2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
Power: 518 hp
Torque: 150 lb-ft.
Engine: AMG 5.5L V8 Biturbo
Fuel Consumption: 15 city/22 highway
Here's something that most automotive journalists won't tell you: once a writer gets to the point at which he (probably) can reliably procure press fleet vehicles, he starts requesting them based on whatever event is coming up in his calendar. For example, I was headed to a friend's wedding, so I called Mercedes-Benz and asked for a car; there is no more archetypal wedding car than a Benz.
A Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG might be the perfect car to show up in, as there are enough doors for schlepping other members of the wedding party should the need arise, it has a trunk for storage of one of the swords the groom will hand out to his groomsmen (because this is a gloriously geeky wedding), it's not exotic enough to steal anybody's thunder, it is exotic enough to quicken the groom's pulse, and it shows the groom that, though he may be about to enter into an agreement that may preclude the purchasing of cars with two doors, he doesn't necessarily have to give up fun and sex appeal in the process. I believe this is the essence of the CLS, and by extension, the CLS63 AMG: it's a sexy grand touring car that has four doors so that wives will be OK with it.
The interior does a great job of getting this across as well. It feels snug, like a well-tailored suit, without actually being constrictive. If my 6'1" frame had a few inches to spare, the vast majority of drivers will be nice and comfortable. In the front seat, it felt like a two seat GT car, which was lovely. Really the only problem with the interior was the oddly plastic temperature adjustment knobs. The alcantara headliner and steering wheel felt great, the leather upholstery felt great, the fancy reactive bolsters felt great, the bazillion-way adjustable seats felt great, and those two knobs felt like they had been stolen from a Power-Wheels car.
Seriously though, who really cares about two little plastic rings that seem as if they are from a toy canning and preserving set (obviously me, given that I still haven't stopped whining) when there's an AMG Mercedes at one's disposal. The potential for mischief is great, and the new 5.5L twin-turbo V8 does a very good job of convincing the 4,277 lbs of what Mercedes insists is a "four door coupe" to get going; in fact, the car manages a positively blistering 4.4 second sprint to 60mph.
Even though the increased power is certainly welcome, the sound of this new engine is inspiring despite the turbo-chargers, and this car is significantly more efficient than its predecessor, I couldn't help but miss the old, naturally aspirated V8. That was an engine that grabbed you by the balls, gave a slight twist, and said "lets play." It was invigorating, exciting, and more than a bit unnerving in a way that very few engines are. That feeling of oh-my-god-I-love-this-I-hope-I-survive is the one thing that's missing from this otherwise flawless vehicle. (really, I don't care too much about the $0.49 bracelets that have been glued in place of the temperature knobs)
The transmission does a great job of managing all that power and torque as well. While there are paddle shifters, using them doesn't really add much to the experience, as the gearbox solidly selects gears on its own.
This is not just a German muscle car though, the steering has good feel and the thing handles like, once again, a much smaller GT car. To quote a friend of mine, who I strapped in the passenger seat and took for a joy-ride, "it is impossible to be in this car and not have a boner." It's high praise indeed, and it might very well be true, but it's probably best not to belabor the point, lest this article move into much more uncomfortable territory.
If you have a massive bank account, one spot open in the garage, and a need to buy a car that can do absolutely everything, this isn't your car. No car can handle a road course like a Pagani and go off-roading while towing your boat and seating your brood of 10 children, so give up your search for the impossible automotive utopia and give the CLS63 AMG a look. It can do just about everything other than off-roading.
If you are a wealthy man who needs a car that can do almost everything, including being the perfect wedding guest and creating asexual male arousal, this is your vehicle.