2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

Redefinin' expectations as to what a single car can be.

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  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
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Story: Michael Crenshaw

Model Tested: AMG Performance Package

Rating: 6 out of 6

Keep this on the hush, but the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG will do a sideshow through New York City like you wouldn’t believe. Of course, expecting a Benz with 550hp not to do that would be crazy, but it’s the delivery that makes this special. This 4,277-pound behemoth will slide, smoke and generally make a mockery of the 10-inch 285 series tires out back, mostly because of the 590 lb.-ft. available at 1,700 to 5,000 rpm, which, thanks to a set of turbos, will have you beggin’ for two right feet. However, the new CLS63 doesn’t just beg to be driven like some lunatic; it requires the proper finesse and gentlemanly presence to fully exploit the car as a whole (otherworldly) package.

First off, the new-generation exterior is a complete—and way better-lookin’—overhaul. Taking obvious cues from their top-of-the-line SLS worked. The CLS is more masculine and backstreet brawler than slightly overworked sedan. The quad quadrilateral exhaust tips are a subtle touch that one might only notice after hearing the thunderous exhaust tones.

With a car that does zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds, you would expect the brashness to show everywhere else, but it just ain’t true. In unrelenting Mercedes fashion, the CLS63 shines with a gorgeous Spartan cabin that hints at the over-$100K price tag but never hints at anything less. Throw in a custom IWC Ingenieur watch face in place of normal timing and you have an added dash of class for your cabin crew.

Now, the meat and potatoes of the CLS63 AMG are summed up in one word: performance. This car has a heaping helping of it. With the ability to get you out of any traffic situation, mixed with straight-up frightening performance from something that can hold women and small children, it’s no wonder the CLS63 is a man’s everyday space shuttle. Race Start, suspension adjustments and an “AMG” mode are all at the disposal of your fingertips and will let you loose with enough power to chance the survival of your future family tree. Thankfully, though, Mercedes has enough technology to stop even the most harebrained of drivers. To sum up the car, the experience and the pure greatness of the CLS63: Buy. One. Now.

Specs:

Damage: $107,860

Power: 550hp, 590 lb.-ft.

0-60: See also “speeding bullet”

Gas Cash: 15 city, 22 hwy

Miles Driven: 45

Interior: Mercedes-Benz interior design has continually improved and offers more gizmos and creature comforts than ever before. Countless possibilities for driver seating adjustments, engine modes and Harman Kardon audio ensure you can make the CLS your own.

Exterior: If the CLS63 shot 20-foot flames from the exterior, we would think it was just another boisterous feature of the AMG body kit. This is for sure: You will not be mistaken for any other car on the road—ever.

Floss Factor: It’s like a Top Fuel Dragster and a Maybach mated and had some super-twisted beast of an offspring like nothing else before it.

Flaw Factor: We don’t have one in the office at the moment.