First Test: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Taking the Long Way Home in One Fast Four-Door
Taking the long way home just got a lot more fun. Mercedes-Benz let the experts at Motor Trend take a spin in the all new CLS63 AMG and now they want to tell you all about their first test drive. The CLS63 AMG is one fast four-door equipped with the all-new Mercedes-Benz AMG 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. Definitely a Mercedes-Benz that will have you looking for any excuse to take the long way home. It is a beautiful sight to see, so head to your local NJ Mercedes dealer and check it out today!
Source: Motor Trend
When faced with a day's drive back home, there are usually a few ways you can go. But when you're in a car like the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, there's really only one way -- the long way.
The road back from California's famed Napa wine country -- where Benz hosted another CLS-Class press inoculation -- to MT HQ in L.A. offers lots of tasty options. This time down I'd peel off Highway 101 at Gilroy heading southeast on Route 25. From the 25 I'd head east onto Route 198, cutting a swath through California's central valley farm country, then hook back onto the I-5 for the home stretch.
Routes 25 and 198 offer a wonderful mix of flat, wide-open straights and challenging kinks through practically deserted farm country. Only the stray car (and cow) heard the maniacal roar from the CLS63 AMG's all-new 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 hurtling at them under full throttle, with the massive three-pointed star, single-strake grille, and daytime LED running lights filling up the rear view -- fast.
The exterior of the new CLS63 is taut, athletic, and ready for action, with neat AMG touches including a carbon lip spoiler, more aggressive front fascia, and tasty exhaust tips nestled at each end of a black diffuser. Benz is quick to point out that design is the main reason buyers gravitate toward the Mercedes-Benz CLS, and while one-upping the first-gen car's now iconic design was a tall order, lead designer Hubert Lee (he was that kid in your history class drawing cars) and his team have arguably pulled it off, depending upon your subjective outlook.
Our test car came with the $7300 AMG sport package, which dials up an already mean twin-turbocharged mill to 550 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque -- all with no mpg penalty. Our advice? Do not hesitate -- check the sport package option. The outgoing 6.2-liter V-8 is a legendary mill and it will be missed, but underestimate the 5.5 at your peril.
The new hotness these days is less displacement, direct injection, and turbo boost, which equals more power and less guilt, and the 5.5 hits all those marks. If you're into getting more mpg out of your AMG, the new CLS63 nets an estimated 15 mpg city/23 highway, a hefty increase that will keep it from running with the gas-guzzler set. Another new mpg booster is the automaker's start/stop function (first seen on the CL and S AMGs and S400 Hybrid). It's a little off-putting at first, especially when the 5.5 suddenly wakes up, but it becomes routine in no time.
Helping put all those ponies down to the pavement is AMG's Speedshift seven-speed transmission with its MCT (multi-clutch technology) system, which employs a start-up clutch in place of a conventional torque converter. Benz claims shifts come in little as 100 milliseconds when dialed up to the sharpest settings. You can further engage in the shifting experience through wonderfully placed and sized paddle shifters. We tried all four shift modes, including most notably the Sport+ setting, and with the exception of a few slight hiccups in the M paddle mode we experienced under hard up and downshifts, it's arguably the best-tuned automatic tranny in the business.
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