Just 10 days after unveiling the new CLS Shooting Brake at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes' power-crazed AMG division has gone and announced the CLS 63 AMG version.
At a stroke, the CLS AMG qualifies joins the world's fastest estate car club. With 518bhp as standard (rising to an optional 549bhp), the Shooting Brake is quicker to 62mph than a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake: a quick history lesson
Back in 2004, the CLS 55 AMG had no direct competitors; it was the first four-door coupe to inspire other manufactures.
That car spawned the CLS 63 of 2006 – running an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine - and the 2012 Shooting Brake downsizes to the smaller-capacity 5.5.
More detail on the CLS 63 AMG's fireworks
The regular CLS 63 serves up 518bhp and 516lb ft, but the 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 can be specced in Edition 1 guise, pushing the key figures 549bhp and 590lb ft of torque.
Featuring a high-spec combination of direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion, piezo injectors, twin-turbocharging and air/water intercooling, the Shooting Brake can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds, and go on to reach a (limited) top speed of 155mph.
Should sound good, too: the CLS's new sports exhaust finished with chrome twin tailpipes is said to pipe the usual AMG soundtrack to the order of your right foot. This is hardly the Bluetec version, but even so Merc claims stop-start trims consumption to 27.9mpg and CO2 to 235g/km.
Ride, handling, and more...
The CLS 63 AMG is highly configurable to match drivers' styles. Four transmission modes are available: Controlled Efficiency (start/stop function is always enabled), Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. It'll blip the revs for you on downchanges and there's a launch control for antiques dealers in a rush to the auction.
Steel suspension struts on the front axle, air suspension struts at the rear and automatic level control are enhanced further by an electronically controlled damping system. The Shooting Brake will self-adjust depending on driving conditions and road surface, therefore reducing body-roll and sharpening cornering ability.
Shooting Brake CLS 63 AMG: the anorak spotter's guide
Spot the fastest CLS estate by its AMG front apron with cross strut bar, AMG radiator grille and specific bonnet design, contrasting with the titanium grey-painted AMG triple-spoke, light-alloy wheels.
The Shooting Brake also comes with the AMG high-performance braking system, featuring 360 mm ventilated and perforated