out of 10

It was nearly eighty degrees when I stepped out of the airport into the January San Diego sun. The comely AMG-branded blonde greeter immediately engaged me in lively superficial chit-chat as a black Mercedes S400 Hybrid was waved around to ferry me to the Rancho Valencia. The lifestyle immersion process of the AMG brand had already begun.

But it was just the beginning. Arriving at the resort hotel, shuttled to my room on a waiting golf cart, luggage in tow, I was dropped at the door to a private villa stocked with AMG promotional materials: my residence for the next several days.

With the Robin Leach treatment, you might think the car I was there to test--the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG--would be little more than a bit player, a bedtime mint on the pillow. It's anything but.

The Benevolent Dictator
Slip into the new CLS63 and get your driving position set, then stick the fob into the dash and give it a twist (yes, you have to--no pocketing the fob and pushing a button here), and...

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UPDATE2012 Best Car To Buy Nominee: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG

The 2012 CLS 63 AMG's strengths overcome its weaknesses to make it a nominee for Motor Authority's 2012 Best Car To Buy award. Read Update

UPDATEWatch An AMG Designer Pen A New Model In Time-Lapse Video

When designing the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, designers first start with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper. Read Update

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