2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Active Body Control
July 11, 2014
One of the reasons NOT to buy a used 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is Active Body Control. It is a common and expensive source of problems with the car, and we've already experienced a few thus far in our short time owning our CL.
However, before you bemoan ABC's unreliability and laugh at us for making such a foolhardy used car buying decision, allow me to offer a retort: ABC is wildly sophisticated and thoroughly impressive.
What is ABC? In short, sensors throughout the car observe body movements and send their data to a central control unit every 10 milliseconds or so. That control unit then instructs hydraulic servos located in the suspension to counter those forces that would cause any other car to lean, squat or dive. In other words, the car feels like its defying physics by remaining astonishingly flat, especially through corners.
Long, sweeping highway onramps really seem to flaunt ABC's capabilities, and along with the ultra-quiet cabin and the twin-turbo V12's unending thrust, you really need to recalculate your brain's interpretation of speed as a result. There's a very good chance that your seat-of-the-pants feel is playing tricks on you, so it's best to keep a keen eye on the speedometer.
So yes, ABC is complicated and expensive as a result, but it's also a significant reason for this car's greatness and a reason TO buy it.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 65,345 miles