Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake strikes a pose and flexes its 800Nm of torque


To demonstrate just how serious Mercedes-Benz are in selling the CLS Shooting Brake, they’ve already developed an über-AMG version complete with 549bhp V8 biturbo engine.

As we said when it was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed recently, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some people clearly love the new rear-end while for others it’s as unpalatable as Marmite. So it’s interesting to note that just ‘two’ of the thirteen press photos are of its rear.

Joining its buxom V8 biturbo engine is the now familiar AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed sports transmission, AMG Ride Control sports suspension and optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite brakes. Engine output ranges between 518bhp and 549bhp (in conjunction with the Edition 1 variant) and between 700Nm (516 lb-ft)and 800Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque.

Both variants are more than respectably quick, with zero to 62 mph in 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively. Nowadays even the fuel efficiency of AMG’s hottest models is palatable with a claimed 27.9mpg on the combined cycle, which corresponds to a CO2 output of 235g/km.

The AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed gearbox has four transmission modes: an eco-friendly Controlled Efficiency mode, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual as well as automatic double declutching and a ‘Race start’ function.

Compared with the regular CLS Shooting Brake, the AMG-fettled CLS 63 gets AMG Ride Control sports suspension with steel suspension struts on the front axle and air suspension struts on the rear, as well as automatic level control and electronically controlled damping.

The driver can switch between the three suspension modes of “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus” – which combine with adjustable ESP settings. The AMG-specific front and rear axles have greater negative camber with optimised elastokinematics, to provide more stability at higher cornering speeds – while the front axle has a 56 mm wider track and uprated AMG sports steering system.

Lightweight 19″ AMG triple-spoke alloys come as standard – fitted with 255/35 R 19 tyres on the front and 285/30 R 19 tyres on the rear – while 360 mm ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round, with AMG ceramic high-performance composite brakes being available as an option.

The usual AMG signature pieces adorn the CLS 63’s exterior, including broader front wings with “V8 BITURBO” lettering, an AMG-specific rear apron with diffuser look and the AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome twin tailpipes.

Inside there are AMG sports seats in Nappa leather (with multi-contour seat and memory functions), AMG Black Piano lacquer trim and a AMG-specific analogue clock featuring an IWC design. A Nappa leather covered three-spoke steering wheel with flattened top and bottom sections, comes complete with silver coloured aluminium shift paddles mounted behind.

The CLS 63 Shooting Brake is due to go on sale in November 2012 at around £83,000, although the final spec and pricing is yet to be confirmed.