Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe and Shooting Brake go under the knife.
Just when we thought we had decided between the BMW M4 Coupé and M3 Saloon, Mercedes-Benz has thrown a spanner into the works with a new version of the CLS 63 AMG S, which will come in Coupé and Shooting Brake formats when it goes on sale in July 2014.
The new CLS 63 AMG S now develops 585hp and 800Nm of torque from the same 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8, an increase of 28hp and 80Nm on the outgoing model. 0 to 62mph comes and goes in 4.1 seconds for the Coupé and 4.2 seconds for the slightly heavier Shooting Brake and its 590-litre boot. A limited slip-differential is now a standard fixture on this model.
That’s a tenth of a second faster than the old CLS 63 AMG S, on par with the BMW M4 Coupé and M3 Saloon and just slightly quicker than the Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo. More than fast enough for anyone with a pulse and not that environmentally unfriendly either, thanks to CO2 emissions of 231g/km and 28.5mpg.
Mercedes has made the AMG Line trim level the default specification across the range, which means you get heated front seats, LED multi-beam headlights, Comand Online infotainment system displayed through a ‘tablet-style’ 8-inch display and ambient lighting for nothing, saving you £5,695 compared with the previous model.
The CLS 63 AMG S also comes with a Harmom Kardon sound system, reversing camera, split-folding rear seats, powered tailgate, electric sunroof and Keyless Go.
Cheaper CLS options that are only slightly less potent are available if you lack the £86,500 needed to get the CLS 63 AMG S Coupé and £87,000 for the CLS AMG S Shooting Brake. Just below in the range is the CLS 400, for instance, which has a 333hp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with 480Nm of torque. CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency is 170g/km and 38.7mpg, respectively.
Heading down the price scale is the entry-level 177hp CLS 220 BlueTec, which has a 2.1-litre diesel capable of 56.5mpg, making it the most fuel efficient in the range. Then there’s a 258hp 350 BlueTec, which offers 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 142g/km and is now mated to a 9-speed automatic ─ the only engine in the range that gets the luxury.
You would be forgiven for confusing the old and new CLS. Only a new front bumper, bigger air intakes, smoked rear lights and a diamond radiator grille hint at a refresh. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, as the swoopy CLS never had any problems standing out before.
A CLS Coupé 220 BlueTec starts from £46,500 and a CLS 350 BlueTec from £49,950, while a CLS 400 will set you back £55,850. The CLS Shooting Brake variants are a little more costly and there’s no option of the new CLS 400. First deliveries are expected in September 2014.
We’ll forgive Mercedes for calling a four-door car a coupe and an estate a shooting brake, but only because the new CLS does seem to tick a lot of boxes.