A quick dab of the brake pedal followed by a light brush of the go go button and all hell broke loose! This, the all new Mercedes Benz CLS 63 AMG is well and truly a ‘Brute in a Suit’ and given the right provocation, will melt the Continental liquorice bands wrapped around the gorgeous AMG rims within a matter of seconds!
The CLS as a model in the Mercedes line up, has now found its place. Not only in the line-up but also in the driveways and garages of plenty of homes around the region. When the first generation car appeared outside the gates of the Merc factory in Stuttgart, it screamed of Jaguar and in a way was the car they (Jaguar) had always needed to produce.
Following that launch though a whole new segment and genre of car was created. Saloons wanting to be coupes, with sexy long flowing raked roof lines are now happily becoming more and more relevant, with the CLS sat at the top – slowing becoming an icon.
So, lots to live up to for the all-new CLS then? However, and here is the crux… The stunningly simple arc of metal, has been messed with in this second generation model. The result is a car that rather than being simple and beautfiful is one that is now a mish-mash of latest generation Mercedes design laid over a gorgeous frame. Yes it’s an imposing and brutal looking machine, especially with those latest gen wheel arches spreading their weight over the rear end, but we sorely miss the gorgeous flowing lines of the first car.
Mind you, once you have slid into the gorgeous interior and pulled the door to with a reassuring clunk, all you need to worry about is the powerhouse sat in front of you. The car you see before you is the top-of-the-range CLS fettled by the lunatics at AMG. With the added $8371 Performance Package specified (thank you to who ever specced that one!!) you have 549bhp and 590lb ft of thunderous grunt, all channeling through the rear wheels. Yes the standard machine is still running 518bhp, but when you are a bear… best be a Grizzly!
We are not talking small change here. Figures like that are truly monumental and provide you, the driver, the ability to warp time and motion. Push that AMG button (why does an AMG need an AMG button???) relax the ESP’s electronic reigns, and you’ll unleash the beast. It is clear the torque is restricted in first gear but when you are clear and rolling, the wave of thrust just keeps building and building until you clatter the 250kph limiter. Clatter might sound a touch harsh, but you most certainly do hit it hard.
Back to the sultry interior… Mercedes’ are well and truly back at the top of the quality ladder, after a brief dip during the Chrysler years. The materials are solid, premium, tactile and perfectly put together. Not to mention you have a goodie bag full of toys to keep you engaged, from night vision to lane tracking.
Not only have Mercedes found their way with interiors, the have got vehicle dynamics firmly licked too. The feel is excellent and, with that button pressed the car really does feel nicely weighted, giving you all the confidence needed to press on. Mind you, with the amount of horses channeling through the Continentals out back, it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of provocation to get all Formula Drift with yourself.
So to surmise then. If you can get over the slightly less attractive looks on the outside, which we are sure will not stop anyone, there is one mighty fine automobile raring to be driven. In this incarnation, it is a devastatingly fast car and one that ticks many a box. Mind you, if you do go out and buy one… make sure you keep a budget to one side for rear tyres! Melting them does get addictive.
Excuse the creative license with the first pic – just having some fun.