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2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS & CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake Officially Uncovered 9
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, News, Shooting Brake, Sport Wagon, Station Wagons on 07 9th, 2012

Mercedes-Benz has officially uncovered there new CLS Shooting Brake, sporting a few different engine flavors from diesel to a 557 horsepower petrol engine. The new 2013 CLS Shooting Brake, or what you may recognize as a CLS wagon, will offer couple BlueEfficiency diesel options starting with a 204 hp 250 CDI variant and 265 hp 350 CDI version. The gasoline CLS Shooting Brake variations will get either a 3.5-liter 306 hp V6, 408 hp 4.6-liter biturbo V8 or the performance-injected CLS63’s twin turbo 525 hp V8  with a Special Edition 1 model option with as much as 557 hp.

Automotive consumers, especially in today’s economic conditions, have taken a liking to vehicles that serve many purposes. One particular vehicle that has received a new love is the wagon. Enthusiasts today rather not call shooting brake renditions of vehicles a ‘station wagon’ due to their association with old-school wood-on-the-side Clark Griswold-type vehicles. The new CLS will have no problem with shaking off that old notion especially when you factor in as much as 557 horsepower.

I am not sure how practical 557 horsepower is on a Benz CLS wagon, but I am sure it is a necessity for those who want to have their cake and eat it too. Reminds me of the practically of the Cadillac CTS-V wagon… absolutely necessary for enthusiasts!

The new 557 horsepower CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake, our obvious choice out of the lineup, will be good for a 0-60mph run in 4.3 seconds and electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Both versions of the CLS AMG get the seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT automatic transmission. You can even get a set of optional carbon ceramic brakes underneath lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels.

In typical Benz CLS fashion, the aluminum body construction keeps things light while an optional carbon fiber aero kit and rear axle differential lock pushes the envelope even further. Soccer moms or the grandparents need not apply.

The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, including the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake, will commence European sales in October while an official world debut takes place at the Paris Auto Show a month prior.


2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 Review & Test Drive 7
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, featured, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Bens CLS550, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Test Drives on 07 7th, 2011

One of the most unmistakable marks in the history of the automobile rests with Mercedes-Benz. They continue to introduce remarkable vehicles year after year, not only for the affluent community but those who seek unsurpassed build quality and luxury across the board. The introduction of the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS embarks on the same principles that Benz has embodied for over 100 years. Yet the new CLS brings innovative styling and modern technology into the mix conjuring up a perfect blend of luxury and performance.

I had the opportunity to partake of the latest offering from Mercedes-Benz in the form of a 4-door coupe design. First introduced in 2003 as a 2004 model, the Mercedes-Benz CLS pioneered a daring design, which attempted to blend the sports appeal of a modern-day sports-coupe into a 4-door luxury vehicle. Did it work? Sales figures will prove that Benz played their cards well. For 2012 the designers and engineers were faced with a major hurdle of taking what was already great in the current CLS and making it better. I have to say after spending a week in the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 that the design team and engineers pulled out a winning hand.

Although I am no serious poker player, those with an acquired taste would indulge in the new Mercedes-Benz CLS550 finding no faults with the hand they were dealt. Because I get to compare the new CLS to everything else I have driven in the past, I cannot say that it won the game of poker with the best hand ever. The CLS is more of a full house than a royal flush regarding a sports luxury sedan. In other words, it excels in some areas making up for very few faults if any.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz CLS550 utilizes a force-fed 402 horsepower twin turbo 4.6-liter V8 engine. The goal here, as with many other new vehicles introduced lately, is more efficiency in a smaller displacement but more power output. This combination is easily attainable through forced induction and Mercedes-Benz does it well with the new turbocharged V8 engine yielding an EPA estimated 24mpg on the highway. I saw an average of 19.8mpg around town mostly using the aggressive Sport mode.

