The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is a line of full-size luxury grand tourers which was produced by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz, produced from 1992 to 2014 in the US. The name CL stands for the German Coupé Leicht (Coupé-Light) or Coupé Luxusklasse (Coupé-Luxury)
The CL-Class is the coupé derivative of the S-Class full-size luxury saloon, upon which it shares the same platform. Formerly known as the SEC (Sonderklasse-Einspritzmotor-Coupé) and later S-Coupé, it was spun off into its own, separate name in 1996 and in 1997 for North American markets. The CL continued to follow the same development cycle as the S, though riding on a shorter wheelbase, and sharing the same engines albeit with less choice as only the higher-output powertrains are offered. The last generation of the CL was actually heavier than the S (considering equivalent trims, due to the roof engineering required to compensate for the lack of a central B-pillar).
The last generation of the CL-Class, C216, was available in five models: CL 500 (CL 550 in some markets, with standard 4MATIC in Canada and the USA), CL 600, CL 63 AMG, CL 63 AMG(S) and CL 65 AMG. The CL 65 AMG was the most powerful model of the CL and the most expensive Mercedes-branded vehicle, slightly edging out its S-Class equivalent S65 AMG and the SLS. CL sales are the third-lowest of Mercedes-Benz in North America with under 1400 units sold in 2006, as only the G-Class four-wheel drive and two-seat SLS AMG sell smaller numbers; annual CL sales equalled Ford truck sales for one day. However, this degree of distinction was considered attractive to CL buyers.
Main competitors of the CL-Class in the luxury 2+2 coupé segment included the Aston Martin DBS, Bentley Continental GT, BMW M6, and the Ferrari 612. The CL-Class had more rear legroom than these aforementioned competitors.
In 2014 Mercedes officially ceased using the CL-Class designation, instead moving the segments' vehicle naming back to the S-Class Coupe/Convertible label. Similar to how it did previously with the CLK-Class which was moved back to being called E-Class Coupe/Convertible, thus it was replaced by the C217 S-Class Coupé.