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Mercedes-Benz CLS prices announced (copyright image)

Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CDI (copyright image)

Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CDI (copyright image)

Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG

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A generation ahead: with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz welcomed the return of a vehicle category in 2003 which, like the Rover 3-Litre Coupe of the 1960s, combined the elegance and dynamism of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon. The customers were delighted, the competition taken aback: for many years the CLS remained the only four-door coupé in its class and since October 2004 it has been the car of choice for some 170,000 buyers around the globe.

"Customers all over the world have rewarded us for our courage in launching a completely new vehicle concept onto the market," explains a delighted Dr Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales & Marketing for Mercedes-Benz, who seemingly forgot that it was, in fact, Rover who was first with a luxury 4 door coupe. "And with its exciting design and refined sportiness, the new edition of the CLS also benefits from the fact that we are a whole generation ahead of the competition with our four-door Coupé."

The engines: higher output, yet up to 31 per cent lower fuel consumption

Efficiency at the highest level: that is what characterises all four engines deployed in the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The output and torque of each engine is greater than in its predecessor; at the same time, fuel consumption has been drastically reduced, by up to 31 per cent. Two variants will be available from market launch this month (June 2011): the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with 195 kW and 620 Nm of torque (combined, 6.2 litres per 100 km) and the CLS 63 AMG.

The CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY and the CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY will be launched in quarter four 2011.

AMG V8 biturbo engine consuming 10 litres per 100 km: CLS 63 AMG – the benchmark in design, performance and efficiency

As with the S 63 AMG and CL 63 AMG, drivers of the CLS 63 AMG will benefit from an eight-cylinder powerhouse, designated internally as the M 157: the new AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine boasts a combination of innovative high-tech components which, in addition to spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo injectors, also include a full aluminium crankcase, four-valve technology with camshaft adjustment, air/water intercooling, generator management and stop/start system. The weight-optimised AMG sports exhaust system with dual twin chrome tailpipes ensures a distinctive engine sound. With a displacement of 5,461 cc, the eight-cylinder engine develops a peak output of 386 kW and torque of 700 Nm. In conjunction with the AMG Performance package, these figures increase to 410 kW and 800 Nm. Both variants of the CLS 63 AMG achieve exceptional performance: acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively, and the top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).

Quantum leap: fuel consumption reduced by 31 per cent

Despite a significant performance increase compared with the previous model, which had a naturally aspirated AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 378 kW and 630 Nm of torque, the new CLS 63 AMG is some 4.6 litres, or 31 per cent, more economical – which represents a quantum leap forward. The combined fuel consumption of 10 litres per 100 km equates to a CO2 output of 233 g/km.

Lightweight construction and aerodynamics: important contributions to efficiency

Intelligent lightweight construction plays a decisive role in bridging the classic conflict of objectives between low weight and high strength in the new CLS-Class. The CLS is thus the first vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to have frameless, all-aluminium doors. These are made from deep-drawn aluminium panels with extruded sections, and in comparison with conventional steel doors, are some 24 kilogrammes lighter. Apart from the doors, the bonnet, front guards, boot lid, parcel shelf, various support profiles and substantial parts of the suspension and engines are all made of aluminium. (copyright image)
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Aerodynamics play an important part in the outstanding efficiency of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Although the new model is wider than its predecessor and thus presents more frontal area to the wind, it was possible to reduce wind resistance by up to ten per cent. This is thanks to the Cd value of 0.26, which has been improved by 13 per cent.

Electromechanical power steering: a new steering experience

Combining the ultimate in driving dynamics to the very best in long-distance ride comfort, was the challenge set for the designers and developers of the suspension system for the new Coupé, which aspires to be the epitome of stylish sportiness in both form and function. To achieve this, the suspension system, which had already attracted the highest praise from both the trade press and the public when introduced with the new E-Class, was completely re-tuned and enhanced with a key new component: the electromechanical power steering system makes its debut in the new CLS. This pioneering innovation makes a new and radical contribution to the relationship between driver, car and road: engineers have, for the first time, been given the freedom to select and to programme many of the parameters which influence the steering feel.

