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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - CLS-class - CLS 63 AMG

LA show: Mercedes reveals four-door super-coupe

Power haus: Thanks to AMG's new twin-turbo V8, the CLS 63 AMG will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds.

Twin-turbo CLS 63 AMG set to arrive in Oz with ‘regular’ model in mid-2011

Mercedes-Benz logo17 Nov 2010

By DAVID HASSALL

MERCEDES-BENZ has unleashed its CLS 63 AMG at the Los Angeles auto show this week ahead of its global launch in March 2011.

The four-door super-coupe will go on sale in Australia early in the third quarter next year, about the same time as the ‘regular’ CLS model is launched here.

The highlight of the stunning CLS flagship is AMG’s newly developed twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine, which will replace the 6.2-litre non-turbo – claimed to be the world’s powerful naturally aspirated production V8 – at the top of each of AMG’s model lines.

The first application of the new M157 engine in Australia will be the two-door CL 63 AMG, which is being launched here next week.

4 center imageIn the CLS, the 5.5-litre V8 will exactly match the previous 6.2-litre unit for power at 386kW (but at only 5250rpm against 6800rpm) while torque output peaks at 700Nm from 1750-5000rpm (versus 630Nm at 5500rpm for the old engine).

Fitted with the AMG ‘Performance Package’ – a similar upgrade kit is available here for the naturally aspirated C63 AMG, but has yet to be confirmed for the CLS in Australia –power rises to 410kW at 5750rpm while torque leaps 100Nm (14.2 per cent) to 800Nm at 2000-4500rpm thanks to an increase in turbo boost (up from 1.0 to 1.3 bar).

Continuing with a ‘63’ model designation despite its smaller capacity, the new AMG V8 incorporates direct fuel-injection, a full aluminium crankcase, variable camshaft adjustment, an idle-stop function, air-to-water intercooling and, of course, a pair of Garrett turbochargers.

As well as confirming the extraordinary performance capabilities of the so-called ‘biturbo’ engine, Mercedes-Benz today revealed that the new CLS 63 AMG will have an NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) fuel consumption figure of just 9.9 litres per 100km.

This is an improvement of some 32 per cent over the outgoing model and represents a CO2 output of 232g/km.

Fitted with the standard (and exclusive to Mercedes-AMG) seven-speed Speedshift semi-automatic transmission with a ‘Race Start’ function, the CLS 63 AMG will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds.

The more powerful Performance Package model – which is identified by a carbon-fibre boot spoiler, red-painted brake callipers and performance steering wheel – drops that time to 4.3 seconds and both models are electronically limited to 250km/h.

Specifications and pricing for Australia have yet to be finalised, but M-B Australia is understood to be keen to contain any increase over the current model’s $278,000 in the face of increasing competition from the likes of the $366,000 Aston Martin Rapide.

Mercedes-AMG GmbH boss Ola Källenius said the top-of-the-range version of the CLS four-door coupe is all about exciting design, ultimate performance and groundbreaking efficiency.

“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,” said Mr Källenius.

“The CLS 63 AMG is a unique high-performance car – it sets new standards in design, performance and efficiency.”

Mercedes-Benz claims the four-door CLS 63 AMG is the first passenger car in the world to offer LED high-performance headlights, which are made up of 71 LEDs in total and have been developed to work with the company’s adaptive high-beam assist technology to provide superior performance to bi-xenon headlights.

Although other cars have been fitted with LED headlights, Mercedes claims these are the first to offer uncompromised functionality and performance, making the most of LED’s inherent advantages of long-life (five times longer than xenon) and colour (most closely matching daylight).

The car also employs LED daytime-running light strips above the lower air intakes.

As well as the AMG Speedshift transmission, the CLS 63 AMG features the company’s Ride Control sports suspension system, with steel suspension struts at the front (which is 24mm wider in track) and air suspension struts on the rear, enhanced by electronic damping control with automatic level control function.

This automatically adjusts the damping characteristics depending on the driving conditions and reduces the roll angle of the body. The driver can switch between the three suspension modes of Comfort, Sport and Sport-plus at the press of a button.

Other mechanical features include electromechanical steering that only draws power when needed, saving 0.3L/100km in fuel use, and an optional high-performance ceramic composite braking system over the standard 360mm ventilated discs.

The car sits on titanium grey-painted, high-sheen 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels featuring a new triple-spoke design and fitted with 255/35 tyres on the front and 285/30 tyres at the rear.

Further weight is saved by fitting aluminium doors, bonnet, front guards, bootlid and parcel shelf, as well as making various support sections and even parts of the chassis in aluminium. The doors alone are 24kg lighter than conventional steel doors.

The exterior design, especially when viewed from the front, is said to be inspired by the gullwing SLS AMG, the first car designed exclusively by AMG.

Compared with the regular CLS, the AMG model is distinguished by a revised bonnet, wider mudguards with “V8 BITURBO” logo, a front apron with black painted cross-member, rear diffuser insert, bootlid spoiler lip, sports exhaust system with dual twin tailpipes, and – (as also featured on the SLS AMG) – an integrated rear fog lamp.

Inside are the sort of features you might expect, with lots of black piano lacquer, black leather and brushed aluminium spread around the swooping cockpit with its sports seats and three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles and flattened top and bottom sections.

Electronic driving controls include a switchable stability control system and new radar-based blind spot assist and active lane-keeping systems that actively take control if the driver fails to heed warnings.

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