We already had our first official look at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class sedan at the 2010 Paris Show, but the automaker refrained from touting a performance-tuned variant. That will soon change, however, as Mercedes-Benz noted today that the all-new 2012 CLS63 AMG will make its official world debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show next week.
As is the case with both the new 2011 CL63 AMG and S63 AMG, the engine chosen for the CLS63 AMG belies its nameplate. It isn't a 6.3-liter engine whatsoever -- in fact, it's actually a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 5.5-liter V-8. As you've likely heard by now, the switch to a smaller, forced-induction V-8 allows the engineers in Affalterbach to create an engine that delivers both impressive fuel economy and power.
For the CLS63, however, that power is a little less than that offered in its CL- and S-Class siblings. In its base form, the CLS-spec AMG engine is rated at 518 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. By those numbers, the engine is 18 ponies and 74 pound-feet shy of those installed in the new CL63 and S63, although it is still 18 horsepower and 50 pound-feet more than the 6.2-liter used in the outgoing CLS63 model.
Buyers wanting a little more power can, however, opt for the AMG Performance Package. A series of tweaks, largely centered around the engine controller, bumps the CLS63's output to 550 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. In contrast, S63 and CL63 cars equipped with the same package throw down 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.
According to sources close to the company, the discrepancy in power -- also seen in the last iteration of the AMG-tuned CLS-Class -- is largely due to curb weight. Mercedes-Benz has yet to release finalized specifications for the CLS63, but a base CLS550 tips the scale at 4168 pounds -- roughly 300-400 pounds lighter than comparable CL- and S-Class models.
We're still in the dark about what other modifications AMG has in store for the new swoopy CLS, but we wouldn't be surprised if other typical touches, including upgraded suspension components, enlarged brakes, performance-rated tires, active body control, an aggressive body kit, and premium sport seats, are part of the package.
We'll know for certain come November 17, when Mercedes-Benz plans on showing the 2011 CLS63 AMG in its entirety. Stay with Automobile Magazine for all the latest debuts and news from the Los Angeles show floor.