This is an extremely fast car, with terrific brakes, a genuinely usable back seat, and decent trunk space (for a convertible). Unfortunately, the steering detracts markedly from the driving experience. Drive the new 3 series convertible, and you will wonder why anyone would pay almost double for the Mercedes, as the 3 series is loads more fun to drive. I had the 3 series, but traded it because of the minuscule trunk space and issues regarding run-flats. I like the AMG--but I have to admit-- reluctantly--that the 3 series was much more fun, at just over half the price, and it gets much better gas mileage. However, given the trunk space issue with the BMW, I am glad I made the switch.
We have owned everything from Porches, BMWs, Mercedes, and Corvettes and this is by far the best car. The combination of power and luxury is unbeatable. The looks of this car are stunning with the AMG package. Not to mention a hand-built engine that is to die for. The price for this car is a little on the high side for the market but in comparison to the M6, it is an overall better car. Highly recommend for any high performance car enthusiast, it will be a nice treat.
I have owned the CLK 350 CAB, a 550 CAB, and now upgraded to the CLK 6.3 AMG. This car is exhilarating--the engine is amazing, the suspension is almost perfectly tuned--it provides a nice balance between a firm, sporty ride without beating you up, it has back seats that are actually usable, and it flat out goes! I have a few minor gripes-- for a car in this price range, things like NAV, Xenon lights, etc. should be standard. Gas mileage is poor in the city, but surprisingly not bad on the freeway--I average over 24 mpg cruising at 80 mph. Drive one and you will likely buy it--if it's too pricey, opt for a 550, but get the sport suspension--it makes a huge difference.
With the electronic stability control switched off, it's extremely difficult to launch the car without smoking the rear tires with excessive wheelspin. Even at 1,000 rpm, wheelspin is inevitable. The best run was made in the transmission's Manual mode, as the Sport mode upshifts to 2nd gear if it detects even a hint of wheelspin, and a very measured throttle application was required. Also noticed that the tachometer is slow to register, so grabbed 2nd gear at indicated 5,000 rpm although redline is 7,000 rpm. Shift action is pretty brutal for an automatic but also seriously quick.
Because there's no drama during braking, this car doesn't feel like it has amazing brakes, yet the numbers say otherwise. Not much initial bite when the brakes are first applied, but thereafter the car squats down and really stops.
On the skid pad, this car is well balanced and supremely controlled. Could induce either understeer or oversteer at will. Steering is very responsive and doesn't feel like a typical Mercedes-Benz or even a typical AMG. Through the slalom, the car reacts to the steering without any delay. The front and rear of the car feel as if they roll at the same time, and the car takes a set at each cone and stays put until the next steering input. As wide and grippy as these tires are, the car could have gone faster yet with more tire grip, as eventually both front and rear tires release their grip on the pavement.