Engines take a long time to develop. We first heard about the M256 engine last fall, and at that point it wasn't entirely clear if the technologically advanced engine with a classic, balanced cylinder layout would make it to the States. We knew it'd make its world debut in the 2018 S-Class, but that we wouldn't get that specific variant — at least, not at first. So how does America get this engine?
In the upcoming 2019 CLS450, it turns out. Mercedes-Benz confirmed to Car and Driver that it'd be coming to the U.S., which means the CLS450 shouldn't just be smooth, it should be fairly sprightly. The M256 makes a healthy 367 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, plenty for it to move swiftly enough in any situation. There's also likely to be a higher-zoot CLS53, since we know Mercedes will make a whole range of mid-grade AMG cars with this engine, but we don't know the specs on that engine quite yet.
We're expecting to see the new CLS at the L.A. Auto Show next month, so we'll have more details then. Until then, enjoy these mostly-uncovered spy shots of the production CLS ahead of its debut.