By Andrew Ganz
Thursday, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 10:38 am
 
Following in the footsteps of its more conventionally-styled E63 AMG sibling, the swoopy Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG gains optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive and a significant power boost for 2014.

The 2014 CLS63 AMG four-door coupe (think shapely sedan) and shooting brake (think shapely wagon) will now offer up to 585 horsepower thanks to an available S-Model trim level.

The standard CLS63 AMG, available in Europe with either rear or 4Matic all-wheel-drive, now boasts 557 horsepower and 531 lb-ft. of torque. Opting for the 4Matic-only S-Model brings that to the aforementioned 585 ponies, plus 590 lb-ft. of torque. Thanks to the CLS63's twin-turbo V8, maximum torque is on hand after just 1,750 rpm.

The 4Matic system significantly helps the CLS63 AMG's 0-62 mph sprint times. With rear-wheel-drive, the car hits 62 mph from a complete stop in 4.2 seconds (4.3 for the shooting brake). Opt for 4Matic and that figure slides to just 3.7 (3.8 for the shooting brake). The S-Model shaves another tenth of a second off of those figures.

Regardless of package, all CLS63 AMGs continue to use an AMG-massaged seven-speed automatic with paddle shift levers to send power to either the rear or all four wheels. The new 4Matic system is a more performance-oriented version of the all-wheel-drive setup offered on other CLS models. A new Sport Handling mode utilizes torque vectoring to more rapidly apportion power between the wheels. Typically, the 4Matic sends 33 percent of the power to the front wheels and 67 percent to the rears, but a multi-disc center clutch rapidly distributes power between the axles.

The S-Model ups the CLS63 AMG's game with more than just a power upgrade. A locking rear differential adds traction under aggressive driving and larger carbon ceramic brake pads bring things to a halt with a quickness. S-Models also have their own unique subtle styling touches inside and out, like special badges, red-painted calipers and grey seat stitching.

Mercedes-Benz says that the CLS63 AMG will hit the market in Europe in April. The all-wheel-drive models will follow a couple of months later.

North American specifications have not been announced, but we anticipate that only the CLS63 AMG 4Matic and CLS63 AMG S-Model 4Matic will be offered here in sedan configurations. The shooting brake is likely to remain a European market-only offering.