A lot has changed since Mercedes-Benz busted open the four-door coupe segment with the introduction of the original CLS-Class back in 2004, with every competitor keen to copy the Silver Star formula with chopped-down sedans (or stretched out coupes) of their own. And Mercedes has been wise to stay ahead of the competition and not rest on its proverbial laurels, rolling out an all-new model in 2010, bolstering the line with the Shooting Brake wagon version (at least for other markets) shortly thereafter. And now Benz is back again with another revision (albeit minor) for its sleekest four- and five-door model line.
Set to debut later this month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS (in both four-door coupe and Shooting Brake wagon body-styles) benefits from a number of low-key enhancements. The front bumper features larger air intakes, and the interior includes some new features like a floating eight-inch infotainment screen and a new three-spoke steering wheel. Mercedes has also designed a new headlight system for the CLS. The Multibeam LED headlamps use 24 individual projectors, coupled to a camera system that allows the headlights to illuminate the road as clear as possible in one of 255 stages of brightness without blinding oncoming drivers.
We're waiting on word of just which powertrain options will be available to US buyers. The current CLS is available here only with a twin-turbo V8 – either the CLS550 with 4.6 liters and 402 horsepower or the CLS63 AMG (now sold here exclusively with 4Matic all-wheel drive) with the 5.5-liter engine producing either 550 hp or (in the S-Model) 577 hp. While the BlueTec diesel engine available overseas won't make the transatlantic journey to US showrooms, Mercedes-Benz USA has confirmed to Autoblog that the CLS400 with the new 3.5-liter V6 will be offered here, in either rear- or all-wheel drive, slotting in below the CLS550 (also available with either traction option) and the CLS63 AMG 4Matic.
Whichever engine you pick, the seven-speed automatic transmission is being replaced by a new nine-speed unit in every model but the CLS63, which continues to use the more robust seven-speed AMG gearbox. The updated CLS-Class is set to arrive in American showrooms late in October or early November, but you can scope out the details now in the press release below.
Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz has extensively revised the four-door CLS Coupé and the CLS Shooting Brake. Both design icons now feature a honed front section. Their further upgraded interior boasts lots of new, perfectly handcrafted details and they also bring ground-breaking technical innovations to the road. The futuristic MULTIBEAM LED headlamps open up new dimensions in lighting systems. High-performance, precision LED modules automatically provide the best possible illumination, whatever the road and traffic conditions. Cutting-edge technology on-board also includes the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission, new, powerful engines, intelligently networked driver assistance and safety systems as well as a progressive multimedia system with internet. The AMG variants of the CLS 63 AMG Coupé and Shooting Brake develop up to 585 hp and assume pole position in the power output stakes. The diverse new Mercedes connect me online services are also included on all models.
Mercedes-Benz founded the four-door coupé segment ten years ago with the CLS, thus underlining its leading role in automotive design. The CLS combined for the first time the elegance and dynamism of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon. It was also the first vehicle to offer dynamic LED High Performance headlamps as an option, turning it into a lighting icon. In 2012, Mercedes‑Benz built on the success of the CLS with the CLS Shooting Brake. With this sporty five-door model, the premium brand from Stuttgart once again demonstrated its concept creativity. As an extraordinary form of a sports car with five seats and a large tailgate, the CLS Shooting Brake is an attractive companion for active people that shy away from the mainstream and who are unwilling to sacrifice sportiness or luggage space as part of stylish touring. In this way the Shooting Brake set another highlight in the line of innovative Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles. Both the CLS Coupé and the CLS Shooting Brake have long since established themselves as style icons with particular charisma, and will also continue to be unique in their segment.
Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: "With the CLS Coupé and the CLS Shooting Brake we have built design icons which also set the pulse racing faster in their latest incarnation courtesy of their enthralling lines. With new high-tech ingredients such as the innovative MULTIBEAM LED headlamps which start a new chapter in lighting design, the nine-speed automatic transmission and or the progressive multimedia system, both models also define new cutting-edge technology."
The scintillating design of the CLS-Class with its exciting proportions has been subtly adapted to high-tech aspirations. It steadfastly remains a compelling proposition with its long bonnet, narrow window line with frameless side windows and dynamically downwards sloping roof. The CLS Shooting Brake offers additional load capacity with up to 1,550 litres of space for luggage or sport and leisure equipment thanks to its sporty, flat roof that extends through to the rear and five doors.
