2008 CLK63 AMG Black Series – Know Your Target Market


To commemorate the 40th anniversary of AMG-tuned Mercedes, the German automaker has introduced a special edition of the CLK63 call the Black Series. Based on the official Formula 1 safety car, the Black Series CLK63 is powered by a 500HP 6.2 liter V8 capable of propelling the coupe from zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph.

The new AMG coupe sports huge carbon-fiber fender flares, 19-inch wheels and tires and larger brake rotors that measure an massive 14.2 inches at the front and a still impressive 13 inches in the back. The front fascia has larger ducting that feeds air into a bigger radiator and a second transmission oil cooler. The car is also equipped with rocker panel extensions and a carbon-fiber rear decklid spoiler.

Normally a 4 seater, the Black Series has only two front seats. The rear seats have been removed to lighten the vehicle (not that it helped much since the car still weighs over 3,900 lbs). Less than 500 examples will be produced and it will be priced at $136,000.

Knowing Your Target Market

The CLK63 AMG is a good study in the important of knowing your target market. In Europe, the AMG super coupe has a no-nonsense, almost race car, interior. The seats are non adjustable (except for forward and back) and made from a carbon-fiber shell wrapped by a thinly padded cloth seating surface. The door panels are also made from carbon-fiber.



I absolutely love the above AMG interior. However, Mercedes claims their average American customer won’t go for an AMG Mercedes with non-adjustable cloth seats. It seems Mercedes sees their USA customers as fat, overweight, lazy bums. How else can you explain the interior for the USA version of the Black Series CLK63?


The USA AMG Black Series feature sofa size leather seats that even the fattest American butt will fit in. The carbon-fiber doors has been replaced with rich leather and Mercedes added a cup holder big enough to hold a Super Big Gulp! How American can you get? At least they kept the car as a two seater.

I don’t know about you but I would take the European version over the USA version any day. However, I am not an American. So I want to ask my American readers which version they like? Do you think Mercedes is playing stereotype with this car? The Black Series are supposed to be serious track ready cars. Dumbing them down for the American market seem almost like a crime to me.