Experience & Photos by Adrian McQueen
It was a joyous few days experiencing the vitality of life and excitement on the West Coast. I left out of Washington, D.C. headed to sunny California for the premiere of the highly anticipated Universal biopic, Straight Outta Compton which has shattered box office records. Automotive Rhythms was tasked to deck the red carpet event and afterglow with some pretty sweet rides. Rightfully so it was equally advantageous to peruse the eclectic LA streets in a 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Coupe which is the top of the CLS model range and provides performance luxury at its finest.
Without exercising too much pompousness, I channeled my inner Ray Donovan who drives a CLS in the Showtime hit series. Yet, no one was paying me a million dollars per job as I gallivanted around town with a chip on my shoulder. But, the acceleration alone was enough to excite the Automotive Rhythms team. The 4-door CLS63 AMG is powered by a vivacious 5.5-liter Biturbo V8 that is carefully, hand-crafted and built in Affalterbach, Germany. Darting through Los Angeles from meeting to meeting with car club owners there was definitely a need for pure power to get around in a timely manner. I surely put the 577 German horses to good use. After setting the Benz into S+ mode I found out rather quickly how this beast can maturely climax to 186 mph. Of course I didn’t hit the limit (or come close) but it’s reassuring knowing the vehicle’s maximum capabilities.
Southern California is as mystical as it is entertaining. So keeping your eyes on the prize is a must. With a firm grip on the multifunction wheel and focus straight ahead, I paddle shifted my way around while directly actuating the 7-speed AMG SpeedShift MCT (Multi-Clutch Transmission) which provided silkier and faster upshifts and downshifts. I breezed through town to town from Beverly Hills to Crenshaw Blvd, also a well-known car enthusiast playground. Using the AMG Drive Unit on the center console owners can select Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Manual drive modes to allow custom remapping of the throttle and transmission for various driving conditions and performance parameters. Throughout the trip we experienced spectacular weather so I wasn’t able to get a read on the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and AMG Limited Slip Differential aside from a few high speed turns. Now that I am back in D.C. maybe the Mercedes-Benz gods will be so gracious to allow us a second review term in circumstantial conditions. Actually, I do believe the weather is calling for torrential storms this weekend!
Automotive Rhythms model was spared no expenses. The bells and whistles I was able to enjoy seemed limitless. Starting off was the $2,800 Driver Assistance Package that included DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, PRE-SAFE PLUS, and Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian recognition. My Steel Grey Metallic Benz looked so lovely pulling up to LA Live with 19” AMG cross-spoke forged (Black) sport rims with red calipers, quad exhaust tips, and a prodigious front fascia. As far as comfort goes, my ride was instilled with the Mercedes-Benz $3,740 Premium Package with ventilated front seats, Rearview camera, active multicontour driver seat, power-folding mirrors, KEYLESS-GO, and electronic trunk closer. No stone was left unturned with this one.
With true enjoyment in the CLS63 I sat back and wondered who this German monster is competing against. Well, when it comes to luxurious sport cars there are the other Germans in the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, the Audi S7, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo. I have driven and enjoyed all of the aforementioned and will say that the CLS63 is in good company and an earnest opponent to them all. It boils down to style, preferences and engineering tactics. But keep in mind the CLS was the first to set off the 4-door coupe revolution. For now let’s just say we ride with Ray Donovan!
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S-Model 4Matic base price is set at $106,550, but the Automotive Rhythms test model was endowed with amenities that slightly increased it to $114,285. Certainly I’m ready for the next mission with the latest and greatest from Mercedes-AMG. Stay tuned for continuous insight from our German adventures.