Mercedes-Benz's CLK-Class cars combine luxury, power and performance with graceful looks and innovative technology. Lean and quick, they perform flawlessly. For 2001, a sophisticated hot rod has been added to the top of model line by AMG, Mercedes' high-performance car-building partner and the group that builds and campaigns the sports racing cars. The CLK couldn't have been a better platform for this treatment. Considering the CLK's beauty, balance and size (16.4 overall inches shorter and nearly 800 pounds lighter than a comparable CL-Class), an AMG version begged to be built. Give it the best V8 AMG can build, add superb handling, great brakes and magical electronic driving assists, and you have the quickest roadgoing Mercedes ever built. The fact that the CLK55 AMG is the Formula 1 racing series' safety car is more than symbolic. It takes a lot of speed and style to look great leading a field of F1 cars around a track, and this car has what it takes. On the other hand, no one truly needs more power than the smooth, highly efficient 3.2-liter V6 that comes in the CLK320 models. And for most of us the powerful 4.3-liter V8 found in the CLK430 is more than plenty.