The CL coupe stands out as something unique in the automotive firmament. No other manufacturer builds a coupe off its top-line luxury sedan; BMW’s 6-series comes closest, but it’s not really close at all. The CL is more a kindred spirit to a Bentley Continental GT or even a Brooklands. A huge, luxurious, and expensive coupe makes quite an extravagant statement, and one that’s AMG-fortified makes it even more emphatically. The awesome, 6.2-liter V-8, which we know from so many AMG models, provides jet-thrust acceleration accompanied by a stock-car sound track, an utterly charming combination – especially for those with their own oil well.
Joe Lorio, Senior Editor
I didn’t expect to have crowds cheering as I cruised by in this German gunship, but it seems the CL63 drew its own type of admiration. Whilst tanking up on 91-octane petrol, I had several people commend me on driving such a beautiful machine. Though it never struck me beforehand, I suppose they’re right. Contrary to the CL’s sheer size and heft (4685 lbs!), the car still looks slender and stylish (especially in this silver hue), but is subtle enough not to offend the retinas of local law enforcement officials.
That may prove an important point, given the sheer power the CL63’s 6.2-liter V-8 throws down. I know the CL65 offers even more, but the 63 already has almost too much power. Quickly blip the throttle upon launch, and the rear end slides out as if Atlas pulled the earth out from underneath the axle. Perhaps there’s a reason Mercedes doesn’t allow the ESP to be fully disabled in this car…
Although you won’t see it from still photography, there’s also a considerable amount of whiz-bang tech built into the interior. I was startled by front seat bolsters that hug the torso in corners, thrilled by LED light artistically piped across the dashboard, and amazed at what inane features I could program via the nav system. Kudos too to M-B for their wheel controller – critics may pan it as being yet another iDrive knock-off, but it truly makes using the messy Comand infotainment system less of a chore.
Lorio’s right in saying it’s not like a 6-series – the Bimmer feels too ‘boy racer’ in comparison. I would argue that the CL63 is better than the Continental GT. The CL’s substantial presence, solid feel, monstrous torque, and sumptuous appointments place it closer to the larger Brooklands coupe. Looking at it this way, if you can get a Brooklands experience for Continental GT money, you’ve got yourself a six-figure bargain.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
I drove our Four Seasons Audi R8 one weekend, and then the weekend afterward, I drove this Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG. (I know, I know; we automotive journalists are quite a pampered lot. If it makes you feel better, I’m driving a minivan this weekend.)
Anyway, when I took a gander at the CL63’s window sticker, it immediately occurred to me that the Benz coupe costs about twenty-five grand more than the R8 supercar. I guess this is an apples-and-oranges comparison, but I have to say, if you’re spending big bucks hoping to get noticed on the street, the R8 is the better car for you.
That said, I love the CL in all its iterations. It hits all the hot buttons for me: prestige, ultra comfort, style, performance, and a fair bit of utility. I had four adults in the car for a quick run to dinner, and there were no complaints from the rear seat, just gasps of disbelief when I tore out of our driveway and hit the gas and this luxury ship rocketed up the road.
As for the utility? I stopped by one of my favorite specialty food stores on Sunday afternoon to pick up a few items, and I noticed that their garden center had a closeout sale on patio pots. Sixty percent off! How could I resist? I selected two big heavy terracotta pots, each probably about 27 inches tall and 18 inches in diameter, and loaded them into the trunk, which had no difficulty at all swallowing them. The only problem with this arrangement is that I then had to drive home very slowly and carefully, so as not to bang the pots against each other. This is not easy to do in the CL63, which begs you to hot-foot it away from every intersection and to toss this big sucker into every corner (the sport-tuned chassis is remarkably composed under such circumstances).
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor
Everything about the CL63 exudes luxury. From the beautifully crafted interior to the classic exterior styling to the unmistakable Mercedes emblem at the front of the car, this is one vehicle that truly pampers its driver – as well it should at a base price of a little over $140,000. In fact, the interior is so finely wrought that I found myself running my fingers over every surface, just because the materials looked and felt so rich. But on top of all that luxury, the CL63 adds a heavy dollop of performance, with an astounding 518 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. This is a luxury cruiser that isn’t afraid to encourage its driver to let it stretch its legs – which is exactly what I did. Let me tell you, I would have held onto the keys for several more days if there weren’t other staff members waiting in the wings for their turn with the CL63.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
We’ve been blessed with a number of 63 AMG vehicles in recent months, but it’s impossible to get tired of them. The C63 sedan is definitely my favorite of the family, but otherwise, my second favorite is always the one I drove most recently (CLS, CL, SL, etc.). This CL63 comes in at a lofty $155K, but you definitely get your money’s worth in image and performance. I wouldn’t quite put this car in the Bentley Brooklands stratosphere, but I can easily see how a Continental GT shopper might be pulled toward the CL’s three-pointed star.
This time around, though, all that motor and style was an afterthought. The best feature on my commute was definitely the massaging-seat function, which is accessed through Mercedes-Benz’s commendable Comand system. You see, my wife is eight months pregnant, and the massaging seat significantly improved her mood after a long day of sitting behind a desk. A heated back massage (pick one of four settings: fast and vigorous, slow and vigorous, fast and gentle, slow and gentle) during the morning commute to the office is pretty fantastic, too, though …
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
2009 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG
Base Price (with destination): $140,575
Price as tested: $155,670
- Gas Guzzler Tax $2600
- iPod Integration Kit $425
- Premium Package $2120
- -Rear View Camera, Night View Assist
- AMG Performance Package $7070
- Distronic Plus Package $2880
Fuel Economy: 11 / 18 / 14 (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 6.3L Naturally Aspirated V-8
HP: 518 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Transmission: AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-Speed Automatic
Weight: 4685 lb
Front: 8.5 x 20 255/35ZR20
Rear: 9.5 x 20 275/34ZR20