Car of the Year 2011: No. 5 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG

Drive, Buy

The CL63 AMG can make a driver feel invincible. The big two-door displays a very sporty character when barreling down the road like a Teutonic hammer, yet at the same time it provides an overwhelming sense of protection, the kind usually associated with luxury SUVs. It is no surprise that many judges placed the CL in the “Will Buy” category on their Car of the Year scorecards. The massaging seats, high-performance engine, and cachet of the Mercedes-Benz emblem are all reasons to love this car. Its lack of any real flaws is the reason to own it. —Paul Meyers


Big Wheel

Nobody is more adept than Mercedes-Benz at building large cars designed to travel long distances at enormous speeds. And nobody enhances those speeds better than AMG, the in-house performance shop for the automaker. These factors make the CL63 AMG pretty much peerless, and certainly the standard by which all performance coupes should be judged. As with the Bentley Mulsanne, this biturbo screamer comes with more torque (590 ft lbs) than horsepower (536), so it could leave divots when the driver shifts into seventh gear on the interstate. But the automobile can be quite docile when in a meandering mode, and it is an ideal unisex vehicle for soccer moms married to sports car commandos. In short, the CL63 represents the perfect combination of high performance, style, and elegance. It also provides a benchmark for smoothness and reliability. —Paul Dean



Configuration Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe Engine 5.5-liter turbocharged V-8 Transmission 7-speed multiclutch with AMG Speedshift Plus Power 536 hp at 5,500 rpm Torque 590 ft lbs at 2,000 rpm Curb weight 4,700 pounds Zero to 60 4.4 seconds Top speed 186 mph Base price $151,125 Mercedes-Benz, www.mbusa.com

Penske Luxury

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