To get an early glimpse into how that has been achieved, Autocar was given passenger rides in both petrol and diesel versions of the first production trial cars on the North Yorkshire moors recently. While largely finished in terms of manufacturing, there is still fine-tuning to be done on set-up and systems programming.
Both cars were sporting camouflage elements, with certain interior details concealed, but it’s clear the CLS has been heavily revamped both outside and in. Mercedes promise that it will like “like no other Mercedes”, with a design that will highlight the sporting feel of the car.
Mercedes faces an interesting challenge developing the new CLS. The car has two distinct customer bases: those after a dynamic but luxurious four-door coupé and those (particularly in China) who want a luxury car with the style of a dynamic four-door coupé.
Technical details of the new CLS
The standard CLS range will be headed by inline six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines. The diesel will be available in 281bhp and 335bhp. The petrol unit features a mild hybrid EQ Boost 48V electrical motor and produces 362bhp.
Inline four-cylinder diesel and mild hybrid petrol engines will also be available, producing 241bhp and 295bhp respectively. An AMG version, featuring a 429bhp electrified petrol engine, will follow.
The 48V electric motor on the petrol engine works as an automated starter, turning the combustion unit off when not needed to maximise efficiency. In dynamic drive modes, the unit’s 20bhp output is used to boost acceleration.
The CLS will come with passive steel suspension as standard. Active steel and air suspension, featuring air body control, are available as options. While shared with the E-Class, all three systems have been tuned to the CLS, with the focus on ensuring an engaging, sporty drive. Wheels are 18in as standard, with 19in and 20in as options.