On the eve of the LA Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the 2012 CLS63 AMG, the bi-turbo V8 version of its thoroughly restyled and utterly delectable sedan.
AMG's new baby – the M157 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 – is finding a home in nearly every new Mercedes product, and when fitted to the CLS63 the blown mill is good for 518 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque... in standard form. Option up for the AMG Performance Package and Merc's in-house tuner turns up the boost from 14.5 to 18.8 psi and output rises to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of twist. Equipped with AMG's seven-gear "Speedshift" MCT automatic tranny, the CLS63 takes an estimated 4.4 seconds to run from 0-60 in standard guise and 4.3 seconds with the AMG pack. Similarly, top speed also rises from 155 to 186 mph with the performance upgrade. And if you care, both variants clock in at 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.
In addition to the reworked engine and transmission, the front axle has been widened by nearly an inch and AMG fitted its independent adaptive suspension with electronic damping and a three-stage traction control system. The 19-inch, five-spoke wheels are wrapped in 255/35 tires in front and 285/30s out back, while 14.2-inch drilled and ventilated discs are fitted at all four corners.
A special "Launch Edition" will be available when the CLS63 goes on sale this coming summer and comes coated in matte grey paint with a mix of carbon fiber and piano black interior trim, alcantara headliner and AMG sports seats swathed in "Corteccia Pearl" leather. Make the jump for all the details and specs.
LOS ANGELES – Stunning design, superior performance and groundbreaking efficiency – that is the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. The four-door coupe features the all-new AMG V8 biturbo engine generating an output of up to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, as well as the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed Sports Transmission. Fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway (esti- mated figures) represents an improvement of up to 33 percent compared with the preceding model. The 2012 CLS63 AMG goes on sale in the US in the sum- mer of 2011.
The combination of AMG Adaptive Suspension with the adaptive damping system and a new front axle arrangement, plus new electro-hydraulic AMG sports steering delivers supreme handling and dynamics. From a visual standpoint, the 2012 CLS63 AMG cuts an impressive figure with its athletic stance and distinctive exterior and interior design. The brand new active LED high-performance headlights are available as an option, with LED Daytime Running Lamps fitted as standard.
"The new CLS63 AMG writes the next chapter in the success story created by the CLS55 AMG and CLS63 AMG, which have been amazing our customers around the world since 2004," says Ola Källenius, General Manager of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "The CLS63 AMG is a unique, high-performance automobile – it sets new bench- marks in design, performance and efficiency."
As with the S63 AMG and CL63 AMG, drivers of the CLS63 AMG benefit from the new eight-cylinder motor known internally as the M 157. The new AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine features a combination of high-tech components – in addition to spray-guided gasoline direct injection with piezo injectors, it boasts an all-aluminum crank- case, four-valve technology with variable camshafts, air-water charge-air cooling, generator management and stop/start system. From 5,461 cm3, the eight-cylinder generates a maximum output of 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. In combination with the optional AMG Performance Package, output rises to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft. Both versions of the CLS63 AMG deliver exceptional performance – acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively, with a top speed of 155 mph in the standard version and 186 mph with the Performance Package (electronically limited. All figures are preliminary).
The key difference between the two performance levels is the maximum charge pres- sure of the twin turbochargers, which is 14.5 psi in the standard CLS63 AMG and 18.8 psi with the Performance Package. Moreover, the version with the Performance Package boasts an attractive engine cover with carbon-fiber applications.
Quantum leap – 33 percent improved fuel economy
Despite a substantial increase in output compared with the preceding model with the AMG 6.3-liter V8 naturally aspirated engine producing 507 hp and 465 lb-ft, the new CLS63 AMG goes 4 miles further in the city on one gallon of fuel, making it 33 per- cent more fuel-efficient – no less than a quantum leap. With estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, the new AMG V8 coupe is not only considerably better than all of its direct competitors in the exclusive segment of high-performance four-door coupes, it is also more fuel-efficient than many far less potent vehicles. Both performance variants have identical fuel economy.
