After months of speculation and spyshots, we can finally bring you the first pictures of the new 2011 Mercedes CLS.
Due to bow in at the Paris motor show in September 2010, the new CLS continues the theme set by the 2003 original, offering four doors in a low-slung, coupé-like shape.
Talk me through the styling of the new Mercedes CLS
If the new Mercedes CLS stirs your memory somewhat, that would be because it draws heavily on the Shooting Break concept which we saw earlier in 2010 at the Beijing motor show. In fact, take the boot out of the equation and it's nigh-on identical.
It wears a more complex skin than that of the current CLS, with the front end featuring a far more prominent grille and a wide lower air intake. Those headlamps are full-LED units, which is a first for a Mercedes production car.
Move further back along the CLS and the eye is drawn to the swage line which runs off the front wheelarch and curves downwards towards the rear. Is there a hint of Seat Ibiza about this feature? Sorry Merc, but we think so.
At the rear, we find the same tail-lights as on the Shooting Break, flanked in this case by the kicked-up wheelarches from the E-class coupé.
There's nothing about the shape that will cause much surprise, but it does move the design of the CLS along nicely from the original. However, the plethora of surface changes will probably mean that more attention will have to be paid when speccing colours and wheels.
What about the interior of the new Mercedes CLS?
As with the exterior, most of what we see inside the car is carried over from the Shooting Break concept. According to Stuttgart, the CLS interior 'combines straightforward elegance with innovative details and handcrafted perfection.' Oh, and an analogue clock.
So, will the new Mercedes CLS be a success?
When the original CLS arrived back in 2003, talk inevitably centred on the uniqueness of its design as a four-door 'coupé'. Since then of course, manufacturers have been falling over themselves to grab a slice of the market. Volkswagen has given us the Passat CC, Audi's A7 Sportback is imminent, and BMW has its CS Coupé in the pipeline.
The result is that Mercedes actually has competition to contend with this time around, and the new CLS will have to be on top of its game to match the strong sales displayed by the current car.
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