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Next-gen Mercedes CLS (2010): the full story
30 September 2008 12:03
The Mercedes CLS has been a success so Stuttgart is pushing ahead with a replacement, due in late 2010. We’ve snapped the first engineering mule, testing with Brembo engineers, but the big news will be 4Matic transmissions, a hybrid option, new turbo engines and even more striking looks. The mule we've caught uses the current CLS body, but with flared wheelarches to accomodate the wider tracks of the next-gen car.
So Mercedes is replacing the CLS?
Yes. Five years ago, the term ‘four-door coupe’ was a big unknown. But in 2004, Mercedes introduced the CLS and it didn’t take long for it to become the brand´s new shooting-star. Other marques followed, like Jaguar with the XF and VW with the Passat CC, while in 2010 Audi will unleash the A7 and BMW will launch the four-door CS coupe. But while the competition is still learning the tricks of the four-door coupe trade, Mercedes is already laying the finishing touches on the second-generation CLS.
Codenamed C218, the new low-roof four-seater is a careful evolution of the original design masterminded by Gordon Wagener, who was recently appointed head of the design department, replacing Peter Pfeiffer.
The first CLS has found 130,000 takers so far, about 43,000 units per year, or 40 percent more than originally anticipated. But although Mercedes is obviously pleased about the performance of its high-yield niche model, there is no denying that the CLS has cannibalized the E-class, which looks rather bland by comparison.
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