Full throttle in the new CLS550 is intoxicating and well managed through its smooth shifting and improved 7-speed automatic transmission. 0 to 60mph times are just under the initial Mercedes-Benz conservative figure of 5.2 seconds. All 443 lbs-ft of torque from the air-feed V8 come on early at 1,800 rpm, just when you start to hear an apparent whirlwind surge of air instead of the typical whistle expected from your common ball bearing turbos. The only other noise you will hear is the faint purr of the exhaust in just about any RPM range. It is all music to your ears and never overbearing to the point that you have to turn up the stereo to overpower the engine noise.

Power is rather abrupt in the CLS550’s default E-Economy mode. This may be due to the computer deciding if you want to cruise in the CLS or put the hammer down. It does not do so well when you apply half throttle in E-mode. If you need some oomph, your going to have to stab the gas pedal. Selecting the sport mode for throttle and transmission management puts the CLS550’s senses in an advanced setting, making the transition from normal driving to full-throttle more manageable. In E-mode the transmission seems to start off in 2nd gear instead of 1st where the torque converter feels like it does a little extra slipping similar to slipping a clutch in a manual transmission. This is more noticeable in the monstrous top-of-the-line 550-horsepower CLS63 AMG, which utilizes a wet-clutch setup instead of a torque converter.

The new CLS has improved  much over the outgoing model. Gas mileage is up to 24mpg from 21mpg in the previous model, power is up from 382-horsepower to 402-horsepower in the 2012 CLS550, and the new design is simply stunning. All exterior lighting is composed of LEDs on Premium Package 1 equipped vehicles, where each front headlight cluster has an astonishing 71 individual LED lights portioned off for the headlights, turn signals, and intuitive day-time running lights/park lights.

Affluent owners and passengers will feel right at home inside the new 2012 CLS550. My test vehicle was equipped with the Premium Package 1 featuring “active cooling” ventilated front seats, seat massager, and even “Active Multicontour” active bolsters that add instant support when lateral Gs are detected during a turn. Other notable options on my test vehicle was the Lane Tracking Package combining a vibrating steering wheel to alert you when you are about to travel outside of your lane, and a blind spot assist system to alert you audibly and visually when signaling into a lane occupied by a vehicle in your blind spot.

The new CLS550’s interior is top notch demonstrating Mercedes-Benz superb build quality. Finding a comfortable seating position is an easy task while rear passengers have just enough head and legroom even with the front seats adjusted far to the rear. The two rear seats, with an integrated center console and armrest, provide great support and room for adults 6 feet and under. Anyone taller may find themselves a little cramped. Some of the dials are real metal instead of plastic, however other  instruments inside display top craftsmanship featuring Burl walnut wood trim, and soft-touch plastics. Even the cup holders are instinctively designed to fit large coffee mugs.

Ambient lighting adds a nice soft-touch to the new CLS550 giving the driver the ability to adjust lighting to their specific taste when night falls. The instrument panel and multi-information LCD screen are clear and concise during the day and night. Although the center navigation/infotainment LCD screen is rather small ( 7-inches), when compared to some competitors, it provides excellent brightness a high enough resolution to clearly read all words and street names without eye strain.

The new CLS550 has an excellent 14-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo as part of the Command system featuring LOGIC7 5.1-channel surround sound, a 40gb hard drive for music storage, 6-disc in-dash DVD/CD changer, in-dash memory card slot, aux input jack, Sirius XM, and an optional iPod/MP3 media interface. Dual-zone A/C and heater controls are kept simple while the Command system controller is easy to get used to with some redundancy in motions to navigate screens. Controls mounted on the wood-trimmed steering wheel provide quick access to the LCD instrument cluster display for specific vehicle settings and functions with limited control over the Command system.

