Hosts Jessi Lang and Steve Hammes checked out the all-new 2010 Mercedes Benz CLS 63 AMG, the ridiculously powerful sports sedan whose class, the CLS, is being marketed by Benz as a “four door coupe”. Although this seems like a contradiction, once you see the 63 AMG for the first time, you realize that its sleek, sporty styling, while managing to fit itself into a four-door frame, rewrites the rules on both coupes and sport saloons.
Mercedes’ CLS lineup has been known for both its power, sportiness, and luxury, and the 63 AMG is the culmination and pinnacle for all three. Under the hood, the 63 AMG has a naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V8 engine that gets an insane 507 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. This power will get you a blazing-fast 4.3 seconds in the 0-60 test, a drop in 1.2 seconds from the closest model in its lineup, the CLS 550. However, all this power comes at a steep price: you’ll be looking at 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, and that’s with premium gas.
The handling is a thrill as well. The AMG-tuned suspension also takes things to the next level, with stiffer shocks and stabilizer bars–controlling this car is a thing of beauty. Taking to the curves of the backroads gives you confidence and drives at a level which Steve Hammes calls, “Like a star athlete on game day.” The 7-speed automatic transmission comes with paddleshifters on the steering wheel and seems to shift slightly faster than the base CLS models.
Our test car came with the performance package, which rounded up the price another $9800. The package came with 19″ alloy wheels, a limited slip differential, larger front brakes, a track-calibrated suspension system, and a sport steering wheel. All AMG branded. And with this package, the speed limiter was raised from 155 to 186 mph.
The interior is a little less than expected out of a hundred-thousand dollar sports saloon, the electronics are outdated and the backseat feels a little cramped. But the 63 AMG is still luxurious, and one buys this car for the German engineering, the beauty of its exterior, and its incredible driving experience, not the minor gripes that can be found inside the cockpit.
And the CLS 63 AMG is no cheap car, either. The base 63 AMG starts at $97,950 while our test car, with that performance package, came in at $116,775. On either, though, tack on the steep $2600 gas guzzler tax charge.
Although the CLS models are on the cusp of a redesign, this year’s 63 AMG is an incredibly tempting and powerful marriage of luxury sedans and sport coupes that is hard to resist.