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In the competitive market of high-performance luxury sedans, the 2013 Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG is among the most desirable—and expensive, with prices starting at $95,900 and options pushing that number well into six figures.
Although the CLS63 AMG shares its chassis with the stately E-Class sedan, this is a different sort of car altogether. A 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 churns out an impressive 518 horsepower; opting for the $7,300 Performance package boosts output to 550 horsepower and a staggering 590 pound-feet of torque.
The CLS63 AMG uses a seven-speed transmission that transfers power to the rear wheels, and 60 mph arrives in just under 4.5 seconds. The engine is relatively efficient for its size and power, achieving 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. (Expect less from cars with the Performance package.) Triple-spoke nineteen inch wheels come as standard; an optional five-spoke wheel can be had for an additional $1,790.
A sharply-appointed interior features leather seats, brushed aluminum trim, a Harmon/Kardon 14-speaker sound system and a hands-free Bluetooth interface as standard equipment. For an additional cost, Mercedes also offers a multicontour driver's seat with extra power controls for the lumbar, shoulder and side bolsters, as well as a massage feature. Sleek exterior styling with sweeping lines embody the "four-door coupe" look for which the CLS is famous—but, while attractive, the roofline's extreme rake does limit rear headroom.
The Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG comes in single trim with a list of options that will fully satisfy buyers who want more performance, more luxury—or both.
With the $7,300 Performance Package, horsepower increases from 518 to 550 and torque increases to 590 pound-feet from 516. While the standard brakes are very good, a optional carbon-ceramic braking system can be specified for the staggering price of $12,625. Mercedes-Benz also offers plenty of technology options to suit your needs and tastes.
The BMW's starting price is lower and the performance is competitive, but the Mercedes-Benz's interior stands out
Fantastic performance and a great interior, but the exterior styling has always been questionable for some tastes
Not quite as luxurious, but costs almost $20,000 less, and exceptional all-wheel drive system
Lower base price than the Mercedes-Benz, but to get the same amount of performance you'll have to pay dearly