Overview of key data
All figures are preliminary; * with AMG Performance Package; ** electronically limited
Exclusive - AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed Sport Transmission
A significant proportion of the unparalleled fuel economy is due to the Mercedes- AMG exclusive AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed Sport Transmission. In contrast to a conventional automatic gearbox, the MCT transmission operates without a torque converter, using instead a compact, wet start-up clutch. The stop/start function is standard equipment and is constantly active in the Controlled Efficiency ("C") trans- mission program, switching off the eight-cylinder when the vehicle is at a standstill. The Controlled Efficiency setting also provides smoother transmission mapping, delivering comfortable and early shifting, starting from rest in second gear. A green "ECO" symbol on the AMG dash indicates to the driver that the stop/start function is active.
The "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport Plus) and "M" (Manual) programs offer a more agile en- gine and transmission setup, while the stop/start function is deactivated. In the "M", "S" and "S+" modes, the engine management partially suppresses the cylinders – by interrupting ignition and injection for a very short and precisely defined period un- der full load, it makes shift times faster than ever. One highly appealing side effect of this exceptionally quick process is a stunningly emotional sound. Automatic rev- matching and the RACE START function round out the comprehensive list of standard equipment.
Independent AMG Adaptive Suspension
The suspension, steering and braking system on the new CLS63 AMG are perfectly matched to the high-tech driveline. The AMG Adaptive Suspension with steel struts at the front and air suspension at the rear, as well as automatic ride-height control, is fur- ther refined with an electronic damping system. Depending on the situation, it auto- matically varies the damping characteristics and reduces body roll. The outcome is an incredibly fast correlation between optimum comfort and best-possible agility. The driver can switch between the three suspension settings "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus" at the touch of a button.
The independent front axle setup has a 0.94 inch wider track and is paired perfectly with the electro-hydraulic AMG sports steering. Not only does the level of power as- sistance vary in accordance with the suspension mode, it also delivers an improve- ment in fuel economy because it draws energy only when the steering is actually in use. The 3-stage ESP® offers individual settings – and thus a distinct plus for driving fun with no restriction in safety.
AMG high-performance braking system
The AMG high-performance braking system provides perfect stopping power even under extreme driving conditions with 14.2-inch internally ventilated and cross- drilled brake discs at all four corners. The front axle features highly resilient, mo- torsport-tested composite technology. Contact with the road is maintained with tita- nium gray painted and polished AMG 19-inch triple 5-spoke alloy wheels clad in 255/35 R19 tires (front) and 285/30 R19 (rear).
Intelligent lightweight design – major contribution to efficiency
When it comes to its bodyshell, the 2012 CLS63 AMG is nothing less than an engineer- ing work of art – intelligent lightweight design plays a major role in overcoming the classic conflict between low weight and high stiffness. Like the SLS AMG, the CLS63 AMG also features all-aluminum doors. They are made using deep-drawn aluminum sheet and extruded profile, and are around 24 percent lighter overall than conventional steel doors. Also made from aluminum are the hood, front fenders, rear parcel shelf, several beam profiles and a large number of chassis and engine components.
Progress through light – active LED high-performance headlamps
The CLS-Class is the first model line in the world to feature active LED high- performance headlamps that combine the amazing daylight-like color of LED technol- ogy with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today's bi-xenon headlights. The new full-LED light system is available as an option in the U.S. and for the first time offers the advanced lighting technology already proven in Mercedes models with bi-xenon headlamps. The headlamps, with their total of 71 LEDs, under- score the distinctive presence of the CLS63 AMG. Mercedes-Benz light specialists were able to combine LED technology with the optional Adaptive Highbeam Assist for the first time, leading to an all-new level of nighttime safety.
Contrary to the first vehicles with LED headlamps, there are now absolutely no re- strictions to the functionality and performance of this light technology. The case for the new LED technology is strengthened further by factors such as – the average life- cycle of an LED being 10,000 hours, which is around five times more than a xenon lamp; and the color of LED driving lights being the closest to daylight. This means that LED light is a good match for the normal operating range of the human eye. Studies show that artificial light puts less strain on the eye the closer it is to the color of daylight. With a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6,500 K) than xenon light (4,200 K). Fitted as standard are the characteristic AMG- specific LED Daytime Running Lights, which feature two light bars integrated into the AMG front skirt.