Driving the new 2012 CLS550 is a joy that can potentially put you in a state of serenity when activating the driver’s seat massager.  The cabin is ultra quiet, the ride is ultra smooth in the air-suspension’s conform mode, and the sheet metal is ultra sleek turning heads from miles away after they spot the ultra-bright day-time running lights headed in their direction. Performance is never an issue as is the characteristic luxury ride that you expect from a Mercedes-Benz. The Air Suspension system has a lot to do with this offering the driver two modes, Airmatic Sport and Airmatic Comfort. In the Sport suspension setting the CLS550 is lowered to the ground for a low center of gravity and stiffer dampers to aid in handling. In the comfort setting the vehicle is raised and dampers are set in an optimal position to smooth-out bumps in the road. At any given time the driver may select to raise the vehicle even further for uneven terrain. The steering feel is surprisingly connected to the road despite the electric assist. An ample amount of rubber, 19-inch 285/30 Pirelli P-Zeros in the rear and 255/35 in the front, aided in the handling capabilities of the new CLS550. Although it is not the best performer in its class, the CLS550 can hold its own and some when put to the test.

Overall the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is ultimate choice for a plush luxury sports sedan that has a defined coupe silhouette. The price of admission for a 2012 CLS550 starts at just $71,300 while my test vehicle crept up to $80, 995 with a multitude of options that include park assist, 19-inch wheels, Active Multicontour driver seat, wood/leather steering wheel, lane tracking package, premium package 1, and split folding rear seats.


Copyright: 2011 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base CLS550 $71,300 As-Tested $80,995
  • Wheelbase: 113.2in.
  • Total length: 194.5in.
  • Total width: 74.1in.
  • Total height: 55.8in.
  • Track: f/r-62.9/64.1in.
  • Headroom: f/r-36.9/36.1in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.1/35.0in.
  • Cargo volume: 15.3cu.ft.
  • 0-60mph: 5.1 seconds
  • EPA mileage est.: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
  • Fuel tank: 21.1 gallons
  • Curb weight: 4,158lbs.

2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS 6.3 AMG – ‘Beauty and the Beast’ 28
Posted by Harvey in Automotive, featured, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, Test Drives on 07 28th, 2010

Not known for introducing niche vehicles, in 2006 Mercedes-Benz introduced the first CLS model, an eye-catching vehicle that blurred the line between coupe and sedan.

This sexy coupe-like sedan boasts the comfort and convenience of four doors and features a high-tension convex curve to its body shape as part of its sensuous exterior lines.  The bold, low front end of the CLS is complemented by two-lamella chrome grille bars, and tasteful mesh to protect the engine bay from debris.  The lower air intake, also covered by tasteful mesh, side brake ducts, and foglamps continue the aggressive looks, while the contoured outside mirrors incorporate arrow-shaped turn signals.

Eye-catching, wheel-well stuffing, AMG designed,19X9in. front, and 19X10in. rear, forged alloy wheels wear ultra-high-performance tires emphasizing the car’s powerful low and wide stance.  The shortened, curved greenhouse glass is surrounded with a chrome strip to give it a luxury cue, and the lower side extensions give it a more ground-hugging look.  The trunk follows the convex curve from the rear glass and features a spoiler to increase downforce.  The bold rear bumper has trapezoidal dual chrome exhaust tips extending out, and wraparound, arrow-shaped LED taillights complete the cars total aggressive look.  While Porsche has come out with the 2010 Panamera sedan and Aston-Martin has just introduced the Rapide, both four-door sedans, the CLS 6.3 AMG is still the most beautiful and sexy sedan on the road.

Open the doors and you’ll see that the stylish contours of the CLS continue throughout the interior which is complemented by an abundance of leather, wood and chrome.  The doors show frameless glass adding a sporty look, as does the double polished stainless steel door kick plates.  More sporty cues are seen with the AMG designed 3-spoke, leather-wrapped/power tilt/telescoping flat-bottom steering wheel which feels so good in your hands.

