Â© All photos by Harvey Schwartz
ICING ON THE CAKE
By Harvey Schwartz
After successfully launching the all-new CL550 personal luxury coupe in 2007,
Mercedes-Benz follows that gem up in 2008 with a more powerful and luxurious
CL63 AMG limited-edition model. What's new from AMG lies under the hood, inside
the cabin and its unique design.
The CL63 AMG features a hand-assembled, 6.3 liter, V8 that produces 518
horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful normally
aspirated production V8 on the market. Designed exclusively by AMG, this engine
shares no parts with other Mercedes-Benz V8 engines.
This super powerful, smooth and quiet engine is mated to a seven-speed AMG
SPEEDSHIFT Driver-Adaptive automatic transmission with steering wheel shift
paddles. The transmission quickly adapts and learns your driving style, giving
quick, imperceptible shifts up and down. The aluminum paddle shifter enables you
to run the engine up to redline when you want to quicken your pulse and
experience true super-car exhilaration. The CL63 AMG blasts out to 60 mph from a
standstill in just 4.4 seconds, with a 186 mph top speed – true, super car
The very stiff and torsional steel unit body features aluminum front fenders,
doors, hood and a composite trunk lid. The reinforced chassis totally eliminates
any noise, vibration or harshness and gives such a pleasurable drive whether you
are just doing your everyday errands, when taking off for a long weekend, or
during a spectacular weekend at the track with other AMG Club Members.
The CL63 AMG suspension and brake systems are world-class and designed for
high-performance driving. AMG makes good use of the Mercedes-Benz ABC active
suspension system and tuned it for even flatter cornering and less body movement
when accelerating and braking. The Sport-Comfort-Manual button on the center
console allows you to choose between the three different transmission shift
programs that also fine-tune accelerator pedal response and sport-suspension
spring and shock absorber settings.
The race-bred fully independent suspension features automatic four-wheel level
control, adjustable ride height and automatic lowering. The Mercedes-Benz
Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control help you maintain control on
slick or wet pavement, plus you'll never know that the systems are working.
The world-class AMG twin sliding brake calipers up front combine the performance
of large fixed calipers with the distinct advantages of floating calipers-lower
heat transfer to the brake fluid and better ride comfort. Up front are massive
15.4-inch vented/cross-drilled composite rotors, and in the rear are 14.4-inch
vented/cross-drilled composite rotors. The CL63 AMG stops in just 116 feet from
60 miles per hour. Standard ABS, Brake Assist, and Mercedes-Benz's PRE-SAFE
braking system helps you maintain control during severe maneuvers.
The flared front fenders are stuffed with stunning AMG designed, cast aluminum
wheels, 20X8.5 up front, and 20X9.5 wheels in the rear. These stunning ten-spoke
wheels are wrapped with super-high-performance tires for excellent traction,
grip, and ride comfort.
The second layer of the CL63 AMG is the bold and elegant styling. AMG cues start
with a muscular front bumper, unique lamp clusters under clear lenses, large
lower air intake, smaller air intakes at the sides to cool the front brakes, and
round fog lights, all ringed in chrome. The front fenders are adorned with 6.3
AMG badges. Beautifully contoured side skirts carry the aggressive lines of the
front bumper to the rear. The sleek greenhouse is wrapped in chrome and features
no B-pillars to impede the flowing lines. The AMG rear apron emphasizes the wide
stance of the car, while a lip spoiler atop the trunk lid helps with down-force.
Large, twin chrome-tipped oval tailpipes are located at each end of the diffuser
and give a mighty roar when you stamp on the throttle.
The third layer is inside when you open the doors and are greeted by an AMG
inspired interior that is spectacular, combining super-car driving cues,
old-world German craftsmanship, and the latest ultra-luxury and ultra-high-tech
Step over the aluminum AMG door plates and sit back in the AMG multi-contour
leather sport bucket seats. These superbly comfortable seats are finished in
special piping and are fully adjustable. They also feature an 'Active Setting'
where the side bolsters inflate and deflate depending on the lateral G-forces
that you encounter during hard cornering and spirited driving.
You are completely surrounded with the finest, German hand-cut and sewn leather.
The A-pillars and headliner are covered in soft Alcantara leather. You have a
choice of several hand-rubbed exotic woods for trimming the center stack and
All buttons, switches, dials and foot pedals are trimmed with real aluminum and
chrome. The AMG signature instrument cluster is easy to see with its large
200mph speedometer and 8,000rpm tachometer. The beefy, AMG leather-wrapped,
sport steering wheel, with distinctive aluminum shift paddles, feels great, and
the power tilt/telescopic feature gave me the perfect angle and reach.
Completing the interior is an exclusive analog clock based on the design of the
IWC Ingenieur watch. I'd love to have it around my wrist.
Standard equipment includes COMMAND System with AM/FM/WB radio; SIRIUS satellite
radio; dual-zone electronic climate control; GPS Navigation system with
20GB-onboard Hard Drive; 11-speaker, 600-watt Harman-Kardon LOGIC7 Surround
Sound system; six-disc In-Dash Changer with memory card slot; Bi-Xenon headlamps
with Active Curve Illumination, cornering lights and heated washers;
rain-sensing wipers/washers; automatic-closing doors; Start/Stop Keyless Go;
heated and cooled front seats; Heat-Sensing Night-Vision; Parking Distance
Control with TV; Hands-Free Communication System with Voice Control; electronic
trunk opener/closer; power glass sunroof; interior ambient lighting; thick-cut
carpeting with AMG signature floor mats; heat/noise insulating glass, power
express front windows/door locks, radar assisted electronic cruise-control,
power rear sunshade, and grab handles above each door.
Just like the finest German chocolate cake, the new CL63 AMG is more delicious
with every layer.
Â© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
Dessert never tasted so good.
Name of vehicle:
2008 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG
Price of vehicle:
$137,000.00, as tested $149,465.00 including Gas Guzzler Tax of $2,600.00
6.3 liter DOHC, all-aluminum, VVT V8
518 at 6,800 rpm
465 pound-feet at 5,200 rpm
Front engine/rear-wheel drive
Independent, four-link, gas-shocks, coil springs and electronically-controlled
Independent, five-link, gas-shocks, coil springs and electronically-controlled
Front: 8.5X20 cast aluminum wheels
Rear: 9.5X20 cast aluminum wheels
Front: 15.4 in. vented and cross-drilled composite brake discs clamped with
large, dual-sliding calipers
Rear: 14.4 in. vented and cross-drilled composite brake discs clamped with a
large, single-sliding caliper
ABS, Brake Assist and Rear Brake Proportioning
Overall width: 73.7 in.
EPA mileage specs: