Alright… yesterday I got to acquaint myself with the all new 2012 Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG. The thing is a beast. Let’s start from the beginning. Mercedes introduced the world to the first 4-door coupe: the CLS in 2004. 4-door coupe? That’s right, a 4-door coupe… It may be a little awkward getting into and out of, and once inside there’s not much rear or side visibility. But, that being said, once inside you’re entombed in the classic Mercedes Benz vault-like interior. It’s silent. Well… It’s silent except for the all new 5.5 liter twin-turbocharged 550hp V8 rumbling under the hood. You see, AMG decided to go green. And this is how they did it: They got rid of the thirsty old 6.3 liter naturally aspirated V8 and dropped in a little 5.5 liter V8 with twin sequential turbo chargers. The 5.5 liter gets over 30% better fuel economy than the old 6.3 and to go along with the “Green” trend AMG also added a stop/start feature that works seamlessly in economy mode. When the car comes to a stop the engine dies. Let your foot off the brake and you’re off and running again. It’s very smooth. But what happens at a stop light when that guy in the right lane wants a little… You know. Here’s what you do: First you put your left foot on the brake. You tap the AMG button once, the suspension goes into Sport Handling mode and then twist the performance dial to the right as far as it will go – until it’s in “RM” – Race-Mode. Then a message pops up on the dash: “To Engage Race Mode Select the Up Shifter.” Hit the up shifter and Race-Mode is engaged. Floor the throttle. Wait until the revs hit about 4-grand and then let go of the brake and hold on. Its good fun but pretty uneventful after all of that buildup. It’s an amazing combination of the roar of the engine trying to overcome the electronic controls trying to rein this beast in. And since it’s a Mercedes… the electronics always win. With 550hp and the traction control disabled, you can spin the rear tires at will. In Race-Mode it’s amazing to feel the electronics work together to transfer all that power to the ground and to seamlessly to propel the big coupe forward, all in an uneventful roar of a hand-built 5.5 liter AMG V8. If you need a “green” rocket-ship to propel you and three friends around in style and you’re willing to drop six-figures of “green” to do it then look no further than the 2012 CLS63 AMG.
2012 Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG