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Old 01-21-2011, 12:00 PM
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Lightbulb First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, First Drive, Design/Style, Luxury

Sometimes, Less Means More Of Everything
2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG - Click above for high-res image gallery

Sometimes, luxury isn't about having more - it's about having less, albeit artfully architected. Just ask BMW, which lops off a heaping helping of headroom and cargo space to turn its well-conceived X5 into the costlier, less utile X6. Admittedly, the X6 isn't particularly artful, but its rival, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport is. Both vehicles are more indulgent - and more costly - despite offering reduced lebensraum and less exotic mechanicals.

Perhaps the originator and best practitioner of this less-is-more movement is Mercedes-Benz, whose designers adroitly took the last-generation E-Class, lopped off gobs of headroom and trunk space, added some CLS badges, and then proceeded to give the four-seater a much larger price tag. Given that luxury and practicality are nearly polar opposites, perhaps this trend shouldn't be that surprising. The ability to fritter away utility in favor of fashion is perhaps the ultimate statement of luxury ("We could be rational, but why be so sensible, dahling?").

Of course, we needn't be so cynical - especially when the end result from Mercedes is so striking. The 2006 CLS wasn't simply a Stuttgart cut-and-shut job - any fool with a pair of working eyes could see that Benz had developed a voluptuous creature that looked downright otherworldly compared to the stodgy E-Class that sired it. Mercedes would go so far as to market the original CLS as a 'four-door coupe,' and while pedants broke out in hives upon hearing the term, the reality was that Benz had created something far sexier than an ordinary sedan. The CLS' sleekly beveled form wasn't for everyone, but it sparked a rash of imitators in nearly every segment of the industry, from fellow luxury players to workaday sedans. Clearly, Mercedes had no small job when it came to reinventing its style icon.

And this being our first drive of the new-for-2012 CLS family, what better way to start than with the Big Daddy CLS63 AMG range topper?

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Gallery: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG: First Drive

Photos copyright (C)2011 Chris Paukert / AOLContinue reading First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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01-21-2011 12:55 PM

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