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Review (2/2)

CLS63 AMG: Stylish High-Performance Coupe with Four Doors

Source: Mercedes-Benz | Published: Wed Nov 17, 2010

(continued from the previous page)

Exterior Design Inspired by SLS AMG

From the front, the new CLS63 AMG is evocative of the SLS AMG - the radiator grille in particular, with the large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped louvers, draws its inspiration from the AMG super sports car. The CLS63 AMG is differentiated from the other CLS variants by a unique hood, wider fenders featuring the "V8 BITURBO" logo and an exclusive AMG front skirt with a black-painted cross-brace. Distinguishing features on the rear end include the diffuser insert, the AMG spoiler on the trunk lid, the AMG sports exhaust with two chromed dual tailpipes, as well as the integrated fog lamps also familiar from the SLS AMG. The AMG styling harmonizes perfectly with the classic CLS silhouette, identifiable largely by its elegantly taut proportions, the "dropping line" along the side and the sporty shoulder muscles spanning the rear axle.

33 Percent Improved Fuel Economy

Despite a substantial increase in output compared with the preceding model with the AMG 6.3-liter V8 naturally aspirated engine producing 507 hp and 465 lb-ft, the new CLS63 AMG goes 4 miles further in the city on one gallon of fuel, making it 33 per- cent more fuel-efficient - no less than a quantum leap. With estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, the new AMG V8 coupe is not only considerably better than all of its direct competitors in the exclusive segment of high-performance four-door coupes, it is also more fuel-efficient than many far less potent vehicles. Both performance variants have identical fuel economy.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-Speed Sport Transmission

A significant proportion of the unparalleled fuel economy is due to the Mercedes- AMG exclusive AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed Sport Transmission. In contrast to a conventional automatic gearbox, the MCT transmission operates without a torque converter, using instead a compact, wet start-up clutch. The stop/start function is standard equipment and is constantly active in the Controlled Efficiency ("C") trans- mission program, switching off the eight-cylinder when the vehicle is at a standstill. The Controlled Efficiency setting also provides smoother transmission mapping, delivering comfortable and early shifting, starting from rest in second gear. A green "ECO" symbol on the AMG dash indicates to the driver that the stop/start function is active.

The "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport Plus) and "M" (Manual) programs offer a more agile engine and transmission setup, while the stop/start function is deactivated. In the "M", "S" and "S+" modes, the engine management partially suppresses the cylinders - by interrupting ignition and injection for a very short and precisely defined period under full load, it makes shift times faster than ever. One highly appealing side effect of this exceptionally quick process is a stunningly emotional sound. Automatic revmatching and the RACE START function round out the comprehensive list of standard equipment.

Independent AMG Adaptive Suspension

The suspension, steering and braking system on the new CLS63 AMG are perfectly matched to the high-tech driveline. The AMG Adaptive Suspension with steel struts at the front and air suspension at the rear, as well as automatic ride-height control, is further refined with an electronic damping system. Depending on the situation, it automatically varies the damping characteristics and reduces body roll. The outcome is an incredibly fast correlation between optimum comfort and best-possible agility. The driver can switch between the three suspension settings "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus" at the touch of a button.

Lightweight Design

When it comes to its bodyshell, the 2012 CLS63 AMG is nothing less than an engineering work of art - intelligent lightweight design plays a major role in overcoming the classic conflict between low weight and high stiffness. Like the SLS AMG, the CLS63 AMG also features all-aluminum doors. They are made using deep-drawn aluminum sheet and extruded profile, and are around 24 percent lighter overall than conventional steel doors. Also made from aluminum are the hood, front fenders, rear parcel shelf, several beam profiles and a large number of chassis and engine components.

New Driver Assistance Systems

More than a dozen driver assistance systems in the new CLS work together to avoid accidents and mitigate their consequences. New systems include Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist (both part of the Driver Assistance Package).

Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver when, using close-range radar sensors, it detects the threat of a collision during a lane change maneuver. If the driver ignores the warning and comes dangerously close to the vehicle in the neighboring lane, Active Blind Spot Assist steps in. By initiating a brief braking impulse, controlled by ESP, on the rear wheel on the other side of the vehicle, it causes a yawing motion that counteracts the collision course.

Networked with ESP for the first time is Active Lane Keeping Assist. The system is activated when the driver involuntarily drives over continuous lane markings right or left. In such cases, Active Lane Keeping Assist applies the brakes on the opposing rear wheel in order to prevent the vehicle from crossing the line. At the same time, a display in the dashboard issues a warning to the driver. Should the vehicle cross broken lane markings, the system issues an electrically generated impulse via the steering wheel. This creates a short vibration, providing a subtle but highly effective cue to counter-steer immediately. This tactile warning via steering wheel vibration always occurs prior to any braking input.

AMG Performance Package

One highlight of the highly attractive optional equipment list is the AMG Perform- ance Package for the CLS63 AMG incorporating the following:

  • Increase in power output of 32 hp (total 550 hp) and maximum torque of 74 lb-ft (total 590 lb-ft)
  • AMG engine cover in genuine carbon-fiber
  • Rear spoiler in genuine carbon-fiber
  • Sport suspension
  • Red brake calipers
  • Top speed increased to 186 mph
  • AMG Performance Steering Wheel with Alcantara applications around the grip zones

U.S. market launch of the 2012 CLS63 AMG is scheduled for summer 2011.

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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