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Thomas Mallett2013-01-03 15:38:06

It’s just not quite as exciting as the previous one

Mercedes CLS63

Prior to last night I had not tried a new CLSCLS-Class Gen.2Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Gen.2Germany, 2010 > present56 versions
151 photos
1 video
or the new ‘63’CLS 63 AMGMercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMGGermany, 2011 > present6 photos
1 video
engine, now I’ve killed two birds with one stone what did I think?

When the CLS came out (the original car) it represented a brand new niche which has since been copied by, well, almost everyone from VWVolkswagenVolkswagenGermany, 1938 > present98 models
9787 photos
31 videos
to PorschePorschePorscheGermany, 1931 > present43 models
4654 photos
29 videos
. We have now got very used to these four door coupe’s traversing our streets and it could even be said that the man who opts to buy (especially with his own money) a standard saloon car is becoming something of a minority as ever more stylized options are flaunted in backlit showrooms.

So we have become very used to its swooping shape and I would go as far as to say that it is one of the most successful niches that has been carved over the last decade or so. It has received plaudits from the press and from customers alike. The first one came with a ‘bread and butter’ dieselCLS 350 CDI AutoMercedes-Benz CLS 350 CDI...Germany, 2008 > present15 photos
, that most people bought, and a supercharged V8 versionCLS 55 AMGMercedes-Benz CLS 55 AMGGermany, 2004 > present4 photos
that wealthy, stealthy wannabe racing drivers lapped up in their droves. It was a lovely engine, the AMG V8, and then it got even better when MercedesMercedes-BenzMercedes-BenzGermany, 1924 > present197 models
9897 photos
33 videos
shoehorned its 6208cc ‘63’ engineCLS 63 AMGMercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMGGermany, 2006 > present3 photos
under the bonnet. My oh my. The best engine on sale today?

As you may well guess I was nervous when I heard about the reduction in capacity to ‘only’ 5.5 litres with forced induction to boot. Power and torque figures would never be the problem, but noise and responsiveness might.

So, what was this package like to drive? The good news is that it’s more economical (it would have struggled to do worse on that front) and I achieved 22.9mpg, which isn’t bad. The rest of the car feels thoroughly solid too. It’s well made and rides plenty well enough for something with such sporting pretentions. The alcantara/leather mix steering wheel is nice too and the chassis feels stiffer than it did as well. All good news then.

And there is plenty of technology to get tech-heads revved up. The seats grip you as you attack the bendy stuff with the verve that AMGAMGAMGGermany, 1966 > present17 models
103 photos
demand and the latest navigation screen is approaching the gargantuan size that BMWBMWBMWGermany, 1918 > present87 models
8640 photos
43 videos
seems wedded to with its cars. Quite simple, there is little to criticize about the new CLS or its engine.

So why didn’t I fall in love then? The clue may well be in the first couple of paragraphs. The ‘55’ engine was full of character and the 6208cc engine makes noises that can have you put in prison in more conservative sees.

This new engine is far more reserved. Of course, it sounds good in isolation…it’d struggle not to, but then so does the new M5M5BMW M5Germany, 2012 > 200028 photos
1 video
and I have already bemoaned the loss of the old V10 with that car too. No, without the USP that all the noise and drama gave the old car the new CLS 63 is nothing more than another big, fast, well made Mercedes and I couldn’t work out why I would buy it over and above a Porsche PanameraPanamera Gen.1 [970]Porsche Panamera Gen.1 [970]Germany, 2009 > present33 versions
145 photos
2 videos
, BMW’s M5 or an Audi S8S8Audi S8Germany, 2012 > present14 photos
. It’s very good though…there’s no denying that.

 

 

Encyclopedia
Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz
CLS-ClassCLS-Class
CLS-Class Gen.2CLS-Class Gen.2
CLS 63 AMGCLS 63 AMG
Engine
--
Displacement
333 cu in
Top Speed
155 mph
Transmission
--
Maximum power
518 hp @ 5250 rpm
Type
Saloon (sedan)
Fuel
Petrol
Fuel consumption (combined)
23.73 US MPG
price
$ 94.900
annual ownership cost
$ 2.414

1 comment

cabruce
I predict in 15 years the first generation CLS will be a valuable classic. Even after all of the imitators, nothing looks like that car.
03.01.2013 @ 16:06
Anonymous

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