The New Mercedes-Benz CLS
The new CLS pioneers the new design idiom of Mercedes-Benz, which is recognizable by its clear contours and reduced lines
by Thomas Philips | 30 November 2017
The new CLS pioneers the new design idiom of Mercedes-Benz, which is recognisable by its clear contours and reduced lines. Its character is marked by a grille contour that widens towards the base and a forward-slanting front section. Other features include wide, low-set headlamps and two-section tail lights. At the same time the design reflects the timeless aura of the first CLS, which founded a new segment and quickly became a design icon. All CLS models are equipped with new engines: in-line six-cylinder and in-line four-cylinder units as diesel and petrol versions. Like its predecessors, the new CLS exudes self-assured sportiness in exemplary style: a highly emotive vehicle offering impressive long-distance and acoustic comfort coupled with thrilling, unrivalled technology. The four-door coupé will enter the market in March 2018.
In 2003, with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle segment that for the first time combined the elegance and dynamism of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon. With the third generation of the CLS, Mercedes-Benz is now building more strongly than ever on the aura and unique character of this trendsetting model: the new model has pure CLS genes with its arching waistline, flat side window lines and low greenhouse. At the same time it is another example of the logical evolution of the Sensual Purity design idiom: sharp edges and lines have been significantly reduced. It blends seamlessly into the current Mercedes-Benz coupé family with numerous design features. Its cd value of 0.26 is positive proof of outstanding aerodynamics.
The range of engines for the CLS is completely new. Three six-cylinder models will be available on market launch:
- CLS 350 d 4MATIC (210 kW/286 hp, 600 Nm; combined fuel consumption 5.6 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 148 g/km)
- CLS 400 d 4MATIC (250 kW/340 hp, 700 Nm; combined fuel consumption 5.6 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 148 g/km)
- CLS d 450 4MATIC (270 + 16 kW/367 hp + 22 hp; combined fuel consumption 7.5 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 178 g/km).
The sporty CLS also has a comfortable side. The AIR BODY CONTROL suspension, ENERGIZING comfort controls and the very latest infotainment generation, smartphone connectivity via Mercedes-Benz Link and wireless charging accentuate this. The touchpad in the centre console gives haptic and acoustic feedback when operating the numerous convenience functions and settings.
The standard appointments of the CLS are as usual very extensive: The highlights include LED High Performance headlamps, 18‑inch light-alloy wheels with mixed tyres, Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist, a 12.3‑inch media display, ambience lighting including illuminated air vents, Mercedes me connect services and a communication module with LTE.
Exterior: Self-assured sportiness in the style of Mercedes-Benz coupés
“The new CLS is a design icon as the archetype of the four-door coupé. In line with our design philosophy of sensual purity, we have reduced its DNA in an extremely puristic way and at the same time emotionally charged it with elegant beauty”, says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.
Striking front-end features include the diamond grille typical of Mercedes-Benz coupés, with a single louvre. The silhouette of the radiator grille widens towards the base, resembling the contours of the grille on the Mercedes-AMG GT. The bonnet is completely surrounded by body surfaces. The very flat and wide headlamps with inward-slanting flanks dynamically follow the contour of the grille.
The side design is characterised by the high, arching waistline and the sporty, low greenhouse with frameless side windows. The forward-slanting front end is reminiscent of a shark’s nose, and appears longer thanks to the fully inset bonnet. The contours follow the design philosophy of sensual purity: lines and edges are greatly reduced, and the surfaces are generously arched.
Also typical of the CLS is the muscular rear shoulder line which blends smoothly into the flat rear end. Characteristic coupé features include the two-section tail lights, reflectors positioned in the rear bumper, location of the registration plate in the bumper and the Mercedes star at the centre of the boot lid. Depending on specification, this houses an extendable camera.
Like the headlamps, the LED tail lights with Edgelight backlighting have a crystalline appearance and create a three-dimensional effect. Their low positioning accentuates the width of the vehicle.
Interior consistent colour scheme, Widescreen cockpit
The luxurious interior of the CLS Coupé impresses with its clear basic lines, and echoes the sensual, flowing contours of the exterior. The high-grade choice of materials shows a very high level of finish.
The sporty, width-accentuated cockpit and colour combination creates an impression of particularly generous spaciousness. For a flowing overall impression, the wave-like course of the interior design extends from the front to the rear doors, opening up at the B‑pillars. As a new highlight of the ambience lighting, the illuminated air vents are reminiscent of jet aircraft turbines. The sporty impression is also reinforced by the hand-finished appearance of the seats. On request a high-resolution Widescreen cockpit is available, with two 12.3‑inch displays arranged beneath a shared, continuous glass cover. The centre console with open-pored or high-gloss wood appears to be free-floating thanks to its surface trim.
In the fully digital cockpit, the driver is able to feely configure the information content according to need and the driving situation. Three different styles can be selected depending on preference, mood or to suit the interior appointments. The Classic and Sport styles have a basic structure with two tubes, while the Progressive style surprises and polarises with a structure having a central, tube-shaped instrument.
The ambience lighting is individually adjustable in 64 colours, and also includes the air vents. When the temperature setting of the air conditioning system is changed, it briefly changes colour to show whether the temperature is being made warmer (red) or cooler (blue).