In addition, the steering system makes an important contribution to the CLS' overall efficiency: as the steering support system only uses energy when the vehicle is actually being steered, fuel consumption is cut by up to 0.3 litres/7 g of CO2 compared to the previous model.

For the front suspension, the concept of a three-link front axle design was chosen - just as for the E-Class - and was especially developed for the new CLS. The principle of a lightweight-construction multi-link rear suspension which is attached to a subframe, as used in the new E-Class, was adopted for the CLS as a result of its unsurpassed wheel location qualities. In comparison to its predecessor, all the components have been modified to give both greater comfort and better driving dynamics.

LED High Performance headlamps: greater visibility and full functionality

Another distinguishing feature comes in the form of the full LED headlamps. This innovation boasts an impressive design - inside they are divided into three arrow-shaped layers from top to bottom: the upper layer contains an LED indicator, beneath which is a striking LED side light offering low beam functions. The side light can also be seen when the dipped beam function is switched on, thereby providing a novel and separate night-time design and distinctive look. The lowest level of the headlamp houses the main beam and nightview functions. A total of 71 LEDs not only provide an unmistakable appearance, but also a significantly enhanced view of the road compared with previous systems.

New driving assistance systems: greater safety

Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver if - with the assistance of short-range radar sensors - it detects that there is a danger of collision if the vehicle is about to change lanes. Should the driver ignore the warnings and the vehicle come dangerously close to the next lane, Active Blind Spot Assist will intervene. By applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle via the Electronic Stability Programme ESP®, a yaw movement is instigated which counteracts the collision course.

Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also linked to ESP® for the first time. This system kicks into action if the vehicle inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In this case, Active Lane Keeping Assist uses the ESP® to gently brake the wheels on the far side and thereby bring the vehicle back on course. A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings are crossed, the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel which generates vibrations for a short time – a discreet but highly effective cue to counter steer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.

The exterior: classic Coupé styling with distinctive front

The new CLS continues with the pioneering role of its predecessor and at the same time shows itself to be a brand-new star on the scene. What immediately strikes the eye is the innovative front design, which is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Visually, the radiator grille is not integrated into the bonnet but is formed separately. This highlights the long, sporty bonnet even further. The grille is dominated by the large central star, which underlines the car's relationship to the other coupés of the brand and strengthens the brand identity.

The typical CLS outline, with its elegantly long proportions, is the dominating attribute of the new model. The effect of the dynamic, 'athletic' form has been enhanced with a new interplay of lines and areas. The front edge of the structure above the guards slopes off towards the rear. This novel design feature, called the dropping line by designers, represents a new interpretation of a formal design element harking back to the uniquely rich wealth of forms present in historic Mercedes sports cars.

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A distinctive and 'muscular' sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the new CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to pounce.

The interior: design brings quality to life

The interior of the CLS is also distinguished by a timeless design which combines straightforward elegance with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. An eye catching feature is the wrap-around effect of the cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver's door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated harmoniously into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.

As a design trendsetter, the CLS sets new standards in interiors with its wide variety of individualisation options. Five interior colours, five trim designs and also three qualities of leather are available to choose from.

The CLS lives up to its role as a design icon through the innovative material finishes used. An example of this is the exciting interplay of satin-finish and shiny metallic surfaces. The CLS also exudes refined sportiness with its lavish and high-class trim elements which can be found on the instrument panel support, the centre console and parts of the door trim. The customers can choose between three exclusive wood types: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar. The interior is given an even more progressive look with the addition of piano lacquer or AMG carbon fibre trim elements.

2,987 cc, 6-cylinder, 195 kW, 620 Nm
Direct-injection, turbocharged
7G-TRONIC PLUS (7-speed Automatic)
6.2 L / 100 km Combined cycle (ADR 81/02) 163 g CO2 p/k
$159,200* (MLP*)

5,461 cc, 8-cylinder, 386 kW, 700 Nm
Direct-injection, Bi-turbo
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (7-speed Automatic)
10.0 L/100 km Combined cycle (ADR 81/02), 233 g CO2 p/km
$263,500* (MLP*)

Next Car will have additional information regarding the CLS range, specifications and options closer to the new model's launch date later this month.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


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