The branches of influence that have sprouted from the original Mercedes-Benz CLS are far reaching, starting the trend of merging sedan with a coupe-like roofline that was no doubt swiftly adopted by its rivals in the premium space and trickling down to mainstream cars like the upcoming Holden Commodore.
An astonishing 12 years have passed between that original’s launch, and Benz has revealed the all-new generation CLS to carry on that legacy, adopting various visual cues from their current range of coupes and sedans, appropriately.
We have all the markers that established the niche appeal of its predecessor, including the low-slung roof, raked bonnet line, long overhangs, and frameless windows. At the same time, we see some similarities to the CLA, the C-Class, and the Concept A that previews an upcoming A-Class sedan.
In all, the aesthetics take us most closely to a stretched E-Class Coupe, which is fair enough seeing as how, like the car it replaces, this CLS is based upon the newest W213. But while the exterior has had a thorough going over, Mercedes-Benz has spent less time differentiating its interior.
Apart from some novel touches meant to evoke a sportier aura such as the turbine-style climate control vents, this is essentially the same cabin as the E-Class. There’s plenty of digital screens being used in lieu of analogue switchgear and instruments, generous amounts of leather and a very fluid take on the luxury cabin - classic Mercedes-Benz, as far as we can tell.
Mixed in along with the borrowed elements are also some improved features, though not necessarily new ones. The CLS, being an overall more recent model, benefits from an improved suite of active safety and driver assist systems lifted from the facelifted S-Class. Of course, this comprehensiveness of this might vary greatly depending on chosen variant.
With those variants come an assortment of powertrains, including a 3.0-litre inline-6 that first debuted in the updated S-Class to replace the brand’s somewhat ageing V6 of similar displacement. Daimler, Benz’s parent company, has invested significant coin in developing this more advanced motor to be more both efficient and more potent in power and response.
Upon its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz have announced only three variants with three different engine tunes/types and all-wheel drive. The CLS 350 d base model, if one can call it that, is supplied by 3.0-litre turbodiesel with 214kW and 600Nm while the step-up CLS 400 d uses the same motor but ups output to 253kW and 700Nm. Gutsy indeed.
So far, the only petrol version detailed is the one found in the CLS 450. It’s a petrol-electric hybrid that combines a 274kW/500Nm straight six with an electric motor capable of an additional 16kW and 250Nm. The final combined output is not known, but is said to provide enough thrust for the current range-topping CLS to reach 100km/h from rest in 4.8 seconds while still capable of consuming just 7.5-litres/100km on a good day.