THE 2012 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS63 AMG REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: Get Mad
The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is what happens when brilliant engineers and designers get angry and go to work.
The CLS63 AMG is sinister, menacing, and flat-out fierce. From its bared maw to its bellowing engine, the CLS63 AMG is out to make a statement – and maybe even punch someone in the face. It is not a sedate S-Class with an upraised nose and stiff white collar; the CLS63 AMG is out to make the world burn.
What Does It Look Like?
Consider the Mazda3. It greets its drivers with the bubbly smile of Shirley Temple. Then consider the four-door coupe CLS63 AMG. It takes on the attitude of Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali in the ring. One imagines it fought the SLS AMG in a back alley and stole its hood and fascia. Gregarious 19-inch wheels, deep sculpted side ridges, and a streamlined “Ponton” rear end meld fury and fashion, a unique statement amongst prim and proper BMWs and Aston Martins. With an AMG Performance Package, the exterior receives a carbon fiber engine cover and rear spoiler.
(See 80+ images of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG).
Packin’ a Powertrain
The CLS63 is sourced from Mercedes-Benz’s subsidiary AMG, which means “Anger Management Group.” As of late, with AMG turning out livid street monsters, there has been an in-house movement at Daimler to rename the marque.* In the meantime, AMG continues to create gods like the CLS63 AMG.
New for 2012, the Benz uses a hand-built twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter achieving 518 horsepower. The two turbos notably improve fuel economy compared to the outgoing 6.2-liter. Fuel economy is also augmented by an automatic stop/start function, which can be disabled if desired. The AMG Performance Package boosts power output to 550 horsepower and a whopping 590 lb-ft of torque and somehow, through some necromancy, does not decrease fuel economy. All clout is routed to the rear wheels via a specialized AMG MCT SpeedShift seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control and four driving modes, in the sportiest of which gearbox can swap cogs in 0.1 seconds.
Some ask, “How does the CLS63 AMG drive?”
Would one ask how a falcon flies or a fish swims? Of course not. Therefore, why would one ask the CLS63 AMG drives? It was conceived – destined, as it were – for the open road and twisty track. A chorus of raucous demons announces every rpm from the exhaust outlets. In standard guise, Mercedes estimates that the 4,277-lb sedan sprints to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds – 4.3 with the AMG Performance Package, which re-tunes the suspension for added firmness and bumps up top speed to 183 mph. In real world tests, professional drivers have clocked the behemoth shattering its own estimates by achieving 60 mph in 3.9 ticks. With its three-mode adjustable and adaptive suspension, the CLS63 AMG is instantly ready to shift between professional and frenzied, soothing and livid. It prefers livid.
The CLS63 AMG comes free of extra charge with ten airbags, bi-xenon headlamps, and autodimming mirrors. The options roster comes with virtually every known passive and active safety feature on the market; Mercedes invented most of them.
Space & Stuff
The $40,000 price range seems to be the golden mean for maximum space. Any less, and the market is swamped with cute utes and compact sedans; any more, and the market turns to high-dollar exotic cars – one currently reviewed herein – where lounge space is more endangered than a pop musician who can sing without Auto-Tune. At nearly $95,000, the CLS63 AMG is firmly set in the latter category. Granted, it can sing, but the four-door, four-passenger sedan lacks space, particularly in the rear. Legroom is acceptable at 35.0 inches, but headroom at just 36.1 inches is liable to behead inattentive occupants. The front quarters are quite spacious, however, as is the 15.3-cubic foot trunk.
Up to this point, all the CLS63 AMG’s considerable fury had been properly channeled into mind-blowing performance and menacing style. Then the Benz had to throw a tantrum and mar the magic. It became parsimonious – for 95k, that is. The CLS63 AMG lacks keyless entry and heated/ventilated seats, which are available only with the Premium 1 package. The optional seats also add active bolstering and massage features. In standard guise, the Benz’s notable features include a navigation system with real-time traffic and voice control and a 14-speaker Harmon/kardon audio system with all manner of auditory perks.
Get mad. Get the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. Then be happy.**
Engine: 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8: 518 horsepower @5,250 rpm/516 lb-ft of torque @1,700 rpm
Optional: 550 horsepower/590 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: seven-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Economy: 15/22 mpg
0-60 mph: 4.4/3.9 seconds
Base MSRP: $94,900
*The above point is blatantly false.
**Then check your bank account and repeat step number one.
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