The times, they are a-changin at AMG. There are electric SUV AMGs, four-cylinder C63 AMGs, and more A-Class-based AMGs than anyone can keep track of. The times are changing for everybody, of course, though it just seems that much more drastic with AMG.
Perhaps we all just got a bit too used to awesome engines going in any Mercedes available that we’re now missing what we had with it no longer here. Again, that’s a feeling that will afflict many people who love certain brands, yet seems more acute for AMG. Perhaps it was inevitable when its best-known engine was a 6.2-litre V8 found in everything from a Mercedes R-Class to an AMG GT race car. Whatever the case, and with some spectacular petrol cars still in the AMG line up - with the 840hp E-Performance GT 4-door imminent as well - it seems like the good old days are already attracting a premium.
Those late CLKs that were blessed with the M156 V8 as a final flourish are going up; some C63 507s are still the best part of £50k; and it seems that even SLK AMGs, perhaps on account of the rarity and the lunacy of a V8 in a TT rival, are appreciating. But thanks to the sheer volume of AMG powerhouses made over the years, and the punchy running costs that are all part of the fun, there are still AMG bargains out there. There’s a reason why they make such good Brave Pill fodder…
This CLS55 isn’t your average old AMG, however. Oh no. Typically when looking at £10k V8s you’ll be lucky to get an MOT expiry date and any mention of a service history. For this Benz you best put a pot of coffee on first, as there’s almost 1,400 words detailing service history, upgrades, maintenance, issues, and extras. It’s exactly the kind of ownership record we love to see from a diligent car enthusiast, if also slightly scary - big old Benzes really can cost as much to run as you’ve heard!
Of course, the hope is that with such upkeep there isn’t a big bill around the corner, though this is still a 17-year-old AMG - a contingency fund is always worthwhile. At least one looks more than worth any effort and expense, with both a little more power than standard (530hp instead of 476) plus a Quaife limited-slip diff to really make the most of it. And better brakes to keep a lid on things. The CLS even gets an updated, CarPlay compatible head unit, which will be a real boon everyday. Run on V-Power and trickle charged when not in use as well, this ’55 is undoubtedly ticking a lot of the boxes.
Plus there’s the inherent appeal of any C219-era CLS now. It’s still a distinctive bit of design all these years later, and this one presents flawlessly in Iridium Silver. The AMG flagship is a rare car, too, with the ad suggesting there was only ever around 355 UK cars. And it’s big enough for friends and family to come along as well, with the original owner even speccing ISOFIX for the rear. Can’t do that in an SL.
It's genuinely difficult to pick any fault with the Merc at all, so well done to those that clocked the parking dents. On the less brilliant bits of a CLS, keeping it in V-Power, as the current owner has done, might make Qatar’s World Cup expenditure look a small sum. But that’s not going to be a uniquely AMG phenomenon going forward. For a taste of just why the old Benz ‘bahnstormers were so loved, it’s hard to think of much better - the CLS is for sale at £10,900.
SPECIFICATION | MERCEDES-BENZ CLS 55 AMG
Engine: 5,439cc, supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 476@6,100rpm (standard)
Torque (lb ft): 516@2,650rpm (standard)
Recorded mileage: 106,700
Year registered: 2005
Price new: c. £70k
Yours for: £10,900
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