2014

TAGS: 2002 Mercedes Benz Cl500 luxury coupe in Bangladesh

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