The old Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe may be officially retired, but the German automaker had no intention of leaving a gap in its 2010 model line. Enter the Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe (www.mbusa.com). Essentially a two-door version of the brand’s best-selling E-class sedan, the $54,650 E550 Coupe features vast improvements over Mercedes-Benz’s former midsize two-door in the style, engineering, and technology departments. Equipped with the popular 5.5-liter V-8 engine available in nearly two-thirds of Mercedes’ model line, the E550 Coupe produces 382 hp and 391 ft lbs of torque and reaches 60 mph in five seconds flat. More importantly, the E550 coupe abounds in interior appointments and innovative technology. From advanced see-in-the-dark display software (Night View Assist Plus) to a specialized cruise-control system that stops and goes with traffic (Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Brake), the E550 coupe is designed to keep those in and out of the car as safe as possible. Those who are waiting for an AMG version may have to look to the larger CL-class, as Mercedes-Benz has yet to decide whether to introduce a performance-tuned model variant of the E-class coupe.