2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class In-Depth Overview
The 2012 CLS63 AMG continues the success story of the previous models, CLS55 AMG and CLS63 AMG
by John Clark | 14 January 2011
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Exciting design, ultimate performance and ground-breaking efficiency: this is what the new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG is all about. The top-of-the-range version of the four-door coupé is equipped with the newly developed AMG V8 biturbo engine, featuring a peak output of up to 410 kW (557 hp) and 800 Nm of torque, as well as the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. On top of this, the vehicle’s fuel con-sumption of 9.9 litres per 100 km (NEDC) represents an improvement of 32 percent compared with the previous model. The combination of an AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping system and new front axle, newly developed electromechanical AMG sports parameter steering, and also optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system, is synonymous with maximum driving dynamics. Visually, the CLS 63 AMG impresses with its athletic appearance and distinctive exterior and interior design. The model’s standard specification also includes innovative LED High Performance headlamps.
“The new CLS 63 AMG continues the success story of the previous models, the CLS 55 AMG and CLS 63 AMG, which have delighted our customers all around the world since 2004”, according to Ola Källenius, Head of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “The CLS 63 AMG is a unique high-performance car – it sets new standards in design, performance and efficiency.”
As with the S 63 AMG and CL 63 AMG, drivers of the CLS 63 AMG will benefit from an eight-cylinder powerhouse, designated internally as the M 157: the new AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine boasts a combination of innovative high-tech components which, in addition to spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo injectors, also include a full aluminium crankcase, four-valve technology with camshaft adjustment, air/water intercooling, generator management and stop/start system. The weight-optimized AMG sports exhaust system with dual twin chrome tailpipes ensures a distinctive engine sound. With a displacement of 5461 cc, the eight-cylinder engine develops a peak output of 386 kW (525 hp) and torque of 700 Nm. In conjunction with the AMG Performance package, these figures increase to 410 kW (557 hp) and 800 Nm. Both variants of the CLS 63 AMG achieve exceptional performance: acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively, and the top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).
The major difference between both power units is the increase in the maximum charge-air pressure from 1.0 to 1.3 bar. In addition, the CLS 63 AMG with the AMG Performance package features a special high-quality genuine carbon fibre engine cover.
Quantum leap: fuel consumption reduced by 32 percent
Despite a significant performance increase compared with the previous model, which had a naturally aspirated AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine producing 378 kW (514 hp) and 630 Nm of torque, the new CLS 63 AMG is some 4.6 litres, or 32 percent, more economical – which represents a quantum leap forward. The NEDC fuel consumption of 9.9 litres per 100 km equates to a CO2 output of 231 g/km. Thanks to these figures, the new V8 Coupé from AMG not only undercuts all of its direct competitors in the four-door high-performance coupé segment, but is also more fuel efficient than significantly lower-powered vehicles. Both performance variants have identical fuel consumption and CO2 figures.
Exclusive: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
An important contribution towards achieving the unrivalled consumption figures has been made by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission, a component used exclusively at Mercedes-AMG. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, the MCT transmission does away with the torque converter; instead, it makes use of a compact, wet start-up clutch. Also fitted as standard equipment is the stop/start function: it is permanently active in the transmission’s Controlled Efficiency (“C”) mode, and switches the eight-cylinder engine off when the car comes to a stop. At the same time, “C” mode also means a “soft” accelerator response set-up with convenient and early gearshifts; moving off generally takes place in second gear. A green “ECO” symbol in the AMG instrument cluster shows the driver that the stop/start function is active.
The engine and transmission come across as much more agile in the “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual) modes; in addition, the stop/start function is switched off. In “S”, “S+” and “M” modes, the engine management system partially suppresses the cylinders: interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts than before. The highly emotional vocals are an appealing side effect of this lightning-fast process. An automatic double-declutching function and RACE START function are also included as standard.
Autonomously developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension
The suspension, steering and braking system of the new CLS 63 AMG complement the high-tech drive system perfectly. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension, with steel suspension struts on the front axle and air suspension struts on the rear axle, as well as automatic level control, is enhanced further by an electronically controlled damping system; it automatically adjusts the damping characteristics depending on the driving conditions and reduces the roll angle of the body. The result: lightning-fast adjustment between optimum driving comfort and the best possible agility. The driver can switch between the three suspension modes of “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus” at the press of a button.
The autonomously developed front axle, with a track width which is 24 mm wider, is the optimum match for the newly developed electromechanical AMG sports parameter steering. It features a more direct ratio, variable power assistance which adapts according to the suspension mode, and also contributes towards reducing fuel consumption by up to 0.3 litre (7 g CO2) in the ECE fuel cycle, since the steering assistance system only draws power when the vehicle is actually being steered.
AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system available as an option
Perfect deceleration even when driving extremely briskly is provided by the AMG high-performance braking system with 360 mm, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round. Particularly resistant, motorsports-tested composite technology is used on the front axle. The optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system with yet larger brake discs guarantees an even higher level of braking performance as well as lower unsprung masses. Good contact with the road, meanwhile, is provided courtesy of the titanium grey-painted, high-sheen AMG light-alloy wheels featuring a new triple-spoke design and fitted with 255/35 R 19 tyres on the front and 285/30 R 19 tyres on the rear. The AMG light-alloy wheels are manufactured using the weight-optimized flow-forming process, as already used on the SLS AMG.
