Active Body Control - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Active Body Control

July 11, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

A more complete take on ABC can be found with a grain of salt on Wikipedia as well as this Mercedes-Benz video.

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

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