Mercedes-AMG claims the CLS 63's looks are inspired by the SLS supercar. Clearly, there are similar styling cues here and there – particularly at the front end – but we suspect that when you see the CLS 63 , you will notice that it looks predictably like a standard CLS after some heavy hormone treatment.
But still, the results are far from unappealing. Our test car came with the optional AMG carbon trim package, which includes carbonfibre door mirrors and rear diffuser, but we’d say that it’s unnecessary chintz on an otherwise appropriately muscular yet understated design.
Far more important than any dress change is the substance it conceals. And that starts with the all-aluminium, twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8, which puts out 576bhp from 5500rpm and 590lb ft from 1750rpm to 5000rpm.
That’s an increase of 27bhp, over the pre-facelifted CLS 63. The rewards of the new motor don’t stop at a power hike, but also extend to emissions and consumption, which, at 230g/km and 28.5mpg, are a huge step forward from the 6.2-litre V8’s.
Much of the environmental improvements are down to the new, standard-fit seven-speed automatic transmission, which loses the torque converter of old and gains a wet clutch. This new ’box – available in AMG models only – also brings with it standard stop-start.
Riding on wider tracks, with multi-link suspension at both ends and self-levelling air suspension on the back axle only (coil springs up front), the CLS’s active damping adjusts automatically to suit the road and driving style, depending on which of the three suspension settings the driver has selected.