The unveiling of the all-new 2018 CLS was shown at the Los Angeles motor show.
Sleeker and more muscular than before, the latest low-roof CLS has six cylinder diesel and petrol engines are all new, returning Mercedes to the inline format for the CLS engines, going away from the V6.
The top-of-the-pile AMG CLS variant this time will get a newly developed hi-power version of the inline turbocharged six cylinder petrol engine and electric motor. The engines get an extra boost via a form of mild-hybrid technology employing a 48 volt electric starter motor-generator, dubbed EQ Boost.
The CLS 53 4Matic’s powertrain is expected to turn out about 320 kW of power, 20 kW more than the current CLS 500’s 4.7 liter twin-turbo V8.
Using the electric boost can lift maximum torque by a further 250 Nm while adding another 25 kW of power for short periods. It can even propel the vehicle on electric power for a time during coasting.
More than any other Mercedes sedan, the CLS is about style, and the new design borrows heavily from Mercedes’ latest coupes, including the GT. New LED headlights flank a diamond grille that sits above three big air openings – a look that will be shared by more Mercedes cars in future.
The platform is shared with the new E-Class, but the bent belt line and sloping roof is all CLS.
At the LA show, Mercedes wheeled out three all-wheel-drive in-line six-cylinder variants – the diesel CLS 350d 4Matic, diesel CLS 400d 4Matic and petrol CLS 450 4Matic.
The diesel 350d produces 210 kW of power and 600 Nm of torque, well above the 150 kW/500 Nm of the current 2.1 liter four-cylinder unit currently offered. The CLS 400d 4Matic steps this up to 250 kW and 700 Nm. Both of these diesel variants are claimed to return 5.6 liters per 100 km consumption – a big improvement over the current 7.5 L/100 km, but if you can afford these M-B models are you worried about what happens at the pumps?
The only petrol engine revealed to date, the 450 4Matic, develops 270 kW of power and 500 Nm of toque, 25 kW and 20 Nm more than the V6 engine in the CLS 400 it replaces.
Inside, the CLS has a sporty feel, with turbine-like air vents and an illuminated LED line sweeping around the cabin. This ambient lighting can be set to 64 colors, and the color automatically gets warmer or cooler when the air-conditioner temperature is adjusted up or down.
The seats are unique to CLS, gaining piping and sumptuous leather finishes. The outboard rear seats are designed to resemble the front seats, but this means the center rear seat is humped, and thus purely for emergencies.
The rear seat can split-fold 40/20/40, opening up the boot which, with the seats up, has 520 liters capacity.
I believe the current styling of the M-B’s is head and shoulders above the rest, with rival BMW looking very old-fashioned these days. Japan still had its love affair with chrome.