Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Review

By: Nathan Ponchard

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Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. Four-door supercar

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Review
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

 

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

See the video test with John Bowe

You don't need to be an employee of Mercedes-Benz to acknowledge that the original (C218) CLS changed the way we view sedans.

Previously, you would've expected a car as big as this to comfortably seat five and squeeze in a wardrobe-full of luggage. But the CLS politely raised its middle finger to all that stuffy tradition and deliberately limited seating capacity to four.

With its chopped roof height, the trend-setting CLS became the first contemporary 'four-door coupe', as well as a textbook example of Hollywood-style decadence. Here was a car that shared every single under-the-skin element with an existing vehicle (the Mercedes E-class), but cost 20 percent more. 'Cash cow' indeed.

Now we have CLS version two. It's an all-new car, based on the W212 E-class launched in '09, with styling inspired by Benz's SLS supercar, but with all the original's defining characteristics intact. Apparently customers loved the coupe-style doors without window frames, the wide, leather-stitched interior door tops, and the polished metal striking plates where the doors latch. They also loved the fact that the CLS only seated four. "Better take the 4WD dear, my car only has four bucket seats…".

Styling-wise, the CLS is again bound to polarise. There's something distinctly animalistic about its thrusting nose and muscular rear haunches, which some find dynamic and imposing, and others think looks overwrought and inelegant. Either way, the C219 CLS is striking to look at. As the world's first car to boast full-LED headlamps, it's hard to miss the 71 bulbs decorating that aggressive front end.

Inside, there has been a serious step up in quality as Mercedes-Benz attempts to wrestle the top-dog interior gong back from Audi. Full-leather dashboard trim, exposed stitching, brushed aluminium control panels, and a posh analogue clock pinched from the S-class mark the new CLS as special.

But the icing on the cake is how the new-gen CLS drives. It has gone from competent but a bit reluctant when really pushed, to absolutely first-rate. The steering, in particular, is terrific, with great response and near-perfect weighting. No four-door Mercedes has ever been this good.

Both the smooth turbodiesel V6 (0-100 in 6.2sec) and the new twin-turbo AMG V8 deliver loads more while consuming (and emitting) considerably less, though the ballistic new V8's 31 percent improvement in fuel consumption is the stand-out.

On a winding country road, you'd need a proper supercar to keep up with the new CLS63. And then there's the sound - like sugar-coated thunder - which the $17,900 Performance Pack amps up with 410kW and a sports exhaust. Yet the new CLS63 costs 18 grand less than the previous model. More for less - don't you love a bargain..?

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

 

ENGINE: 5461cc V8, DOHC, 32v, twin turbochargers

POWER: 386kW @ 5250-5750rpm

TORQUE: 700Nm @ 1750-5000rpm

WEIGHT: 1870kg

GEARBOX: 7-speed automatic

0-100KM/H: 4.4sec (claimed)

TOP SPEED: 250km/h (limited)

PRICE: $263,500

 

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