New Benz a blaster

The CLS63’s brakes are great, just ask the lucky squir­rel, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

THE squir­rel didn’t know what nearly hit it. The road­kill can­di­date can thank the mas­sive ce­ramic brakes and the lat­est ABS technology fit­ted to Benz’s new­est blaster for a last-sec­ond re­prieve from a death sen­tence.

A four-legged lockup and the mas­sive ce­ramic brakes on the CLS63 meant it came — lit­er­ally — within a whisker of obliv­ion in­stead of be­ing the lo­cal scav­engers’ next meal.

The squir­rel fled back to the safety of the scrub; the four-door coupe rolled on un­ruf­fled.

It says a lot about the dy­nam­ics of the car that doesn’t so much as twitch, de­spite the fact the brakes hauled 30km/h off the speedo and the ve­hi­cle was be­ing tipped into a corner.

AMG head Ola Kael­le­nius re­peat­edly talks about the ‘‘lon­gi­tu­di­nal and lat­eral sta­bil­ity’’ of the lat­est prod­uct from the Mercedes-Benz per­for­mance arm dur­ing its global launch in San Diego and we’re not about to ar­gue with him.

But there is a lot more to the CLS 63 than its sta­bil­ity and brakes. It’s the new­est up­grade of a Benz prod­uct and fol­lows the in­tro­duc­tion of the reg­u­lar CLS — a smoother car all-round de­spite its con­fronting looks— than the orig­i­nal four-door coupe.


SOME peo­ple will see the CLS63 as a cheap and prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tive to the two-seat SLS Gull­wing.

For oth­ers it will be hard to jus­tify the $280,000 or so (Mercedes Aus­tralia can’t con­firm pric­ing un­til closer to the car’s ar­rival in the third quar­ter this year) when they can put a pair of C63 AMGs in the garage for sim­i­lar money.

Ante up, though, and you’ll en­joy best in­te­rior ma­te­ri­als and gadgets and the lat­est in Mercedes’ hi-tech arse­nal of elec­tronic driver aids, matched to a quick en­gine and race car-ca­pa­ble chas­sis. It all comes down to dis­pos­able in­come, I guess.

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