Taking you back to the 2000 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG F1 Limited Edition Gave Us Ceramic Brakes
Its been twenty years since Mercedes-Benz developed a road version of the Formula One Safety Car of the time, despite the fact that the final was already based on a production model.
We are talking about the Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG F1 Limited Edition, the first road worthy car worldwide to feature ceramic brake discs. This model was introduced in early 2000 to coincide with the start of the Formula One season, this limited edition CL55 AMG was closely based on the Safety Car that Bernd Mayländer drove back in the day.
This launch was extremely exclusive, as only 55 units were assigned for production, each priced at a whopping 330,000 Deutsche Marks (this is equal to $185,500 in today’s money). This is a clear collectors items, the CL55 AMG F1 Limited Edition was only built in the summer between 2000 and 2001 as part of the C215-generation CL luxury coupe model series that ran from 1999 through to 2006.
With the “regular” CL55 AMG, the F1 Limited Edition packed a inherently articulated 5.5-liter V8 engine hand-built by AMG. The power plant featured no modifications, whipping out 360 PS (355 HP) at 5,500 rpm and 530 Nm (391 lb-ft) of torque from 3,150 to 4,500 rpm. This enabled the CL55 AMG F1 to dash from 0 to 100 km/h in 6 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The stand out feature for this limited edition Mercedes-Benz is the ceramic braking system, a world first for a production vehicle in 2000. In the event of breaking at full speed, it provided a stopping power of up to 1,471 kW (2,000 PS / 1,973 HP). This is possible by a combination of internally ventilated brake discs built from fiber-reinforced ceramic and eight-piston brake calipers supplied by Brembo.
Advantages also included an enormously high thermal resistance and minimum weight of the brake discs, which were 60% lighter than traditional steel discs. The reduction in unsprung weight also contributed to improved vehicle dynamics and more driving fun.
If you are lucky enough to cross paths with a CL55 AMG F1 today, you can easily recognize it, with thanks to the Brilliant Silver Metallic paint, 19-inch AMG light-alloy rims in a five-spoke design, as well as ‘F1 Limited Edition’ lettering on the front fenders, illuminated door sills and the center console.
Inside this limited edition model features, front sports seats in a black-and-silver leather upholstery with embroidered AMG logos, AMG sports steering wheel with perforated leather cover at the top, carbon fiber trim elements on the center console, automatic selector lever and doors, as well as AMG-Branded floor mats.
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