The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS has been revealed for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. The CLS is, as usual, a sleek car with sharp styling and details and it is based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and that's where most of the underpinnings and interior design influences and equipment comes from. The new CLS is a larger car in every dimension than the outgoing Mercedes-Benz model and it sits on a 4,988mm wheelbase which is 61mm more than the old CLS. The CLS competes with cars like the Audi A7 - a sedan-like luxury car that puts the accent on sportier design and feel. Images of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS had only leaked out two days before its official unveiling.
Mercedes-Benz had earlier revealed that despite a slightly less aero-efficient design than the new E-Class the new CLS design allows the car to enjoy almost no lift at speed, which means some features like the Audi A7's active spoiler, are not required, giving the CLS a slightly cleaner set of lines. This also saves weight for the new Mercedes-Benz and this time, many outer panels, including the bonnet, wheel arches and the boot lid are now aluminium. Mercedes-Benz still uses steel doors though - the heft of the metal is perhaps a part of the luxurious feel and gravitas of a car like the CLS. These doors are a frameless design like the earlier CLS models.
If you know your new E-Class well, the interior of the third-generation CLS will look familiar. The design has been altered slightly but is clearly based on the E. This should bring Mercedes-Benz the family looks as well as have production and cost advantages. A 12.3-inch display takes care of the instruments - what Mercedes-Benz likes to call the Widescreen Cockpit. Another 12.3-inch display takes car of the infotainment system. The steering wheel looks identical to the one in the new S-Class and the AC vents have the turbine design that we so liked in the new E-Class. In the CLS though, the vents appear to glow depending on temperature, red for hot and blue for cold. This is a bigger cabin than before and the rear seats have two plush looking seats as well as a centre seat for a third passenger if needed. The photos suggest a distinct rise in cabin space and the boot size is higher as well.
The engines on the Mercedes-Benz CLS range between four- and six-cylinder petrols and diesels, all of which run a nine-speed automatic as standard equipment. 4Matic all-wheel drive is available on the higher specifications CLS models but the base cars are all rear-wheel drive. The new petrol engines all are likely to come with Mercedes-Benz' EQ Power system, a 48V electric system that allows them to enjoy some mild hybrid capabilities. The CLS350, the bottom model boasts the new 300PS/400Nm engine called the M264. The new CLS 450 is the top petrol with a 367PS/500Nm 3-litre inline six which is turbocharged as well as a supercharged. The 48V system, for example, adds as much as 250Nm of 'boost' to the CLS 450. And the supercharger is powered by electricity, not by the crankshaft like a normal supercharger though.
Above this sits the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 which is likely to bow in January 2018 at the Detroit Motor Show with a tuned version of this 3-litre straight six fettled by AMG to 435PS and 600Nm. The diesels start at the 2.0-litre turbo-four that makes 231PS and 450Nm and is called the CLS 300d. The 350d has a 2.9-litre six cylinder with just under 290PS and 600Nm on tap. The CLS 500d is the top oil-burner with a massive 700Nm and 340PS available to the driver. Mercedes-AMG will also reserve the V8 for its four-door GT. The new badge is the 53 - the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 that removes the 43's V6 and brings a 530PS 3-litre petrol-electric hybrid instead.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLS and the AMG models will definitely go on sale in India in the second half of the 2018 calendar year. Which models remains to be seen but given the trend towards petrol cars, expect a petrol option apart from the AMG badged cars to be available apart from a diesel or two.