Intelligent lightweight construction: making a significant contribution to efficiency
The highest level of engineering is also reflected in the body of the new CLS 63 AMG: the intelligent lightweight construction makes a significant contribution towards addressing the classic conflicting goals of low weight and high strength. Like the SLS AMG, the CLS 63 AMG is also fitted with doors featuring a full aluminium construction. They consist of deep-drawn aluminium panels with extruded sections, and are around 24 kg lighter compared with conventional steel doors. In addition, the bonnet, front wings, boot lid, parcel shelf, various support sections as well as major parts of the chassis and engine are all made from aluminium too.
Light-years ahead: LED High Performance headlamps as standard
The CLS 63 AMG is the first passenger car in the world to offer LED High Performance headlamps as standard, which combine the exciting colour elements of LED technology – similar to daylight – with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today’s bi-xenon generation. For the first time ever this new light system provides the Intelligent Light System already proven in Mercedes models fitted with bi-xenon headlamps in combination with LED technology – including the active light function with LED for the first time too. The headlamps, with their 71 LED lamps in total, underline the unmistakable appearance of the CLS 63 AMG. The light specialists from Mercedes-Benz have for the first time been able to use LED technology in the Adaptive Highbeam Assist, resulting in an entirely new level of safety when driving at night.
In contrast to the first vehicles equipped with LED headlamps, no compromises are now necessary with respect to the functionality and performance of the lighting technology. There are further arguments for the new, LED-based lighting technology: the average operating life of an LED is around 10,000 hours, around five times longer than that of a xenon light; moreover, LED headlamps most closely approximate the colour temperature of daylight. This means that LED light is in keeping with normal human perception patterns. Studies have shown that the closer the colour of artificial light comes to daylight, the less strain there is on the eyes. With a colour temperature of 5500 kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K). The LED daytime driving lights specific to AMG are also presented in two characteristic light strips integrated into the AMG front apron.
Exterior design inspired by the SLS AMG
When viewed from the front, the new CLS 63 AMG evokes associations with the SLS AMG – the radiator grille in particular, with its large Mercedes star and wing-shaped horizontal slats, appears to have been inspired by the gullwing. The top-of-the-range AMG model distinguishes itself from the other CLS variants with its distinctive bonnet, wider mudguards with “V8 BITURBO” logo and a specific AMG front apron with black painted cross member. Eye-catching features at the rear include the diffuser insert, the AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid, the AMG sports exhaust system with dual twin chrome tailpipes, and – as also featured on the SLS AMG – integrated rear foglamp. The AMG bodystyling perfectly matches the typical CLS outline, which is essentially characterised by the elegantly long proportions, the lateral dropping line and the muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle.
Exclusive atmosphere in the interior
This philosophy also continues through consistently into the interior. All of the AMG-specific design and appointment features ideally supplement the redesigned CLS interior. The wrap-around effect in the cockpit, with its high line which sweeps from the driver’s door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door, is generously flanked by high-quality trim elements – available in black piano lacquer as standard in the top-of-the-range AMG model. Quality materials and workmanship meet the very highest of standards and help to guarantee a particularly exclusive atmosphere. The extensive range of standard appointments also includes AMG sports seats in nappa leather, a new three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles and flattened top and bottom sections, and the AMG DRIVE UNIT with compact E-SELECT selector lever.
New driving assistance systems: greater safety
More than a dozen driving assistance systems on the new CLS help to prevent traffic accidents and reduce the severity of an accident. The Active Blind Spot Assist and the Active Lane Keeping Assist are new.
Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver if the short-range radar sensors detect that there is a danger of collision if the vehicle is about to change lanes. Should the driver ignore the warnings and come dangerously close to the vehicle in the next lane, Active Blind Spot Assist will intervene. By applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle via the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, a yaw movement is created which counteracts the collision course.
Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also linked to the ESP® for the first time. This system kicks into action if the driver inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In this case, Active Lane Keeping Assist brakes the opposite wheels and thereby prevents the vehicle from crossing the line. A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings
are crossed, the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel which generates vibrations for a short time – a discreet but highly effective cue to countersteer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.
AMG Performance package with enhanced performance ex works
One of the highlights of the attractive optional extras is the AMG Performance package which is available for the CLS 63 AMG. It comprises:
- an increase in the peak output of 24 kW (32 hp) and in the maximum torque of 100 Nm; genuine carbon fibre AMG engine cover
- genuine carbon fibre AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid
- red-painted brake calipers
- AMG Performance steering wheel with Alcantara® inserts in the grip areas
- Exclusive optional extras are also available from the AMG Performance Studio:
- AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension
- Lightweight, forged AMG light-alloy wheels featuring a 5-twin-spoke design with size 255/35 R 19 tyres at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear
- AMG rear axle locking differential with 40 percent locking action
- AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system
- AMG Exterior Carbon package
- AMG trim elements in carbon fibre/black piano lacquer
- Illuminated AMG door sill panels
- AMG Driver’s Package (includes restriction of top speed to 300 km/h, participation in driver training course at the AMG Driving Academy)
The new CLS 63 AMG will be celebrating its market launch in March 2001 and will carry a price tag of 97,350 euros (excl. VAT)/115,846.50 euros (incl. 19% VAT). The AMG Performance package costs 6500 euros (excl. VAT)/7735 euros (incl. 19% VAT).
At a glance: the highlights of the AMG V8‑biturbo engine and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
- Direct petrol injection with piezo-electric injectors and spray-guided combustion
- Biturbocharging with air/water intercooling
- Sophisticated engine electronics with Controlled Efficiency stop/start system and generator management
- Aluminium crankcase with ventilation holes to reduce friction
- Continuous camshaft adjustment on the intake and exhaust sides
- Demand-controlled engine oil pump
- AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission with compact start-up clutch and three drive modes