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.
The 2012 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG is pure Mercedes but there are definite AMG distinctions that stand out. They take a standard C-Class coupe add some bigger wheels, a stiffer suspension, and drop in a hand-built 451hp V8 attached to a 7-speed multi-clutch automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. From the first glance it’s clear the C63 AMG is more than just a C-Class with some badges, it’s all about performance. From its 200mph speedometer to features like “Launch Control” and “Race Mode” that let the driver record lap times at the track. Add the “AMG Development Package” and horsepower rises from 451 to 481, top speed increases from 155 to 174 and you get a high-performance compound braking system so it’ll stop fast too. And if 481hp isn’t enough for you, you can always opt for the limited-edition 510 horsepower C63 AMG Black-Series. The 2012 C63 AMG has the level of luxury you’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz but its got AMG performance running through its veins.
Today I reviewed the 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec for Wheels-TV & AutoTrader. Base price is $34,000 and you get pretty much all the extras you’d expect in a luxury car except the navigation system. Add $12k and you’re at the R-Spec which is where you wanna be. The R-Spec has a 429hp V8 that gets a respectable 16 city / 25 highway mpg, it also has a sportier suspension which makes for a rough ride, but makes up for it with heated and air-conditioned seats. Even the rear seats are heated – which I like. But in my opinion the R-Spec sedan is what the regular Genesis sedan should feel like. If you’re looking for a near-luxury car for under $50k the 2012 Hyundai Genesis is a great bang for the buck.
Just got back from Lake Placid, New York. I had the pleasure of being a Product Specialist for Chevrolet. Check out the 2012 Camaro on the snow. They start at just over $23,000 and it’s little V-6 puts out 326hp and gets 29mpg on the highway. If that’s not enough power for you, to celebrate its 100th anniversary Chevy has brought back the ZL1 option. For those of you not in the know – the ZL1 is a legendary option from 1969 that added an aluminium block & heads to the already mighty 427 engine. The 2012 Camaro ZL1 sports a 580hp supercharged V8. Yes – 580hp from the factory. It’ll do 180mph and all for under $55,000!!! It’s the best bang for the buck on the planet. See the USA in a Chevrolet.
Look at me! I’m blogging!
I’ve gotta thank Lanisha Cole for setting me up and motivating me to do this.
Now I’ve just gotta think of something to say…