Further carrying on the sporty look are the aluminum/rubber facet foot pedals and three-chronometer-type gauge cluster with a center 200mph speedometer and 8,000rpm tachometer.  At each side are unique, LED bar graphs in white with silver backgrounds showing fuel on board and engine coolant temperature.  A monitoring system shows individual tire pressures as well as other important information about the status of the car via warnings in the instrument cluster.  The dashboard shelf is covered with hand-cut and sewn leather as well as around the center stack, center console and door trim for that special luxury touch.  The dashboard face is entirely covered by a big slab high gloss laurel wood trim that runs around the instrument cluster.  Chrome rings surround the center and side air outlets, door switch plates, instrument cluster, shifter bezel, round dials and control buttons.

The CLS 6.3 AMG comes with four-zone climate control regulating temperature separately for each front and rear seat, with a separate digital control panel in the rear for setting the desired temperature and adjusting airflow.  The rear also has a wood covered storage bin, cupholder and pull-down armrest with dual cupholders and storage.

The 10-way, leather trimmed sport bucket seats are outstanding with separate controls for heating/ventilation, side bolster adjustment and massage to keep you alert on long drives.

A large COMMAND central display on the center stack incorporates Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone operation, an in-dash six-disc CD/DVD player and voice control of audio and phone.  The color display screen uses one set of easy-to-use controls for the audio system, including AM-FM-Weather Band and CD, standard HD radio, GPS navigation and SIRIUS satellite radio with real-time traffic data.

A standard Harman/Kardon Logic 7 digital surround sound system provides a luxurious listening experience.  The system converts every conventional stereo signal from the radio, and CD/DVD player into surround sound with seven output channels, offering audio perfection for passengers, regardless of where they may be sitting.  The sound system includes a digital signal processor, has a total output of 510-watts and plays through 12 high-end speakers, including two speakers on the rear parcel shelf that produce the surround sound effect.  The system even adjusts volume automatically to compensate for ambient driving noise.

The beauty of the exterior design and the sporty and luxurious interior is contrasted with the beast that lies under the skin of the CLS 6.3 AMG.  The car is powered by one of the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8s ever, also the first engine developed entirely by AMG.  One engine builder puts the engine together and it is built almost completely from a high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, the 6.3 liter features four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, bucket tappets (rather than rocker arms), and 11.3:1 compression ratio and a variable intake manifold.  AMG engineers designed the 6.3 liter engine block with an especially rigid bedplate with cast-in steel reinforcements at the main bearing, and a sturdy closed-deck layout beside the cylinder heads.  Cylinder bores feature a twin-wire-arc-sprayed (TWAS) coating, an innovative process that results in impressively low friction and running surfaces that are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinders.  Sharing no parts with other Mercedes-Benz V8 engines, the 6.3 AMG engine revs freely to over 7,000rpm, yet produces nearly 90% of its peak torque at only 2,000rpm.  The engine generates 507hp at 6,800rpm and 465lb.ft. of torque at 5,200rpm, enabling the CLS 6.3 AMG to jet out to 60mph from a standstill in just 4.3sec.  The beast is speak of is the incredible muffled roar of the engine when you push the start button on top of the stick shifter, and the increase in roar, like a lion, as you continue to push on the throttle and quickly gain speed to high triple digits.

All of the power and torque is transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission that can be shifted manually by either pushing left or right on the stick to upshift or downshift, or Formula-1 style aluminum shift paddles on the AMG sport steering wheel.  To give performance-minded drivers more control, its manual mode doesn’t make any automatic upshifts-even at max engine speed-or automatic downshifts, even under full load.  AMG Speedshift provides 35% faster gear shifts and torque convertor lockup from 1st. gear.  It is fun and exciting to use either one, depending on your time and place.

AMG engineers developed a sports suspension for the CLS 6.3 AMG that’s based on the standard Mercedes-Benz AIRMATIC air suspension.  The AMG-tuned AIRMATIC includes automatic level control that maintains ride height even when the car is loaded, and you can choose from three-sport-sport+-comfort, settings as well.  For flatter cornering, the air springs, shocks and stabilizer bars are stiffer than on the CLS 550.

