High-tech coupe CL55AMG “F1 Limited Edition”: Innovative super-sportscar, the first with ceramic brakes

  • Mercedes-Benz leader in innovation: High-performance ceramic brakes
  • Ultra-short braking distances and peak braking performance of approx. 2000 hp
  • Weight reduction brings even more dynamism and driving enjoyment
  • Limited edition of 55 with highly exclusive appointments

Stuttgart – The Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition” is the world’s first roadgoing automobile to be equipped with an ultra-high-performance ceramic braking system. The engineers at DaimlerChrysler AG and Mercedes-AMG GmbH have developed internally ventilated brake discs made from fiber-reinforced ceramics for this unique high-performance coupe.

The use of ceramic brakes in the CL is part of a pilot project with a view to offering this technology early next year as optional equipment for the S and CL 55 AMG models. The model on which this stunning special edition is based is world renowned in the field of Formula 1 as the CL 55 AMG safety car.

In line with the thoughts of twice Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen – “The most important thing in a sportscar is not the engine, but the brakes” – the ceramic braking system not only ensures ultra-short braking distances but also an extremely sensitive response.

Other key properties include a high resistance to heat and continuous stresses, low maintenance and a long operating life. When emergency braking from maximum speed, a braking performance of approx. 2000 hp is generated at the front axle. Another advantage of this technology, which is completely new to series-production cars, is the significantly lower weight of the brake discs.

Each disc weighs approximately six kilograms less than its steel equivalent. The noticeable reduction of unsprung masses results in improved dynamics and greater driving enjoyment. With this ceramic brake DaimlerChrysler AG once again asserts its leading position worldwide in the development of ground-breaking automotive technologies.

The Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition” with the new high-performance braking system will be produced in a particularly exclusive limited edition of 55.

Carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic composite: Numerous advantages

The new front brake discs of carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramics are approx. 60 percent lighter in weight than comparable brake discs of conventional cast iron. This significantly reduces the unsprung masses, with a noticeable improvement in driving dynamics. By virtue of these lighter brake discs the steering of the CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition” is also more responsive and precise. The significant weight advantage also has a positive effect on suspension comfort.

However, these are by no means the only the advantages to be obtained from the high-performance ”C-BRAKE”, which was first shown in the Mercedes-Benz SLR super-sportscar in 1999. The new material also exhibits a very high temperature stability.

The maximum temperature load is up to 1400 degrees Celsius. This provides a level of safety when braking from high speeds which was previously unknown in series-production cars. The extremely low thermal expansion of the ceramic brake also reduces juddering when the brakes are hot. Brake squeal and juddering when cold – two familiar characteristics of cast iron discs – are also considerably reduced with the ceramic brake.

The extremely long operating life of up to 300,000 kilometers and the low maintenance also speak for the new, absolutely corrosion-free ceramic brake discs.

But it is not only the internally ventilated ceramic brake discs that are responsible for the uniquely sensitive response and very short braking distances of the ceramic brakes of the CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition”: eight-piston brake calipers which were specially developed for this fast high-performance coupe by the Formula 1 supplier Brembo reliably ensure the necessary deceleration.

The design of these calipers was specifically tailored to the fiber-reinforced brake discs. The anti-lock braking system ABS, Brake Assist and the Electronic Stability Program were also carefully adapted to the new braking system.

Development and production: Basic research and racing know-how

During the development of the ceramic braking system the findings on high-performance carbon brakes gained by AMG technicians in touring car and GT motorsport were every bit as important as the results of basic testing carried out by DaimlerChrysler researchers.

In the production of ceramic brake discs, carbon fibers, powdered carbon and resin are pressed into shape under high pressure and baked at 1000 degrees Celsius. After cooling, the brake disc is subjected to a brief machining process and treated with liquid silicon. The carbon matrix absorbs the silicon like a sponge and their reaction forms a ceramic. The patented production of these innovative brake discs is carried out according to the strictest quality standards by highly-qualified specialists at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Esslingen-Mettingen near Stuttgart.

Exclusive appointments emphasize the link with motorsport

The unique character of the Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition” with ceramic brakes is also emphasized by the particularly exclusive equipment and appointments. Equipped with a 5.5-liter, 265 kW/360 hp V8 engine and available only with brilliant silver metallic paintwork, the limited-edition top-class coupe has exquisite AMG styling and presents a very striking appearance.

8.5-inch (front) and 9.5-inch (rear) wide, 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with 255/40 ZR 19 tires at the front and 285/35 ZR 19 tires at the rear underline the car’s uncompromisingly sporty nature. The reduced offset of the AMG wheels optimizes the track widths, and in conjunction with the widened rear fenders this lends the CL 55 AMG an even more imposing appearance.

The high-performance wide-base tires of type “S-02 Pole Position” are supplied by the Japanese McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 partner Bridgestone. Particularly dynamic handling is also ensured by the sporty configuration of the ABC suspension, which has won several awards.

In addition to the “F1 Limited Edition” lettering on the front fenders, the interior of this exclusive Mercedes coupe also features cues from the motor racing activities of Mercedes-Benz. Numerous special characteristics distinguish the CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition”, which is available only in brilliant silver metallic, from its series-production counterpart:

  • “F1 Limited Edition” lettering on the center console, with consecutive numbering
  • Illuminated entry sills with “F1 Limited Edition” lettering
  • Front seats of ultra-sporty design with optimum lateral support, black/silver leather upholstery and embroidered AMG logo
  • AMG sport steering wheel with perforated leather wrap
  • Carbon decorative trim
  • Automatic shift lever in leather-carbon combination
  • Floor mats with AMG logo

The Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG “F1 Limited Edition” may be ordered now and will be delivered to its 55 customers in the fall of this year. The innovative coupe costs DM 330,000 (incl. 16 % VAT).

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