Compared with the "standard" CLK63 AMG coupe (not sold in the U.S.; we get the Cabriolet version only), the Black Series is nearly 100 pounds lighter, more potent, more monster-er. For one thing, there's enough featherweight, beautifully sculptured carbon fiber inside and out to make about 1000 of those chic executive ashtrays (the rear diffuser is particularly yummy).

Other upgrades include a retuned suspension with adjustable coil springs and ride height (you'll need to break out your wrench, though), a wider track front and rear, 19-inch forged-alloy AMG wheels wearing Pirelli performance tires, thicker composite front brake discs, strut tower braces under the hood and in the trunk, and a multiplate rear limited-slip. Notice, too, the carbon-fiber air outlets in the front wheel arches, the left for an additional transmission-oil cooler and the right ducting the engine-oil cooler. As in all AMG products, the engine is handbuilt by one man from start to finish (AMG sold roughly 20,000 cars last year-apparently, this guy never sleeps)...

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First Test: 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series

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