Speed-sensitive power rack & pinion steering ensures low steering effort for low speed maneuvers such as parallel parking, but automatically reduces the steering assist above 60mph to provide good road feel.  To help handle all the power, the ESP system can apply the brakes on just one wheel to transfer torque to the wheels with better traction, achieving much the same effect as a limited-slip differential.  You can of course shut the ESP system down to let the rear slide out during entry into a steep curve, then stomp on the throttle as you exit.  Stronger driveshafts, heavy-duty rear suspension components and a stronger differential housing with cooling fins complete the package.  The suspension is very neutral and responsive to your inputs the way you would want a supercar to react.

To make the ride even more enjoyable and exciting to the enthusiast, you can order the optional AMG Performance Package that my test vehicle came with.  It allows a 186mph top speed instead of the usual 155mph speed limiter, AMG track-calibrated AIRMATIC sport suspension with stiffer spring rates, 19X8.5in. front and 19X9.5in. rear AMG designed, forged alloy wheels wrapped with Pirelli P Zero high-performance, low-profile tires, 255/35ZR19in. up front, and 285/30ZR19in. tires in the rear, and a limited-slip rear differential to put all of the power down on the pavement.

The package also includes giant brakes to make sure that the CLS 6.3 AMG stops as fast as it goes.  Giant 15.4in. two-piece construction, ventilated brake discs up front are punched and slotted and clamped with 6-piston calipers, while the rear ventilated discs are punched, measure 13in. and are clamped with 4-piston calipers.  ABS and Brake Assist assure control during severe braking maneuvers.  The CLS 6.3 AMG has it all to make your ride more enjoyable inside, at speed on the highway or when attacking curving roads.

My CLS 6.3 AMG comes standard with the following items not mentioned above-electronic cruise control, all express up/down power windows/door locks, thick cut-pile carpeting with signature floor mats, auto-dimming rearview mirror/sideview mirrors, intermittent rain-sensing wipers/washers, integrated garage door opener, dual map lamps, electronic moon roof, storage slots in each door and map pockets behind the front bucket seats.

My CLS 6.3 AMG also came with the Premium Package that includes electronic trunk opener/closer, power rear window sunshade, heated/ventilated/massaging front seats, Bi-Xenon headlamps with active curve illumination, headlamps washing system and KEYLESS GO start/stop button and door locks.

Standard safety features include Mercedes-Benz Tele Aid system, steel reinforced cabin with front and rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, 3-point safety belts with pretensioners/load limiters for all four seating positions, front dual airbags, front and rear side airbags, front and side window airbags, driver knee airbag, crash-active head restraints, Pre-Safe System, roll-over sensor, anti-theft alarm with engine immobilizer, night security illumination, front/rear foglamps, panic button remote key, and emergency trunk release.

The new 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS 6.3 AMG has it all to keep anyone happy behind the wheel with great, sexy and curvaceous styling, a comfortable, sporty, luxurious and high-tech interior, and a beast for an engine, with the ability to tune the suspension the way you want to drive at that given time.



Price: Base $97,950 As-Tested $114,475
Type: Midsize Sedan
Where Built: Germany
EPA Class: Large Cars


Length: 193.6 in.
Width: 73.7 in.
Height: 54.7 in.
Wheel Base: 112.4 in.
Ground Clearance: 4.5 in.
Curb Weight: 4210 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5225 lbs.

Front Head Room: 36.9 in.
Front Hip Room: 58 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 56.3 in.
Rear Head Room: 36.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 56 in.
Rear Hip Room: 57.6 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.1 in.
Rear Leg Room: 35 in.
Luggage Capacity: 15.9 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 16 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 4

Performance Data

Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine Size: 6.2 liters
Base Engine Type: V8
Horsepower: 507 hp
Max Horsepower: 6800 rpm
Torque: 465 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 5200 rpm
Drive Type: RWD
Turning Circle: 37.7 ft.
0-60mph: 4.3 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 12 mpg / 18 mpg / 14 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 253.2 mi. / 379.8 mi. / 295.4 mi.