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This is the new Mercedes CLS 63 AMG S

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.

Spot the difference...
Spot the difference…

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.

Mercedes CLS 63 AMG S pictures