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First look: Benz's ballistic new AMG V8s

Ball-tearer: AMG's new 6.2-litre V8 delivers 378kW and 630Nm in the CLS63.

Mercedes-Benz previews bahnstorming CLS63, CLK63 and SL AMG models ahead of Geneva

21 Feb 2006

MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed its very own version of horsepower heaven ahead of the 76th Geneva motor show from February 28, when it will unleash six new or upgraded AMG models.

As previously reported, the Stuttgart skunkworks has developed a bristling new 6.2-litre V8 to gazump the 373kW/520Nm 5.0-litre V10 that powers its M division rivals from BMW.

Developing 378kW and 630Nm of torque in its highest state of tune, the new bent eight will eventually replace AMG's current 5.4-litre supercharged V8, which offers a paltry 368kW and 700Nm.

Predictably, Mercedes-AMG claims its new "entry-level" V8 – codenamed ML156 and revealed at Frankfurt last year in the production ML63 AMG, which is due on sale here in mid-2006 – has the highest specific power and torque output of any naturally-aspirated V8.

Now the same engine has been wedged into the E-class based four-door "coupe" to produce the CLS63 AMG, and the company’s C-class derived two-door to produce the CLK63 AMG coupe and cabriolet.

In the CLS63 AMG (due here late this year), the result is 0-100km/h acceleration in a paltry 4.5 seconds, complete with AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, AMG sports semi-active AIRMATIC DC air suspension, AMG sports seats, AMG brakes, AMG instrument cluster and AMG sports steering wheel with new aluminium AMG gearshift paddles.

4 center imageMeantime, the CLK63 AMG Coupe/Cabriolet twins offer a milder 354kW version with the same 630Nm - enough to make them the most powerful in their respective classes. Also featuring new AMG sports suspension, 18-inch AMG alloys and AMG interiors, the upgraded AMG versions of the recently facelifted CLK range are due here in late 2006.

Similarly, the R63 Vision concept evolves into the R63 AMG six-seater production people-mover at Geneva, and this time a 375kW/630Nm version of the AMG-built 6.2 powers all four wheels.

Expect AMG’s 6.2-litre bent eight to appear next in the facelifted E-class (late 2006), before powering next year’s redesigned C-class in the range-topping C63 AMG sedan. The new W221 S-class, CL coupe and SL convertible won’t receive the new AMG V8 until at least 2008.

Speaking of SL, a facelifted version of the top-shelf Benz roadster will also receive a somewhat subdued world premiere in Switzerland next week.

Due on sale here mid-year, the revised SL coupe-convertible finally gains Benz’s 3.5-litre DOHC V6 (for the SL350), plus second-generation Active Body Control suspension, more direct steering, a new grille, new tail-lights, new alloys, new interior colours and more equipment.

Rather than adopt AMG’s new 6.2 V8, the facelifted SL55 AMG employs a new supercharger and larger throttle valve to bump up performance from 368kW/700Nm to 380kW/720Nm.

As with the facelifted SL65 AMG (which receives a "multi-disc differential lock"), there’s also a new AMG bodykit, composite front brake discs with six-piston callipers, AMG suspension and genuine carbon AMG interior highlights.

Finally, the seven-seat GL-class off-roader will make its European debut at Geneva, having already broken cover at Detroit last month, but both the GL320 CDI and GL420 CDI turbo-diesel variants will be world premieres. Only the former will be initially offered locally, from October.

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