Think the musclecar era ended back in the early 70’s? A brief glance around the automotive landscape should dispel that notion. The number of offerings in the 300-horsepower club dwarfs that of the late sixties, and ferocious time-slips are being turned in by everything from import compacts to family turnpike cruisers — no longer is the 13-second bracket the exclusive territory of stripped down drag-strip warriors and exotic sportscars.
Surely the most extreme escalation of horsepower has come in the premium European market. Audi and BMW offer a number of models with 400+hp engines and BMW up’s the ante with the 507-hp M5. But no manufacturer offers the sheer volume of firepower that Mercedes does. All but two of the company’s models offer at least 355hp as an option, nine models offer 475 or more, and four models offer more than 600 street-legal horses from the factory.
By comparison, the CL63 AMG seems positively sedate. Look past the low-profile tires and subtle body kit and tread lightly on the gas pedal, and the CL63 is sedate — just your garden-variety $130K luxury coupe. But push that right toe an inch or two towards the firewall and you wake up 518 horses worth of hand-built German hotrod V-8. Despite the CL63’s 4600 pounds, that’s enough motor to rocket it to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and on through the quarter in the mid-12’s — that’s with the air-conditioned seats turned on!
AUTOart has 1:43 versions of this amazing machine in silver or black, showing the car’s elegant lines, aggressive stance and the serious wheels and tires needed to tame all those horses.