We recently had the good fortune of chatting with the Mercedes-Benz CLS Product Manager. If the car, engine, performance and technology is even half as good as he described it, we are all in for a treat when this car hits the showroom sometime in mid to late 2011.
The version of the CLS that debuted at the LA Auto Show a couple of months ago, was the Euro spec body featuring custom paint, but is still pretty similar to the US spec 2012 CLS that will debut at the North American International Auto Show in January 2011.
The 2012 CLS63 AMG will have the new Mercedes-Benz M157 direct injection 5.5 liter V8 twin turbo engine. The 2012 will make 518 horsepower and 515 ft/tq, which is 11 more ponies than the previous model’s naturally aspirated 6.3 liter. However, if your neighbor has a CTS-V, 518 hp may not be enough for you, and in that case, you will want to get your CLS63 with what AMG calls P30. P30 is the code for the performance package that bumps the boost from the turbos to about 18.5 pounds, resulting in 550 horsepower and 590 ft/tq. Amazingly, the 516 ft/tq (from the non P30) will be available beginning slightly above idle, at 1,000 RPM, and the P30’s 590 ft/tq will be available beginning at 2,000 RPM, making either version a tire eating monster off the line. Once off the line, and if you have taken the car out of boring comfort mode, the 7 speed automatic transmission will snap off mind blowing fast up-shift and RPM matching downshifts. Stay in it, and the CLS63 will hit an electronically limited 155 mph or an electronically limited 185 mph with the P30.
Remarkably, the Germans have increased the miles per gallon by an estimated 30 percent over the previous model. Most of the increase is a result of the new direct injection twin turbo motor and the MCT wet clutch package 7 speed transmission. As long as you drive sensibly, the estimated city MPG is around 18 and highway driving should achieve around 22 MPG.
One of the many unique features of the 2012 CLS will be the headlights that use 71 LED’s per headlamp cluster. The entire headlamps will be LED and will feature intelligent lighting that will automatically adjust on the X and Y axis, as needed, to do things like illuminate curves and tilt up under heaving braking.
Mercedes-Benz is proud, and rightfully so, of practically creating a new class of car that is somewhere between a sedan and a coupe with the introduction of the CLS in 2004. And now, with the 2012 CLS63 AMG on the horizon, they have taken the four door coupe segment to the next level, and we cannot wait to smoke the tires on the 2012.
Thanks for your time Dan and Bret.