The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class offers plenty of power in base form, and in CLS63 AMG form, more power than most will know what to do with.
The starting point for the CLS range is the rear-drive CLS 550, powered by a 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine rated at 402 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Despite the CLS 550's size, it accelerates to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. All-wheel drive adds a tenth of a second to that figure.
Whether you choose all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, you'll get a seven-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and quickly in standard automatic mode. Comfort and Sport modes soften or sharpen the CLS's character accordingly--and noticeable.
For the true performance fiend, the CLS63 AMG offers upgraded handling, braking, and, of course, power. A 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine rates 550 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, launching the AMG version of the four-door coupe to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.
All CLS63 AMG models use a Speedshift MCT seven-speed transmission, and for 2014 are equipped with all-wheel drive as standard.
For 2014, Mercedes-Benz introduces a new CLS63 AMG S Model that takes the power and performance even further. The new maximums are 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, rocketing the CLS63 AMG S Model to 60 mph in under four seconds. Unique to the S Model is a Race Start function, standard Collision Prevention Assist, and AMG adaptive suspension.
All CLS models exhibit relaxed and mellow cruising (though AMG models hint at their firmer suspension even at city speeds), but are more nimble and ready to engage in spirited drives than you'd expect of a car this size.
In AMG models, that nimbleness is enhanced to truly surprising levels, wringing more grip, balance, and speed out of the CLS platform than makes logical sense. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available (they're a pricey $12,000 option) for those wishing to push their CLS63 AMG to the absolute limits.