The 2017 LA Motor Show has seen the official launch of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe. Here are all the details..
Mercedes invented the four-door coupe phenomenon with the first CLS and now the firm is attempting to reclaim the initiative with the third generation of the car, which is being revealed at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car goes on sale on December 7 with the first UK deliveries in spring 2018. Prices start from around £57,000.
The new CLS is based heavily on the latest Mercedes E-Class, sharing that car’s chassis technology and, on all versions, its nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. The car will be offered with three suspension configurations – standard springs, adaptive dampers or full air suspension.
New Mercedes CLS: exterior and interior design
The new model gets a smoother look than the Mk2 CLS, with more of the swoopy lines that made the original such a distinctive proposition when it was launched back in 2003. In particular, the outgoing car’s awkward crease around the rear wheelarch has been axed to make way for a softer shoulder line that runs smoothly into the tail-lights.
Inside, the influence of the E-Class is even more evident; that car’s impressive widescreen instrument panel and infotainment system has been carried over directly, although there are a few touches that are new on the CLS, such as illuminated air vents which incorporate ambient lighting that changes colour to show when a hotter or cooler temperature has been requested.
There are three seats in the rear, although the deeply scalloped outer seats give the impression that the car is, like its successors, designed for four occupants. The rear seats can be folded down in a 40/20/40 split to expand the boot space, which is 520 litres as standard.
New Mercedes CLS: engines and performance
The Mercedes CLS is being launched with a choice of two diesel engines – the 282bhp/600Nm 350 d, which manages CO2 emissions of 148g/km, and the 400 d, which produces 335bhp and 700Nm but returns the same fuel economy figures. The 350 d can reach 62mph from rest in 5.7 seconds, while the more powerful diesel manages the same feat in 5.0 seconds.
There’s also a petrol edition, badged 450 and featuring Merc’s latest 3.0-litre straight-six motor, complete with 48v electrics and a 22bhp integrated starter/generator. The combustion engine manages a hefty 362bhp and 500Nm by itself, and the 450 is the fastest CLS at launch, with a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds. The system’s CO2 emissions are still some way off those of the diesels, at 178g/km, but Mercedes claims that this figure is still a solid improvement on the efficiency of the old V8 petrol engine, which the new six-cylinder unit matches on performance.
Next year, Mercedes will launch a more potent version of the petrol, badged 53 AMG and featuring a more heavily tuned combustion engine along with the starter-generator. This will also be the fastest CLS; there are no plans for a full-fat 63 AMG, because such a vehicle would tread on the toes of the forthcoming AMG four-door GT.
The CLS gets driving assistance tech from the recently updated S-Class, including active steering assist, active lane change assist and active distance control.
Mercedes CLS: prices and on sale date
The new Mercedes CLS goes on sale on 11 December, although first deliveries aren’t likely until late spring 2018. Prices for the range, which will have one trim level, AMG Line, should start from around £57,000. This represents a rise over the outgoing model’s entry point, but the older car was a four-cylinder diesel and rear-wheel drive.
Mercedes does plan to introduce rear-drive versions of the new car – with four-cylinder petrol and diesel power – but they’re unlikely to arrive much before the end of 2018.