Overall the design of the latest generation of the CLS Coupé and CLS Shooting Brake comes across as even more dynamic. This is thanks to a new, expressive diamond radiator grille, a striking front bumper with large air intakes, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as well as new, slightly darkened tail lights with multi-level function.
New dimensions in lighting systems
Both models now come as standard with all-LED headlamps in a new design. Alternatively both vehicle models are available as an option with the new MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as designed and developed by Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is opening a new chapter in lighting systems with this innovation. Since the MULTIBEAM LED technology combines the very best of today's lighting technologies and can optimally adjust the light distribution instantly and automatically to virtually any traffic situation, it always ensures thus far unrivalled broad and bright illumination of the road surface and edge of the carriageway for high performance and precision without dazzling other car drivers.
The camera-based Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus provides the information for the illumination. If it detects illuminated oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead, it drives each of the individual 24 high-performance LEDs in a matrix light source electronically so that individual areas of the road are specifically masked in accordance with the particular situation. The headlamp control function combines the matrix light source with the tried-and-trusted technology of the LED Intelligent Light System, thus increasing the precision of today's matrix light sources and setting up a main beam gap with minimal width. This prevents other drivers from being dazzled, while drivers in the CLS Coupé and in the CLS Shooting Brake always benefit from the best possible – in other words brightest illumination of the road and road verges. The anti-dazzle main beam can be switched on permanently. Thus the new MULTIBEAM LED headlamps open up new dimensions in safety from which other road users can mutually benefit.
In addition to the camera on the windscreen, this new lighting system uses four control units per vehicle, which calculate the ideal light pattern 100 times per second and control all 24 high-performance LEDs in each precision LED module quickly and individually. Each LED is dimmable in 255 stages.
New MULTIBEAM LED headlamps provide exceptionally fast and precise, anti-dazzle continuous main beam and light up the road surface and its edges much more brightly in many situations.
Best visibility on bends and roundabouts
As well as the high-performance, precision LED module, each MULTIBEAM LED headlamp also features a module for the low-beam headlamp, which can be swivelled outwards by up to twelve degrees. This provides an active light function, which is also camera-controlled, with unprecedented characteristics. For instance, it offers a preview function which already swivels the active light function when the driver has yet not turned the wheels. Thus it provides optimum illumination of the bend early on. The active light function already swivels back to the straight-ahead position before the end of the bend according to the particular situation. This allows the driver to identify dangers earlier when entering and exiting bends. The anticipatory control allows an additional range of between 30 and 60 metres depending on the traffic situation.
The roundabout light is also unique, which activates the cornering light function modules on the left and right before entering a roundabout in order to provide the best visibility on all sides at an early stage. The navigation system provides the headlamps with details of the locations of roundabouts along the route.
Friendly welcome: welcome home function
As a charming unusual function, the new MULTIBEAM LED headlamps use their multifunction optical fibres not just as daytime running lamps, turn signal lamp and turn signal lamp, but they also welcome the driver by bringing this optical fibre to life with a friendly blue light when the vehicle is opened.
Sporty interior with contemporary luxury
Ample space, unadorned, sporty elegance, perfect craftsmanship and high-quality materials exert the stylistic influence on the interior of the CLS family. The new generation reinforces this impression by emphasising sportiness, exclusivity and functionality even more.
The new free-standing colour display in the head unit with its 20.3 cm screen diagonal (8 inch) adds to the state-of-the-art feel and will help define the dashboard's contemporary looks. Other new features include a redesigned three-spoke sports steering wheel and a host of exquisite details which underscore the interior's high quality both in visual and tactile terms. The central control panel in the centre console has four instead of the previous two buttons, thus requiring fewer operating steps in many cases. Five attractive interior colours, six trim finishes as well as grades of leather ranging from leather to Exclusive PASSION leather will be available in future and offer a host of potential individualisation options.
Fulfilling personal preferences
The new AMG Line Plus supplements the previously available design and equipment lines Exterior Sports package and AMG Line, thus extending individualisation options to include a very sportily oriented version which expressively emphasises dynamism and exclusivity.
