Mercedes-Benz's CLS was introduced in 2005 as "the world's first four-door coupe," which is really just a curvaceous sedan and a formula that's been successfully copied throughout the industry.
With the second-generation model, revealed in 2011, the CLS became a more aggressive beast with most of the practicality of the E-Class sedan on which it's based. With the CLS63 AMG, it's an aggressive beast packing the brute force of a supercar under its hood.
The CLS is an imposingly elegant machine with its blunt grille, large three-pointed star logo, steeply raked roofline and sharply creased lines. While rivals from Audi and BMW look similarly menacing, the Mercedes-Benz still casts a distinctive profile, and one that's definitely more sporting than an E-Class sedan. With big AMG wheels and side skirts, the CLS63 has an even more dramatic appearance.
Things are just as stylish inside, thanks to the generous use of metal and dark wood throughout the cabin. The quality isn't quite as high as in an Audi, though, nor as creative as in a Jaguar. The sloping roofline creates some complications. Small windows follow form rather than function, meaning that outward vision is hampered; rear headroom also suffers.
Under the Hood
The twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 is monstrously powerful. Mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, it motivates the CLS very quickly with 518 horsepower. For even more performance, buyers can specify a Performance Pack that boosts horsepower to 550. Don't look for all-wheel drive -- rear-wheel drive is the only setup. Fuel economy is predictably mediocre, rated at 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway by the EPA.
The CLS63 is a rapid and luxuriously equipped vehicle for four passengers. Standard peace-of-mind features include a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive, as well as high-performance brakes and Mercedes-Benz's mbrace telematics service with satellite navigation and the COMAND system.
Other features include semi-aniline upholstery, split-folding rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a Harman/Kardon sound system with 5.1 surround and voice control. The Premium 1 package adds active multicontour front seats and Keyless Go, and other options include a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, a carbon fiber spoiler, a night vision system with pedestrian detection and a Driver Assistance Package with radar-guided cruise control, blind spot warning and lane departure assist.
The S adds even more performance to the already ferocious CLS63, starting with an additional 27 horsepower from the V8. It also adds special 19-inch wheels and a body kit to differentiate it from the standard CLS63, as well as a limited-slip differential to keep more power on the ground. Options are similar to the base car, too, including Premium and Driver Assist packs, but also the S also offers AMG's carbon ceramic high performance braking system for more steady stops in aggressive driving.
Build and price your dream Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG in just a few easy steps.
|Build & Price|
Beautifully finished with a potent engine and practical hatch design
Rapid performance and strong handling, but not as graceful as it could be
In VSport trim, similar performance for much less money, but doesn't have same prestige or style
Same engine and handling with more interior space for less money, but not the same style