Spanish reign for new Mercedes-Benz CLS
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Mercedes-Benz has revealed it third-generation CLS coupe to the global media with the premium vehicle gaining both first-ever technology and a more refined styling.
While Mercedes launched four variants of the CLS, New Zealand will at this stage take one model, the 450 4Matic.
Priced from $157,890, the CLS 450 replaces four models in New Zealand; the CLS 250d, 400, 500 and 63S.
The CLS 450 goes on sale quarter three this year and Mercedes-Benz NZ is excited to launch the vehicle.
“Pioneering the new design idiom of Mercedes-Benz, the CLS arrives for the first time with five seats as well as our high-resolution Widescreen cockpit with two 12.3in displays,” said Mercedes-Benz Cars NZ’s general manager, Ben Giffin.
“The CLS 450 4MATIC offers something for customers who desire the elegance and sportiness of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon.”
Gone from the global line up is a V8 version, and the shooting brake (wagon).
At the global launch around Barcelona was not only the 450 4Matic but also the Kiwi-centric Mercedes-AMG 53 4Matic+.
“We will assess the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic+. However based on customer demands from the previous generations of CLS, we are confident that the new electrified in-line six-cylinder CLS 450 4Matic with EQ Boost is the ideal engine and drive line package for our market.
“We believe the new CLS will make a strong addition to our range, and provide an option for those customers wanting to stand out from the traditional saloon body style.”
Based on the C-Class platform with S-Class interior styling and technology, the third generation CLS loses its sharp lines.
“We re-invented the outgoing model,” Mercedes-Benz chief designer, Gorden Wagener told the global media at the Barcelona launch [video above].
“We wanted to bring back the original DNA of the first generation CLS (launched in 2005).”
Since then there have been 365,000 customers of the CLS with the Mercedes established the premium four-door coupe segment.
The CLS has Mercedes’ 9 speed automatic transmission plus three major innovations: a new design, new engines and AMG styling and performance.
"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," said Wagener.
The CLS also gains three full rear seats for the first time while it takes the S-Class steering wheel with its mounted controls, plus its driving systems.
The design highlights include LED High-Performance headlamps, Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist, a 12.3in multimedia system display, plus ambience lighting including illuminated air vents,
But it is all-new engine technology that is garnering attention to the CLS. Mercedes-Benz’s EQ boost that along with a starter generator, recuperates and store energy in hybrid style, giving not only better fuel efficiency but also the power equivalent of a V8.
The 450 CLS has a 3-litre V6 petrol engine producing 270kW of power, with an extra 15kW from the EQ boost.
An integrated starter/alternator (ISG) is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
In the CLS 450 4MATIC, the internal combustion engine is switched off depending on the driving situation and automatically recuperates with the electric motor. The battery is charged during the recuperation process.
And it works seamlessly. Driving north of Barcelona into the mountains – that only days early had been blanketed in snow – I used the economy mode while on the busy motorway to charge the EQ unit, but once on the windy mountain I put the 450 into Sport+ mode and benefitted from the boost.
*We will have a full review of the CLS in an upcoming issue of Driven.