The Dream Wagon: Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake

It's a tough time for sports wagons today.  Market is currently flooded with luxury SUV's as it seems that higher seating position, aggressive looks and massive engines have won the hearts of wealthy family car buyers today. 

The more agile, more economical and definitely more driver orientated wagons have been overlooked, as perhaps they've been associated with utility cars, delivery vans, or whatever else just-get-the-job-done comes to mind.  However, now there is one car that is going to if not change, but at least bend this theory; representing a class of its own: the Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake.
This truly unique vehicle is winning hearts all over the world as it has achieved something that no other car could.
In the front it looks like an ordinary and familiar looking CLS four door coupe, that has already created a new vehicle class almost 10 years ago and that we all admire so much.
In the back, however it managed something completely different.  It's a wagon, but because it sits lower and keeps  the curves of the CLS coupe its roof lines look nothing like a utility van anymore; it looks, like... like nothing the automotive world has ever seen before.

The unique CLS tail lights look a lot more in place here as if Mercedes Benz has designed them with the Shooting Brake in mind

While signature AMG quad exhaust pipes remind us that it's all business.

Looking from the side it is amazing how they kept the coupe characteristics in this car and transformed it into a wagon type vehicle while maintaining its perfect stance and balance.  The front is following the latest design trends of Mercedes Benz with angular headlights and straight lines.  The lines become more curvy and elegant looking from the middle towards the rear of the vehicle. This design pattern is unique for Mercedes Benz and is especially present in this vehicle.  The angle of windscreen is extremely low as A-Pillar transforms elegantly into roof as if was the whole car was designed with a single swoosh of a brush.  Undoubtedly, the side is where this vehicle's appeal is most seen.

But luckily today we have the opportunity to literally observe various details the vehicle inside and out as after a short test drive that was given to me by good folks at Mercedes Benz Connection Tokyo I spent a good hour with this car, which combined with 32GB SD card generated lots of material to share.

We start on the inside where the AMG has given it a special treatment with designo napa leather package, ventilated seats, and carbon fiber trim.

The AMG steering wheel has alcantara accent on side bolsters for extra grip with beautiful soft leather on top and bottom.  Aluminum paddle shifts are mounted behind for easy operation of the 7 speed AMG Quick Shift automatic transmission.

The car is packed with usual AMG gadgetry.  Various drive modes can be selected to adjust suspension stiffness, engine response, exhaust noise, and traction control if the driver feels brave.

The car also came with beautiful sounding Harman Kardon surround sound audio system. But who needs it if there is exhaust note as good as on this car?

Central control has been carried over from the E-Class, which is very intuitive and easy to use, but like I always say, it has too many buttons.  I still don't understand what is the point of having entire dial pad that takes so much space.

IWC clock is standard on all AMG models, serving as a reminder of luxury status of this vehicle, as well as current time.

Overall the cabin is extremely well designed with exceptional comfort and ergonomics.  Even though I spent about 20 minutes driving this car, it could have easily been 20 hours.

The car shines in its practicality as well as the whole family could share the joy of a road trip as there is plenty of space for two adults in the back...

and there is infinite amounts of storage space that can even be ordered with polished wooden floor, which could add extra weight for better traction.

And it needs a lot of traction, because while still being a wagon, it's a also a very fast touring sports coupe.

Under the massive long hood sits the spectacular 5.5L twin turbo AMG engine. producing whooping 525 horse power and astounding 700N-m of torque, which is all available at as low as 1750 RPM

As with any AMG motor, this one is hand-crafted by one engineer, with their name engraved on the metal plate, making this state of the art power plant truly one of a kind.
The AMG model comes equipped with massive 255/35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 19 rear tires,

which are wrapped around 5 spoke AMG light alloy wheels with 360mm cross drilled brake rotors behind

It is indeed one incredible machine, and it truly comes together when it's driven.  The ride comfort is exceptional and you can do nothing but grin at calm but very notable sound track of the AMG exhaust.  Flick it into sport mode and car becomes more alive, sounding more angry with responsive steering asking for it to be thrown at every corner.  A quick sprint down a Tokyo tunnel made it sound like an Apache Gunship, but it was over too quickly as what seemed like a warp-drive was nothing but a warm-up as I barely got out of second gear.

All I can say as this beast was designed for Autobahn or twisty mountain roads for more brave drivers out there.  While it's comfortable and relaxing around town, apart from awesome exhaust rumble, fun factor is very limited on city roads.  

Yet there is not a second that goes by where I don't appreciate how awesome and desirable this car is.  It is indeed a rare case where a car tries to be many things at the same time, and does it all so well.

Cost of Ownership:
 1/5
The car itself is very expensive. Large engine displacement means high tax and insane fuel consumption.  With this much torque rear tires will need to replaced frequently.
Practicality
 5/5
Behind this incredible styling it is an E Class wagon, what more can one ask for?
Cabin Comfort
 5/5
The interior is one of the best I have ever seen.  without any extra-posh it keeps the driver focused and passengers relaxes.
Appeal
 5/5
This is a one of a kind car that will turn heads for many years to come.
Fun Factor
 5/5
The AMG have outdone themselves with this car. It's a performance coupe in wagon's disguise.  this car has everything from sporty handling to incredible power.  And when you have no room to do speed tests or endless burnouts, you can still grin at the incredible noise this car makes.

Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake is available from Mercedes Benz Japan for 16.8 million yen.
Big thanks to Mercedes Benz Connection Tokyo for letting me drive this car.

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