I’m in charge of picking up lunch for the salesmen on Saturdays. Choosing the place to go wasn’t difficult. There’s a new place in Kirtland called The Wrap Shack & Pizzeria. They have just about anything you want and it was a big hit last week. Over the last two weeks, I’ve tried an Egg Head Fat Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla, Jumbo Boneless Wings, Buffalo Chicken Fat Wrap, and a Yummus Hummus Fat Wrap. They all were very good. Just one note: if you order Buffalo sauce, start with the mild version. I specifically requested the hot sauce yesterday and almost caught on fire! Be warned.
With good food so close to the dealership, it wasn’t difficult to choose where to go but choosing the right pickup car always is. I like to drive something different every time to keep things interesting but have trouble deciding which one to take. Today, I drove an exotic — a 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4MATIC. The CL-Class is basically a coupe version of the S-Class. In other words, the CL-Class is the top of the line executive coupe made by Mercedes-Benz. Not everyone gets to drive a CL-Class as the base 2013 CL550 4MATIC starts at $115,300. However, this particular car has only 14k miles and is priced nicely at $83,991.
Being around these cars every day keeps me from being overly excited about just any Mercedes-Benz car. But this one is different. It comes with a twin-turbo-charged 4.6L V-8 which produces 429 hp and 516 lb. ft. of torque. Car&Driver recorded 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. I wanted to experience that kind of power. So, before visiting the Wrap Shack, I took the car on the freeway. Yowza! This car can move and was even faster than I was expecting. In fact, it probably took less than half the entrance ramp to get to the 65 mph speed limit.
Some people have complained about the spool up time for the turbos. This was noted by a customer who drove the 2013 SL550 with the same engine. Why the hesitation when you stomp the accelerator? Kevin Conant, our Mercedes-Benz sales manager, explained that all Mercedes-Benz cars start out in second gear for fuel economy. If you want more instantaneous response, you only need to put the car into Sport mode to start in first gear. That explains the noted hesitation as the transmission has to downshift to first gear before propelling the car forward at dizzying speeds.
As exciting as the performance is, there is much more to the car I drove. Every CL550 comes with “basics” like COMAND navigation, Harmon Kardon audio, Bluetooth, Satellite radio, etc. But this car comes with a long list of extra options:
|• KEYLESS-GO||• DISTRONIC Plus (radar assisted braking)|
|• Heated and ventilated, premium leather seats||• Active Blind Spot Assist|
|• Multicontour front seats with massage||• Active Lane Keeping Assist|
|• Night View Assist||• 19″ AMG 5-Spoke Wheels|
|• Rear view camera||• Heated Steering Wheel|
As you can see, this car is loaded with just about every option available that year. With the installed options, the original price for this 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4MATIC was $126,855. That makes the asking price that much more attractive. And … oh wait … I think I left something at the Wrap Shack. I think I’d better take the CL550 out again. You know, it will help me save time and get back quicker. We’ll talk later.