Lovely engine, but we'd struggle to recommend the whole package, especially for nearly £70k.

What is it?

The latest big-engined bad boy from Merc’s AMG division. The CLK63 packs Merc’s new 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8, rather than the old 5.4-litre unit. Mercedes claims it’s a 6.3-litre unit, but even with our bad maths we know you should round 6208cc down, not up.

What’s it like?

It’s a hotrod, pure and simple; it’s a wonder that painted-on flames along the side aren’t on the options list. The engine sounds fabulous – even though the cabrio only gets twin pipes to the coupé’s four – and produces a faintly alarming 474bhp and 465lb ft.

If the road is anything other than mega-grippy and dry, expect to light up the rear tyres if you’re not careful with the throttle. The traction control will intervene, but not quite as rapidly as all that power. Which is quite satisfying, in a hooligan-like way.

Thing is, however, that the full torque shove doesn’t come in until 5000rpm, and although you get 369lb ft from 2000rpm, it doesn’t actually feel quite as brutally accelerative as the old CLK55. Also, the power peak is at 6800rpm, and while we love a high-revving V8, it’s rare you get to rev that far – unless you have a runway or autobahn to hand. Still, it is quicker than the old car, at 0-62mph in 4.7sec (4.6 for the coupé).

The CLK63 also gets the new seven-speed automatic ’box, which has an excellent manual override and wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.

Should I get one?

Far be it from us to stop you buying a ridiculously powerful CLK, but we should point out that for the same £68,815 starting price (£65,215 for the coupé), you could have a new Porsche 911 Carrera S, or a Carrera cabrio with a few options, or a lightly used SL55 AMG, or…

Rory Lumsdon

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