By STEVE WHEELER

Advocate Wheels editor

Whenever Mercedes-Benz adds the letters AMG to the end of a car’s name — the CL63 AMG for instance — you can rest assured that the car is the cream of the crop.

In fact, all AMG engines are built one at a time at Mercedes-AMG in

Affalterbach, Germany, using the company’s “one man, one engine” philosophy. Each AMG engine builder’s name is stamped proudly on a plaque under the hood. A Mercedes-AMG

engine builder named “D. Tummsan” signed the engine installed in our 2011 CL63 AMG test car.

If I could talk to D. Tummsan, there are a couple of things I’d like to say:

“Way to go, Tummy! Some awesome power pours from your 5.5-liter, 563-horsepower bi-turbo V-8. Guess you already know the speedometer reads up to 200 miles per hour and the car is electronically limited to 186 mph. The 664 lb.-ft. of torque your engine produces makes for an exhilarating 4.3-second thrill-ride from zero to 60, and I took advantage of that many times during my test drives. Thanks, Tummy, for your excellent work.”

The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is a grand touring luxury coupe that gets a pair of new engines for 2011: one like Tummy built, and another twin-turbo in the CL550 4-MATIC model. Both engines deliver more power and get better gas mileage. The four

models in the CL-Class are the CL550 4-MATIC, the CL63 AMG, and the

V-12 equipped CL600 and CL65 AMG.

There are lots of cars that offer 0-60 times below 5 seconds, but few of them can deliver that experience so smoothly, confidently, luxuriously and safely as the CL63 AMG. It’s a

super-performance coupe loaded with features for the most discriminating tastes.

The power front seats adjust 14 ways and are heated and ventilated. The seats have active bolsters that gently push on your left side during right turns and on your right side during left turns. These incredible seats will even give your back and shoulders a 4-level shiatsu-type massage.

An optional premium package adds a rear view camera and a remarkable Night View Assist feature that allows the driver to see past the car’s Bi-Xenon headlights. Reading invisible infrared beams with a special camera, the system can be switched on at night and can detect objects nearly 500 feet ahead in near-total darkness. The camera, which appears directly in front of the steering wheel when switched on, can detect cold objects as well as warm ones, and delivers a high-resolution image on the screen.

The CL63 AMG also has cutting-edge driver assistance systems to enhance safety. The optional Active Lane Keeping Assist system monitors lines on both sides of the vehicle and gently vibrates the steering wheel when dashed lines are crossed without a turn signal on. If the coupe unintentionally crosses a solid line, the system gently activates front and rear brakes on the opposite side of the car, drawing the car back into the lane.

The car also has Active Blind Spot Assist which helps the driver avoid moving into occupied blind spots, as well as Adaptive Cruise Control, which keeps a set distance between the car and vehicles in front. If the vehicle senses that the driver does not recognize an imminent rear-end collision, it will apply the brakes a split-second before impact, significantly mitigating the severity of the impact.

A new engine stop/start feature kills the engine at red lights to save on gasoline. The CL63 AMG is rated at 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

So, what does all this technology cost? If you have to ask you can’t afford it. Even if you don’t have to ask, you may not be able to afford it. The suggested retail price is $150,250. With options, the car is $166,045.

The CL63 AMG is but a dream for most of us. But if you can afford it, this car takes its place in Bentley-ville, among the finest production cars available in the world.