2014 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG

Elegant in appearance, palatial and posh inside, and prodigiously powerful, the Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG is one of the quickest and most luxurious grand touring coupes on the market. It packs a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with more torque than a Ferrari F12berlinetta and a cabin that would do Rolls-Royce proud.

Amazingly, the CL63 AMG isn't the most potent variant of Mercedes' CL-Class coupe range - buyers with deep pockets can opt for an even more ludicrous, V12-powered CL65 AMG model.

With regal lines, a stately stance and well-balanced proportions, the CL63 AMG is the epitome of a full-size luxury coupe. An understated body kit with sporty side sills and enlarged front air vents provides a touch of athleticism while also hinting at the earth-moving output that resides under the hood.

The interior is a sumptuous space replete with fine wood trim, supple leather and numerous impressive convenience features such as a Splitview infotainment display. This clever screen allows the driver and front passenger to each view separate content at the same time, for instance letting the driver keep tabs on the navigation system while the passenger simultaneously watches a movie.

There's plenty of room for passengers both front and rear, and the CL63 AMG's unique B-pillar-less design creates a sense of space and openness that only a convertible can exceed.

Herculean Power
In standard form, the CL63 AMG is motivated by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 that runs 14.2 psi of boost and produces 530 horsepower along with 590 lb-ft of torque. If that isn't enough, Mercedes offers an AMG Performance Package that ups output to 563 horsepower and a staggering 664 lb-ft of torque by way of revised engine mapping and 1.4 psi of additional boost.

Shifting duties are handled by a seven-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, three different drive modes and a rev-matched downshifts.

Mercedes quotes zero-to-60 mph acceleration times of 4.4 seconds for the standard CL63 AMG and 4.3 seconds for the AMG Performance Package model, with the latter said to top out at an electronically limited 186 mph.

Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Standard and Optional Features
The CL63 AMG is fitted as standard with leather upholstery, wood trim, heated and ventilated front sports seats with massage and active bolsters, a navigation system, an 11-speaker AM/FM/CD Harmon/Kardon stereo system with a six-disc CD/DVD changer, HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio and an AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, a proximity key, LED running lights, active bi-xenon headlights, a power-operated trunk, a power rear window sunshade and 20-inch AMG alloy wheels.

The available Premium 2 Package brings infrared night vision and a rearview camera. The Driver Assistance Package nets an automated braking system, crash detection and adaptive cruise control.

Occupant Safety
In terms of safety and security features, the CL63 AMG comes with roadside assistance, adaptive dual stage front airbags, driver knee airbag, side and full-length curtain airbags and active head restraints. Electronic safety comes in the form of an electronic stability program, a predictive occupant protection system, a roll-over sensor, anti-theft alarm with engine shut-down and night security illumination.

The CL63 AMG also features Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, both designed to help the driver avoid danger through corrective braking.

Active Lane Assist works by utilizing a multi-purpose camera, mounted in the windshield, which analyzes images and then simulates rumble strips when drivers begin to drift into another lane unintentionally. Should the driver fail to notice the faux-rumble strip effect being relayed through an electric motor in the steering wheel the car will gently apply brakes on the opposite side of the vehicle, creating a yaw movement which aims to keep the car in the intended lane.

Active Blind Spot Assist monitors both blind spots alongside the vehicle using close-range radar sensors. When a vehicle is detected in a blindspot, a yellow warning triangle is illuminated in the corresponding side-view mirror. Should the driver disregard this warning and activate the turn indicator, the warning triangle changes to red and an audible warning also sounds.

If a driver continues to ignore these warnings and moves dangerously close to a neighboring vehicle, the system activates corrective braking intervention to the wheels of the opposite side of the vehicle, acting like Active Lane Assist, and using the yaw movement to keep the vehicle from colliding with the vehicle found in the blind spot.

Key Competitors
The Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG is one serious performer, with competition including the Audi R8 V10, the BMW M6 and the Jaguar XKR.