New Feature Mercedes CLS550 Black Bison Orange

Now, we’re turing out attention to a car wrapped for last year’s SEMA Show in satin orange vinyl from 3M. Once again, the car is fitted with the Wald International carbon-fiber body kit from Japan, nicknamed Black Bison. The most important improvement in the CLS is a new engine, a marvelous 4.7-liter, twin-turbo V8 that delivers 402 horsepower and an incredible 443 lb.-ft. of torque.

That’s up from 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque for the engine in the previous CLS550. (If you’re into speed you can always pay extra for the CLS63 AMG, which is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 rated at 510 hp, rising to 550 hp if you opt for the $6,990 AMG performance package.) The stereo allows about every audio source you could want. Mercedes-Benz adds Bluetooth audio streaming to its roster, which also includes iPod integration, the car's own hard drive, and HD Radio.

 There is even a PC card slot, an odd little anachronism. But Mercedes-Benz has not jumped on the app bandwagon yet, so there is no Pandora or Internet radio integration. Despite pricing the CLS above the E, the majority of the interior bits and pieces are pinched from the E rather than the more expensive S, including the E’s fairly small COMMAND screen and controls. Also lifted from the E are the steering wheel, seat controls and window switches. Thankfully Mercedes borrowed only the high-rent parts for use in the CLS.
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