Efficient, sporty engines
Thrilling dynamism and exemplary efficiency – those are the strengths of the five engines available in the new generation of the CLS-Class. All fulfil the Euro 6 standard. A new addition in this class is the CLS 220 BlueTEC with four-cylinder diesel engine featuring fourth-generation common rail direct injection, two-stage turbocharging and BlueTEC technology. It produces 170 hp and offers maximum torque of 400 Nm. 204 hp and torque of 500 Nm are on tap from the four-cylinder diesel unit in the CLS 250 BlueTEC. The V6 diesel unit in the CLS 350 BlueTEC exceeds these figures with 258 hp and torque of 620 Nm.
Equally new is the V6 petrol engine with turbocharging in the CLS 400 with a 3.5 litre displacement and biturbo drive. Thanks to its output potential and its phenomenal torque at low engine speeds it sets new standards in its segment. Compared to its predecessor with a naturally aspirated engine it produces 26 hp more with 333 hp. Its torque increases by 110 Nm to 480 Nm and is available in the wide engine speed range of 1200 to 4000 rpm. The CLS 500 with 408 hp and up to 600 Nm of torque leads the field in the power output ratings.
Maximum performance and efficiency: the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine
557 hp to 585 hp and 720 to 800 newton metres – the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine ranks among the world's most efficient series-production eight-cylinder engines when it comes to peak output, torque and fuel consumption. The CLS 63 AMG with 557 hp and rear-wheel drive returns 28.5 mpg on the combined cycle (231 grams CO2 per kilometre). All CLS 63 AMG models already meet the second stage of the EU6 emissions standard.
New automatic transmission with nine gears
Cutting-edge technology also comes in the shape of 9G-TRONIC, the world's first 9-speed automatic transmission with hydrodynamic torque converter in the premium segment, which is used in the CLS 220 BlueTEC, CLS 250 BlueTEC, CLS 350 BlueTEC and CLS 500. This innovation builds on the strengths of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS, which hitherto has set the benchmark in terms of efficiency, comfort and dynamism. With nine forward gears the 9G‑TRONIC manages to reduce fuel consumption, while further enhancing shift comfort and agility.
Hallmark Mercedes high level of safety
To make top-class safety available for everyone, the CLS-Class will in future be fitted with a host of new assistance systems along with existing systems with upgraded functionality. Standard-fit features include the COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which can help prevent rear-end collisions – if necessary through autonomous braking.
The state-of-the-art assistance systems from the S-Class can also be fitted as an option. These include DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, PRE-SAFE®PLUS, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC including lateral parking manoeuvres and a 360° camera.
A completely new multimedia generation will offer intuitive operation in the CLS Coupé and in the CLS Shooting Brake, including elaborate animations and visual effects which present all the functions in a clear and highly attractive manner.
The COMAND Online infotainment systems are available in combination with the new, free-standing display in the head unit with its 20.3 cm screen diagonal (8 inch). Both enable the internet to be surfed without restrictions when the vehicle is stationary. The prerequisite is a Bluetooth®-capable mobile phone with data option. Equally new is a now standard and an integrated Media Interface to connect an iPod® and iPhone®.
In conjunction with COMAND Online, Mercedes-Benz Apps such as Weather, GoogleTM Local Search with StreetView and Panoramio, destination/route download and Facebook can be used while on the move. Audio and video playback is possible from various sources, e.g. via Bluetooth®, from the Apple iPod® and iPhone®, from SD card, USB stick or CD/DVD.
COMAND Online also provides the LINGUATRONIC voice control system; digital TV/radio reception is also available as an option.
COMAND Online with fast 3D hard-disc navigation, topographical map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations as well as display of NASA satellite images provides a decidedly sensuous experience. System features include an animated compass and display of Google Maps on the head unit. The navigation system can also provide real-time information about the situation on the roads when it receives its traffic data in COMAND Online via the internet by means of the Live Traffic Information service.
Telephony via Bluetooth® with HD Voice capability as standard
COMAND Online supports HD Voice-capable basic telephony, which connects the mobile phone to the vehicle via a standardised Bluetooth® interface. HD Voice provides much better voice quality. In conjunction with convenience telephony the high-speed LTE network can also be used in future if a compatible smartphone with a relevant contract is used.
Mercedes connect me – new online connection to the car
With the new-generation CLS-Class a new package of services is also being launched in Europe under the name "Mercedes connect me". Mercedes-Benz emergency call, accident, maintenance and breakdown management are available via a standard-fit KOM module with its own SIM card fitted in the vehicle. Customers can also connect to their vehicle via the internet anytime, anywhere via "connect.mercedes.me" and, for example, check how full the tank is.