Is the Mercedes-Benz CLS one of those tricky-to-replace cars? You bet. Merc struck an unusually rich seam of creativity when it launched its ‘Jag fighter’ back in 2004. The slinky four-door coupe was conceived as the lower-slung exec show-off to contrast the sober E-class’s sensibilities, Stuttgart openly talking of a Jag flavour for its more sporting saloon.
That’s why – aesthetically at least – the CLS won’t change a huge amount in its 2010 iteration. This model is closely twinned with the new E-class, recently previewed at the 2009 Detroit auto show, so it will surprise few that the next one will follow the mechanical recipe of its saloon sibling.
Mercedes-Benz CLS (2010): the lowdown
We’ll see the new CLS in late 2010, probably at the Paris motor show. It’s being developed under the codename C218 and will retain the low-roofed four-door profile and squat dimensions of today’s car, as witnessed on this latest-generation prototype.
Our sources say the new CLS will lose the odd L-shaped headlamps and gain what’s rapidly becoming a Merc character line – the swooping rear wheelarch that arcs prominently over the haunches and bleeds into the rear flank. Daytime running lights and LED tech are a given, as are tidier detailing garnered from the latest E.
You can judge the Merc’s stylistic success by the numerous copycat iterations that have followed the CLS’s coupaloon features. Jaguar – ironically – was itself influenced a little on the XF project, and the homegrown Audi A7 and VW Passat CC pass more than a nod to the CLS’s banana curves.
And the engines on the new CLS?
Four engines will be available on the new, second-gen CLS, we hear – three petrols and a diesel:
• CLS 350 CGI direct-injection V6, 288bhp
• CLS 500 V8, 383bhp
• CLS 63 AMG V8, 518bhp
• CLS 350 CDI, 228bhp
The latter should offer upwards of 40mpg if the new E-class diesel is anything to go by – making it the obvious choice for most business users. A hybrid version is likely to follow once established in the higher-volume E-class.
It’ll also be a bit of a techfest, the new CLS. Engineering sources have told CAR that it’ll have automatic lane guidance, night-vision, head-up displays and – obviously – most of the toys available on the new E-class.