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ICING ON THE CAKE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Mar 4, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© 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 numbers. 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 automotive features. 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 doors. 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. © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SUMMARY JUDGMENT Dessert never tasted so good.

For more information on Mercedes-Benz products, go to www.mbusa.com More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com

SPECIFICATIONS 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 Engine type: 6.3 liter DOHC, all-aluminum, VVT V8 Horsepower: 518 at 6,800 rpm Torque: 465 pound-feet at 5,200 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel drive Transmission type: Seven-speed automatic Front suspension: Independent, four-link, gas-shocks, coil springs and electronically-controlled hydraulic servos Rear suspension: Independent, five-link, gas-shocks, coil springs and electronically-controlled hydraulic servos Wheels/tires: Front: 8.5X20 cast aluminum wheels Rear: 9.5X20 cast aluminum wheels Brakes: 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 length: 200.2 in. Overall width: 73.7 in. Overall height: 55.8 in. Curb weight: 4,599 lbs. EPA mileage specs: 11mpg/city, 18mpg/highway 0-60mph: 4.4 sec.

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