Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake

Storming Mercedes CLS 63 Shooting Brake delivers on its muscular looks

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

This niche-busting four-door coupe-estate with AMG input makes for a surprisingly practical car, yet a ferociously fast and composed one to drive. It’s expensive, and its lesser relations are equally well rounded, but the AMG’s extraordinary performance is intoxicating – especially when it’s wrapped up in such a good-looking package.

Supercar performance, estate car practicality and supermodel looks combine in the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, which has just hit the UK.

The tapering roofline and steeply raked glass suit the CLS’ elegant lines, and this Shooting Brake is the most muscular yet. It gets a deeper front bumper with larger intakes, AMG alloys hiding bigger brakes and a diffuser-style rear bumper with quad exhausts. V8 Biturbo badges on the wings hint at the performance on tap.

The 5.5-litre engine delivers 549bhp, and gives 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and an electronically limited 155mph top speed. Yet despite its potential, the AMG is easy to drive in everyday traffic.

That’s partly down to controls that let you alter throttle response and suspension – but it’s mostly thanks to the flexible engine. It offers 800Nm of torque from just 2,000rpm, so always feels really relaxed. The smooth seven-speed auto shifts seamlessly, while in more aggressive Sport+ mode, it changes up in the blink of an eye.

Firmer dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars help the car cope with the performance, and if you keep the variable dampers in their most comfortable setting, the ride is as supple as you’d expect of a Mercedes – even one so focused. The two firmer settings upset ride comfort a bit, though, and the CLS 63 fidgets over rough roads.

The steering is accurate and light, and while it could offer more feel, this car is more agile than the £75,510 E63 AMG. And don’t forget, the CLS’ £83,090 price doesn’t just buy huge pace; you also get a 590-litre boot that can be expanded to 1,550 litres.

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