Mercedes Benz and its poor performance AMG can claim numerous automotive industry premieres, and the CL 55 AMG F1 The limited edition is part of this groundbreaking family tree. Although only 55 were produced in 2000, it made history as the first road car in the world to use ceramic brake discs. Twenty years later, Mercedes-Benz reflected on the model that was inspired by the highest level of racing in the world.
From 1999 to 2006 Mercedes-Benz produced numerous coupés as part of the C 215 model series. The CL 55 AMG F1 Limited Edition was only produced for a few months in mid-2000 and presented at the end of May to commemorate this year’s F1 season. There was no light bar, but the car was modeled on Bernd Mayländer’s CL Safety Car at the time (see last photo) and was built to get motorsport going on public roads.
Therefore, a strong powertrain was a must. The rear-wheel drive CL 55 F1 has a four-speed automatic transmission paired with a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated AMG V8 that delivers 355 hp at 5,500 rpm and 391 lb-ft of torque. It had an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph and could do the 0-62 mph waltz in 6.0 seconds. However, it was the parts that stopped all that force that really separated this car from the pack.
The CL 55 F1 has a braking system with Brembo eight-piston brake calipers and specially developed, internally ventilated, fiber-reinforced ceramic brake discs. To make these disks, carbon fiber, carbon powder, and resin were molded under high pressure before being fired at around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The disks were then machined and treated with liquid silicon, which mixed with the carbon to create the ceramic material. In addition to the sensitive pedal feel they created, these discs reduced weight by 60 percent compared to steel discs and had better heat resistance.
Overall, the CL 55 F1 had a curb weight of 4,112 pounds. It was 197 inches long, 73 inches wide, 55 inches high, and had a wheelbase of 114 inches. The car used a unibody steel frame and had four-link suspension with speed-dependent level control at the front and multi-link suspension with Active Body Control at the rear. The CL 55 F1 used rack and pinion steering and had 19-inch wheels on each corner, 8.5 “wide at the front and 9.5” at the rear. The tires were 245/40 ZR 19 at the front and 285/35 ZR 19 at the rear.
All 55 copies of the CL 55 F1 were delivered in Brilliant Silver Metallic over a black interior with black and silver seats and carbon fiber accents. The special equipment features included the inside and outside “F1 Limited Edition”, AMG-embroidered seats, an AMG sports steering wheel with perforated leather cover, a gear lever made of leather and carbon fiber and AMG-embroidered floor mats.
At the time, the CL 55 AMG F1 Limited Edition was priced at DM 300,000 or around USD 168,839 at today’s exchange rates. Today the collector’s item is hard to find at any price.
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