New twin turbo engine transforms CL 63 into a fire-spitting monster

Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG CL 63

New twin turbo engine transforms CL 63 into a fire-spitting monster

6 December 2010

What is it?

In theory at least, we’re at best grudgingly accepting the current trend of swapping large capacity normally aspirated engines for smaller units using turbos to make up the difference. True fuel consumption and emissions can be improved this way, but at what cost? The first victims are usually the throttle response and noise.

But not this time. AMG is in the process of replacing its much loved 6.2-litre V8 with a 5.5-litre direct injection ‘biturbo’ motor. It’s first been fitted to the facelifted CL-coupé, which not only uses a staggering 38 per cent less fuel, but has an extra 16 horses to prod the total up to 536bhp and a whacking 125lb ft more torque. Impressive but not that difficult to predict. What these numbers don’t prepare you for is the ground-trembling thunder, and that’s just when you start the thing up.

What's it like?

Large turbo engines aren’t meant to sound like this. Nor are they meant to respond to the throttle like the CL 63, either. The secret would seem to be not more turbo pressure, but less. Because the engine is still large, Mercedes can afford to blow only moderate amounts of boost through it, which means the engine can run a compression ratio of 10.0:1, a number you’d normally associate with a normally aspirated car. So there’s no off-boost lethargy at all, nor any sudden uncontrollable bang in the back when it kicks in. Any revs in any gear and the thing just flies.

In fact, its character and sound is more akin to the old 5.5-litre supercharged motor AMG used before the 6.2, only with much more shove. We loved that old engine, and anyone who buys this new one in any of the AMG products it will filter into are going to love it too.

As for the CL, the new motor with its solid wall of torque from 2000rpm has transformed it. It now feels epically, heroically quick. It’s still large and heavy but handles its bulk remarkably well, even in very tricky conditions.

Should I buy one?

All we’d quibble about is the too firm ride, even in comfort mode and the fact that you don’t really want to see an interior littered with quite so many parts from lesser Mercs. At £111,985, you’ve earned the right to a bespoke cabin.

Then again, with one twitch of your foot and one bellow from that engine and you’re likely to forgive it everything. Just imagine what it’s going to be like in a C-class.

Andrew Frankel

Mercedes-Benz CL 63 AMG

Price: £111,986; Top speed: 155mph or 186mph, depending on options; 0-62mph: 4.5sec; Economy: 26.9mpg; CO2: 244g/km; Kerb weight: 2145kg; Engine type: V8, 5461cc, direct injection, twin turbochargers; Power: 536bhp at 5500rpm; Torque: 589lb ft at 2000-45000rpm; Gearbox: seven speed automatic

Join the debate

Comments
20

8 December 2010

Very tasty indeed.

8 December 2010

A beauty and a beast. Probably the car i'd buy if I won the lottery. Useable everyday and about as fast and luxurious any one could want.

Common sense does not always prevail!

8 December 2010

Bar the W140-based model I've always liked the S-Class coupes for their style, elegance and discrete performance and i'd choose the current model over a Continental GT everytime despite probably not feeling quite as special as the Bentley.

8 December 2010

[quote Lanehogger] i'd choose the current model over a Continental GT[/quote] I totally agree with Lanehogger, in the flesh this is far better looking than a Bentley GT, oozes elegance and has much more presence. [quote Autocar] the old 5.5-litre supercharged motor AMG used before the 6.2[/quote] 5.4 actually =)

8 December 2010

I dread to think what the AMG SLK would be like... :) Just read it gets the N\A 5.5 :(

8 December 2010

[quote Autocar]

All we’d quibble about is the too firm ride, even in comfort mode and the fact that you don’t really want to see an interior littered with quite so many parts from lesser Mercs. At £111,985, you’ve earned the right to a bespoke cabin.

[/quote]

The last time I checked, the CL only shares interior components with the S-Class; hardly a 'lesser' Merc. In fact, the only part it shares with other Merc models is, I think, the COMAND rotary controller and pehaps the AMG buttons...

 

- Follow your own star -

8 December 2010

the economy is really impressive. not to mention the looks

8 December 2010

The same with the former NA 6.3 AMG.

8 December 2010

Pointless car..... in every respect. I mean if going "green" is an imperative nowadays who needs such a dinosaur? So if it was smaller and with less kit making seriously lighter and had a V6 making 150bhp less would it be a "lesser" car?

Maybe "big is beautiful" afterall, but it is just a trend, I'll stick with 'less is more" this one is timeless.

8 December 2010

[quote PHILBY]

Pointless car..... in every respect. I mean if going "green" is an imperative nowadays who needs such a dinosaur? So if it was smaller and with less kit making seriously lighter and had a V6 making 150bhp less would it be a "lesser" car?

Maybe "big is beautiful" afterall, but it is just a trend, I'll stick with 'less is more" this one is timeless.

[/quote]

I think you are on the wrong forum mate, you need to try the this one

[url]IownaPrius.org[/url]

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run