New look and tech for Merc CLS
What's the news?
Mercedes-Benz has tidied up its CLS 'four-door coupé' and CLS Shooting Brake models with a very slight facelift, but the big news comes in the form of a revised engine line-up and an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission.
Although Merc headlines this as a facelift, the exterior looks receive the most infinitesimal changes of all. You'll spot the revised Coupé and Shooting Brake cars only by looking at the front, where a diamond radiator grille, altered bumper and large air intakes mark out the newcomer. Oh, and the Multibeam LED headlights too, which Mercedes felt merited a news story all of their own earlier this week...
The cabin gets more of an overhaul than the CLS's bodywork, the most eye-catching thing here being the new, free-standing eight-inch touchscreen top and centre of the dash. CLS buyers will also benefit from a three-spoke sports steering wheel, a centre control panel in the console that has four buttons instead of the previous two, plus the choice of five interior colours, six trim finishes and a host of leather grade options.
Either variant of CLS can be personalised inside with the addition of a new AMG Line Plus package, while the graphical displays of the Comand Online infotainment system have been jazzed up for 2014. Various new Apps will be available to download, while the CLS pairing feature a now-standard and integrated Media Interface for connecting iPods and iPhones. Finally, the 'Mercedes connect me' service package is interesting - not only does it offer emergency call with accident, maintenance and breakdown management functionality, but you can connect to the car via the internet any time and check its status; such as logging on to check how full the fuel tank is, for example.
Five engines are on offer for regular CLS models, all meeting Euro 6 emissions standards. The new ones are the four-cylinder turbodiesel found in the CLS 220 BlueTec, which musters up 170hp and 400Nm, and the twin-turbo petrol V6 found in the CLS 400, which makes 333hp and 480Nm, substantial increases over its predecessor, the old normally-aspirated V6-engined CLS 350 with 306hp and 370Nm. Continuing on are the diesel CLS 250 BlueTec (204hp, 500Nm) and CLS 350 BlueTec (258hp, 620Nm), as well as the 408hp, 600Nm CLS 500. If you need a bit more grunt, the CLS 63 AMG and CLS 63 S AMG versions are still available, with 557- and 585hp respectively, backed up by either 720- or 800Nm. Mercedes quotes a 28.5mpg combined fuel economy figure for the 557hp CLS 63 AMG with CO2 emissions of 231g/km, while all AMG models are second-stage EU6 compliant.
The transmission that makes the CLS intriguing is the 9G-Tronic, said to be the 'world's first nine-speed automatic with hydrodynamic torque converter in the premium segment'. Replacing the old 7G-Tronic transmission, it is available on all non-AMG models bar the CLS 400 and is claimed to offer ever more frugal fuel consumption with smoother, faster ratio-swapping. Further tech upgrades include a host of driver assist systems - many from the S-Class - making their way into both the regular CLS and the Shooting Brake model.
Mercedes claims to have founded the four-door coupé segment ten years ago with the first CLS and it's a look that has gone on to find success with a number of manufacturers. The Shooting Brake, with 1,550 litres of load space, arrived much later, in 2012. It's yet to be as widely copied.
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