Exterior design inspired by SLS AMG
From the front, the new CLS63 AMG is evocative of the SLS AMG – the radiator grille in particular, with the large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped louvers, draws its in- spiration from the AMG super sports car. The CLS63 AMG is differentiated from the other CLS variants by a unique hood, wider fenders featuring the "V8 BITURBO" logo and an exclusive AMG front skirt with a black-painted cross-brace. Distinguishing fea- tures on the rear end include the diffuser insert, the AMG spoiler on the trunk lid, the AMG sports exhaust with two chromed dual tailpipes, as well as the integrated fog lamps also familiar from the SLS AMG. The AMG styling harmonizes perfectly with the classic CLS silhouette, identifiable largely by its elegantly taut proportions, the "drop- ping line" along the side and the sporty shoulder muscles spanning the rear axle.
Exclusive interior ambience
This philosophy is also carried into the interior. All AMG-specific styling and equip- ment features are a perfect match for the new design of the CLS interior. The wrap-around effect in the cockpit, with the high line flowing in a single sweep from the driver door across the dashboard to the passenger door is flanked by generously pro- portioned and finely detailed trim – in the case of the AMG flagship model, this comes as standard in burl walnut wood veneer. Piano black lacquer and carbon-fiber trim elements are available as options. Material quality and workmanship is of the highest order and provide a highly exclusive ambience. The extensive range of stan- dard equipment includes AMG sports seats in premium leather, a new AMG three- spoke performance steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles and a flattened rim top and bottom and the AMG DRIVE UNIT with compact E-SELECT shift lever.
New driver assistance systems – more safety
More than a dozen driver assistance systems in the new CLS work together to avoid ac- cidents and mitigate their consequences. New systems include Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist (both part of the Driver Assistance Package).
Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver when, using close-range radar sensors, it de- tects the threat of a collision during a lane change maneuver. If the driver ignores the warning and comes dangerously close to the vehicle in the neighboring lane, Active Blind Spot Assist steps in. By initiating a brief braking impulse, controlled by ESP®, on the rear wheel on the other side of the vehicle, it causes a yawing motion that counter- acts the collision course.
Networked with ESP® for the first time is Active Lane Keeping Assist. The system is activated when the driver involuntarily drives over continuous lane markings right or left. In such cases, Active Lane Keeping Assist applies the brakes on the opposing rear wheel in order to prevent the vehicle from crossing the line. At the same time, a display in the dashboard issues a warning to the driver. Should the vehicle cross bro- ken lane markings, the system issues an electrically generated impulse via the steer- ing wheel. This creates a short vibration, providing a subtle but highly effective cue to counter-steer immediately. This tactile warning via steering wheel vibration always occurs prior to any braking input.
AMG Performance Package adds more power
One highlight of the highly attractive optional equipment list is the AMG Perform- ance Package for the CLS63 AMG incorporating the following:
Increase in power output of 32 hp (total 550 hp) and maximum torque of 74 lb-ft (total 590 lb-ft)
AMG engine cover in genuine carbon-fiber
Rear spoiler in genuine carbon-fiber
Red brake calipers
Top speed increased to 186 mph
AMG Performance Steering Wheel with Alcantara® applications around the grip zones
"Launch Edition" – something very special
One very special offering is the exclusive CLS63 AMG "Launch Edition". Painted in the new shade of matte Manganit Gray Magno, the "Launch Edition" is a stunning composition of top-quality interior detailing – on opening the door, the AMG sports seats are an immediate eye-catcher, designo leather in "Corteccia Pearl" delivers a mesmerizing shimmering metallic surface finish. Interior roof liner, A, B and C pil- lars and sun visors are all upholstered in anthracite Alcantara®. AMG trim elements in carbon-fiber/piano black lacquer create a functional ambience, while designo floor mats in black velour with the design badge and designo leather edging in "Corteccia Pearl" correspond perfectly with the designo leather seats.
U.S. market launch of the 2012 CLS63 AMG is scheduled for summer 2011.
2012 CLS63 AMG
Displacement: 5,461 cm3
Bore x stroke: 98.0 x 90.5 mm
Compression ratio: 10.0 : 1
Power: 518 hp @ 5,500 r/min 550 hp @ 5,500 r/min*
Max. torque: 516 lb-ft @ 1750-5000 r/min 590 lb-ft @ 2000-4500 r/min*
Engine weight (dry): 450 lbs
Fuel economy: 16 / 21 mpg city / highway
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 4.4 s 4.3 s*
Top speed**: 155 mph 186 mph*