The seats were designed exclusively for this model series. Depending on the interior, they feature high-quality piping or transverse seams. The outer seats in the rear have the same appearance as the front seats, creating a sporty single-seat impression, although the CLS Coupé is in fact a five-seater for the first time. When required the backrests can be folded down in a 40/20/40 ratio, expanding the generous 520‑litre luggage compartment.
Wellness on long-distance journeys: ENERGIZING comfort control
ENERGIZING comfort control (optional) links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the surface and steering wheel heating as well as lighting and musical atmospheres, and allows a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. As a result, well-being and performance levels are enhanced.
These six programmes can be selected:
- Training (three training modes – muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance – each with several exercises).
Intelligent Drive: Technology from the S-Class
The new CLS generation has many things in common with the new S-Class, the automotive flagship of the entire industry: The CLS is equipped with the latest generation of driving assistance systems, with route-based driver support provided by the Driving Assistance Package.
The range of driving assistance and safety systems features a modular design and as standard includes Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Speed Limit Assist and the occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. New and also part of the standard specification is PRE-SAFE® Sound (prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision).
The optional Driving Assistance Package consists of Active Distance Control DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE‑SAFE® PLUS. Active Distance Control DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions. Active Lane Change Assist has also been significantly improved (country-specific differences are possible for individual functions). In addition, the Driving Assistance Plus package includes PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side. This system can prepare the front occupants for a side impact by giving them a sideways impulse, reducing the risk of injury.
Thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the new CLS also has an even better view of the surrounding traffic. For the first time it also makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour.
The “Assistance Graphics” menu of the instrument cluster shows the driver at a glance which assistance functions have been selected, and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide the driver with information on-screen as well as in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel.
In stop & go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 30 seconds are now possible, during which time the CLS starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic (in conjunction with Active Parking Assist).
The ULTRA RANGE high beam of the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beam headlamps remaining above the reference value of 1 lux over a distance of more than 650 metres. Car-to‑X communication is a further trailblazing safety feature.
Suspension: There is a choice of three variants.
The new CLS has a four-link front suspension and a five-link rear suspension. A dynamically set-up steel comfort suspension is standard equipment. The optionally available DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL suspension has a sporty basic setup and includes continuously adjustable damping at the front and rear axle. The selectable driving modes are Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Also available on request is the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension with an improved, adjustable and adaptive damping system. The driver is able to choose vehicle characteristics from comfortable to sporty using the driving mode switch.
New range of engines: With EQ Boost and 48 volt onboard electrical system
The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz CLS is powered by completely new engines, initially in-line six-cylinder diesel and petrol units. Also characteristic of the four-door coupé is the extensive range of 4MATIC models.
The output of the diesel unit ranges from 210 kW/286 hp and 600 Nm of torque (CLS 350 d 4MATIC) through to 250 kW/340 hp and 700 Nm (CLS 400 d 4MATIC). The special traits of the top-of-the-line engine in the diesel family include the stepped-bowl combustion process, two-stage turbocharging and, for the first time, the use of CAMTRONIC variable valve-lift control. Its design features a combination of an aluminium engine block and steel pistons as well as further improved NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder walls. All components relevant to efficient emissions reduction have been installed directly on the engine.
The most powerful engine is the six-cylinder petrol unit. The new, systematically electrified in-line six-cylinder with EQ Boost (integrated starter/generator) and a 48 volt onboard electrical system powers the CLS 450 4MATIC. Its performance data: 270 kW/367 hp and 500 Nm plus a further 250 Nm of torque and 16 kW/22 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated electric motor known as EQ Boost assists the combustion engine e.g. when accelerating, makes driving without the combustion engine possible (“sailing”) and supplies the battery with power by means of high-efficiency recuperation. By doing so it makes fuel savings possible that were previously the exclusive domain of high-voltage hybrid technology. All in all, the new in-line six-cylinder engine delivers the performance of an eight-cylinder engine with significantly lower consumption. The CLS 450 4MATIC is equipped with a particulate filter as standard.
The new CLS models:
- CLS 350 d 4MATIC
- CLS 400 d 4MATIC
- CLS 450 4MATIC
Edition 1: Particularly exclusive launch model
The exclusivity of the CLS can be heightened even further with the Edition 1, which will be available for around one year after the market launch. This special model has numerous luxurious features as standard, which are only available for the Edition 1. These include e.g. the COPPER ART interior concept with seats in black pearl nappa leather with centre sections in a diamond design and copper-coloured accents, copper-coloured contrasting topstitching on the centre console, seats, armrests, dashboard and door linings, and a unique diamond grille with matt chrome pins and louvre with a copper-coloured shimmer. The Edition 1 is available with all engine variants.
The exterior is based on the AMG Line. Special features include MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as standard and 20‑inch multi-spoke AMG light alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen rim flange. The special model is recognisable by the “Edition 1” lettering on the front wings.
Highlights of the interior, which is likewise based on the AMG Line, additionally include:
- dashboard support lined in black nappa leather
- centre console and dashboard support trim in black open-pored ash wood
- IWC analogue clock with exclusive dial face
- Vehicle key in high-gloss black with high-sheen chrome surround
- Ambient lighting in 64 colours incl. illuminated ventilation nozzles
- Mirror package
- Memory package
- Rear seat backrest foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio
- Floor mats with “Edition 1” badge and copper-coloured piping
- Chrome “Edition 1” lettering on the centre console and “Edition 1” display on the welcome screen.
 NEDC combined acc. to Euro 6d temp