The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and its bi-turbo V8 engine is the ultimate muscle car. The noise when it first starts up is glorious and thoroughly amazing, as turbochargers usually have a habit of muffling even the loudest engines. Its engine is an incentive to run the 4-door coupe in its "eco" mode, because the car shuts itself off at every stoplight, and then restarts as soon as you move off — with another opportunity to hear that V8 roar. The CLS63 AMG may only get 16 mpg. It may be a little somber and slightly cramped inside. It may have just too much technology, with all those lane-drift warnings, following-distance warnings, sleepy-driver alerts and blind-spot warning lights. But I can forgive this car almost anything because of that engine and that wonderful noise.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS adopts a more aggressive design, and the CLS63 AMG takes it even further, packing supercar performance into a 4-door, 4-seat package. The AMG bi-turbo V8 engine produces abundant torque and the CLS63 AMG is as fast as anything but the most exotic, fastest sports cars. It rockets forward with a squeeze of the throttle at any speed, but it is also a complete package, with the AMG-tuned suspension, steering, brakes and transmission all delivering the same level of performance as the hand-built engine. All of the AMG magic works together to give the driver precise control and an amazing level of performance, with a balanced and nimble feel despite its size, along with the ability to transport four adults in rapid comfort. The interior embodies elegant performance, with sport seats, a sport wheel and aluminum shift paddles. As if the "standard" 518 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque were inadequate, our test car included the AMG Performance Package that boosts power to 550 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, with the electronically limited top speed raised to 186 mph. A fun feature is the start-stop function that shuts down the engine at a stop and restarts it instantly with a touch of the throttle, accompanied by a menacing growl from the exhaust. It only works when the transmission is set to Comfort mode though, eliminating the fraction of a second delay in Sport, Sport+ or Manual.
This CLS 63 is an absolutely amazing vehicle. On the surface, it's just a gorgeous 4-door sedan with coupelike lines and unique LED headlights. But those in the know will notice the quad exhaust pipes, the carbon-fiber rear spoiler and 19-inch AMG wheels. And even those who don't recognize this as something even more special than a standard Mercedes CLS, the fact that it sounds like a muscle car and accelerates like a hot rod are bound to attract some attention. The 7-speed automatic has a variety of settings — from Comfort to Sport+ — and it shifts remarkably fast. The seven speeds also help with fuel economy, as does the auto shutoff — the engine shuts off when the car is stopped, starting up again when the brake is released. The 18 mpg I saw isn't great, but considering the 550-horsepower V8 engine under the hood, it's not bad. There are also several settings for the suspension, but even the softest is pretty stiff. Overall, CLS63 is the complete package: great looks, a comfortable and attractive interior, and enough power to blow the doors off of most other cars on the road.