In the U.S., the Black Series range of hardcore Mercedes-Benz AMG models all started with the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series. The CLK Black Series was essentially an F1 pace car made for the road, and featured a 500-hp 6.2-liter V-8 along with aggressive-looking aerodynamic modifications and a hardcore, track-ready suspension to set it apart from the standard CLK63 AMG.
In this episode of Ignition, host Carlos Lago drives the CLK63 AMG Black Series on twisting roads and on the track to compare the beginning of the Black Series name with a current Black Series model, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. The two cars share the same 6.2-liter engine and seven-speed automatic, but the new generation of the car features numerous upgrades that lend it a more precise, coherent feel than the CLK63 AMG Black Series which has an outdated transmission, old-school interior, and is a less integrated package overall.
Still, Lago finds the older car to be a much more visceral, direct experience with its brutal engine note, heavy steering, and muscular but unrefined nature. The new Black Series model delivers better performance overall, but can’t match the engaging and responsive driving experience of the five-year-old CLK63 AMG Black Series.
Check out the video below to see the origins of Mercedes-Benz’s Black Series lineup in action.