Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG review

New Mercedes CL63 AMG supercoupe gets twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8. 536bhp, 590lb ft and restyled body

Some cars achieve ‘presence’ with striking shapes and dazzling paint jobs, but perhaps the truest expression of the notion is simply size. This is something the latest edition of the Mercedes CL63 has a lot of. It has a lot of front (subtly re-styled with new headlights and a more sculpted bonnet and bumpers). A lot of side and back, too. You can’t help noticing it for the same reason you can’t help noticing a BMW X6. It seems to belong on a planet where everything is slightly larger than it is here, a place where two-door coupes are the size of limos. And, being based on the S-class, the CL’s 17ft length and 6ft width is perhaps no great surprise.

Trouble is, on a planet where, increasingly, four-door limos look like swoopy coupes and rear-seat passengers can walk rather than clamber in, the CL seems like an indulgent anachronism. But it makes no apology for that. The market for the heroically absurd may be niche, but it exists all the same. Which is why this supersized coupe has always seemed more likeable when AMG gets its mitts on it. Excess all areas and all that.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The refreshed CL63 gets AMG’s new-generation twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8. It also has the option of a Performance Pack that tweaks the boost pressure and raises peak power and torque to 563bhp and 664lb ft from the standard engine’s 536bhp and 590lb ft – itself 18bhp and 126lb ft clear of the outgoing naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8.

Marshalling all this brute force to the rear wheels is AMG’s own seven-speed MCT (multi-clutch transmission), which sharpens up shift times compared with the old 63’s seven-speed torque-converter auto. AMG claims the new CL63 hits 62mph from rest in just 4.5sec, with top speed limited to 155mph. With the Performance Pack, the limiter is reset at 186mph and 0-62mph drops to 4.4sec.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It isn’t all blood and thunder, of course. Features such as stop-start and an improved energy regeneration system that automatically decouples the alternator under full acceleration ensure better economy and lower emissions (26.9mpg combined cycle and 244g/km CO2 versus 19.5mpg and 346g/km).

The slightly animalistic character of the 6.2 V8 didn’t always seem a comfortable fit in a car with such a knack of obliterating large distances with serene disdain. The new motor feels much more at home, retaining the response and bellowing sountrack of the 6.2 – subjectively there’s no turbo lag at all – with a broader, more linear powerband and even greater mechanical smoothness. The bi-turbo V8 doesn’t have quite the top-end freedom and bite of the 6.2, but it more than makes up for it with oodles of low-down and mid-range wallop that meshes seamlessly with the rapid-shifting MCT to provide instant on-demand thrust and stunning overtaking ability.

The CL’s ABC (Merc’s active body control system) seems much more aggressively implemented than it is on the S-class, so while it helps the CL deftly disguise its 2060kg bulk – it turns-in more alertly, if with a slightly more artificial-feeling helm – secondary ride comfort suffers. The impression is more sporting, but the S63 feels more fluent and poised.

Specifications

EngineV8, 5461cc, twin-turbo
Max power536bhp @ 5500rpm
Max torque590lb ft @ 2000-4500rpm
0-604.5sec (claimed)
Top speed155mph (limited)
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/land-rover/discovery-sport/201862/2019-land-rover-discovery-sport-d180-se-review
Land Rover Discovery Sport

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 SE review

18 Oct 2019
Visit/volkswagen/201859/volkswagen-t-roc-r-review-ever-wish-the-golf-r-was-a-little-bit-taller
Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc R review - ever wish the Golf R was a little bit taller?

17 Oct 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201858/all-new-toyota-yaris-revealed-and-hot-gazoo-models-arent-far-behind
Toyota Yaris

All-new Toyota Yaris revealed – and hot Gazoo models aren’t far behind

17 Oct 2019
Visit/hyundai/201854/updated-2020-hyundai-i30-n-spied-before-reveal-early-next-year
Hyundai i30 N

Updated 2020 Hyundai i30 N spied before reveal early next year

16 Oct 2019
Advertisement

More on CL

Visit/mercedes/cl/6886/mercedes-benz-cl63-amg-review
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG review

We road test the monster 563bhp Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG super coupe. How's its new twin-turbo engine?
22 Sep 2010
Visit/mercedes/cl/11211/new-mercedes-benz-cl-revealed
Mercedes CL coupe

New Mercedes-Benz CL revealed

Mercedes reveals the new CL coupe. Details and gallery of V12 CL600 and new twin-turbo V8 CL500
5 Jul 2010
Visit/mercedes/cl/10628/mercedes-benz-cls
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes-Benz CLS

Next generation Mercedes CLS sports saloon spied, with new turbo engines on the way
12 Oct 2009
Visit/mercedes/cl/10414/new-mercedes-benz-cls
Mercedes CL coupe

New Mercedes-Benz CLS

The second generation Mercedes-Benz CLS four-door coupe is spied out testing
7 Aug 2009
Advertisement
Visit/mercedes/cl/9370/lewis-hamilton-at-the-mercedes-benz-classic-days
Mercedes CL coupe

Lewis Hamilton at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Days

F1 star Lewis Hamilton looks over the vintage Mercs at Brands Hatch
22 Sep 2008
Visit/mercedes/cl/9368/mercedes-benz-classic-days-2008
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes-Benz Classic Days 2008

Mercedes collectors present their classics in a parade at Brands Hatch
22 Sep 2008
Visit/mercedes/cl/6520/mercedes-cl65
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes CL65

AMG’s new £150K, 603bhp, biturbo V12 flagship forged from the already mighty Mercedes CL65
10 Jul 2007
Visit/mercedes/cl/6455/mercedes-benz-cl63-amg
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG

AMG gets its hands on the striking new CL coupe
1 Nov 2006
Visit/mercedes/cl/6449/mercedes-benz-cl
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes-Benz CL

Big coupe is reborn. Yep, it’s another mega-Merc
4 Oct 2006
Visit/mercedes/cl/8070/new-mercedes-cl-coupe
Mercedes CL coupe

New Mercedes CL Coupe

Mercedes��� new S-class-based CL coupe will have more to offer keen drivers than its predecessor
5 Jul 2006
Advertisement
Visit/mercedes/cl/8021/mercedes-benz-cl63-and-cl65-amg
Mercedes CL coupe

Mercedes-Benz CL63 and CL65 AMG

AMG's interpretation of the new coupé will be equippped with the awesome 6.3-litre V8 returning 514 bhp
9 May 2006