2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class – Burlington Cars | Examiner.com

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Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

May 22, 2011

Vermonters will be interested in the addition of the CLS550 4MATIC to the CLS Class product lineup. Not only does 4MATIC provide all-weather capability, it improves handling in any kind of weather.

Its powertrain is state-of-the-art; the interior is plush and inviting; performance is nothing short of stunning. Even so, the distinctive styling of the Mercedes-Benz CLS is what makes this 4-door coupe so desirable. Introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 2004, the CLS Class combines the appealing design of a coupe with the comfort and convenience of a sedan.

The CLS Class is a family of Mercedes coupes that combines existing state-of-the-art chassis and powertrain components with a unique body structure resulting in some very special cars with their own personalities. Included in the Class of 2012 are the CLS550, CLS550 4MATIC and CLS63 AMG. This second generation CLS is about 1.2 inches longer and 0.3 inches wider than its predecessor, positioning it between the S-Class-based CL and the E-Class two-door.

For the new CLS, styling is everything. Its newly refined shape is defined by a sleek, slippery silhouette. It has a graceful roofline that forms a dramatic arch that spans the entire body. Special underbody paneling, new outside mirror housings and improved contouring of the front and rear aprons and trunk lid contribute to an impressive drag coefficient of 0.28.

Large rear doors are a striking feature of this coupe-like model.

One has to appreciate the kind of detail Mercedes-Benz engineers analyze to improve product quality. For example, while the wheels of a test car stand still in most wind tunnels, Mercedes uses two conveyor belts to drive the wheels, so engineers can actually see the real-world influence of turning wheels on drag and lift forces.

Their findings were used to design the CLS under-body paneling and the wheel spoilers.

The CLS63 AMG differs from the CLS550 to reinforce its sporty, muscular personality. It is easily identified by its distinctive side air vents with black grilles, its LED daytime running lights, a large Mercedes-Benz star and a single lamella grille slat with a black accent. On the rear, the new AMG model includes an integrated lip spoiler on the deck lid and a black air diffuser between its dual twin exhaust tips.

A center console divides the CLS cabin into four zones. Each seat is individually contoured for its occupant and every detail is impeccably executed. In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz reputation for quality and craftsmanship all CLS models feature full leather interiors highlighted with Burl Walnut trim.

Seating for four includes 14-way power adjustable front Seats and 3-position memory for seats steering column and exterior mirrors.

Model designations are a bit confusing now that the previous 5.5-liter V-8 has been replaced with a new 4.6-liter version. Even so, the CLS550 with its new 4.6-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V8 gets 26 percent better fuel economy (18 city / 26 hwy) than the previous model, and still produces 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque. Performance is impressive with almost instantaneous response to the throttle.

Turbo lag seems to be a thing of the past and gear ratios of the revised 7-speed transmission are well-matched to the engines torque characteristics. The CLS550 is a bit of a sleeper. Its elegant styling disguises its capability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.1 seconds.

The CLS550 is equipped with new electrically assisted power steering and air suspension, providing a comfortable ride and excellent handling dynamics. Standard bi-xenon high-intensity gas-discharge headlights (HID) provide an extra margin of night visibility over conventional halogen lights.

The bi-xenon headlight modules have two “eyes” – the outer one for low and high beams, while the inner one is an LED running light. The turn signal is an array of LED lights that wraps around the assembly in the shape of a “C.” The beams are self-leveling to ensure proper aim, even when the car pitches during braking or acceleration, and regardless of vehicle loading.

Optional full LED headlights are a new development. The high beam is located in the bottom of the assembly, and a row of LED daytime running lights sits below in the bumper. CLS lights also feature active-curve technology, where the headlights turn about 15 degrees to each side with the steering wheel to light up each approaching curve.

Adapting its response to vehicle speed as well, active-curve lights allow the driver to see about 80 feet further around a long curve than fixed lights.

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

In addition, separate cornering lights turn on at low speeds whenever the headlights are on and the turn signal is operated, or the steering wheel is turned. Each cornering light illuminates one side of the vehicle to an angle of about 65 degrees and a distance of up to 40 feet. These lights are designed to fade in and out, giving the human eye time to adjust.

A windshield-mounted camera can detect both headlights and taillights, then softly and automatically transitions between high and low beams to avoid dazzling other drivers.

The CLS63 AMG gets the 5.5-liter version of the new direct-injection V8, rated at 518 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque. An optional AMG performance package boosts output to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Even with its high-performance, the CLS63 AMG is 26 percent more fuel efficient (15 city / 23 hwy), thanks in part to a stop-start system.

To save fuel, the stop-start system automatically turns off the engine when the car comes to a stop. As soon as the driver releases the brake, the engine computer orchestrates the instant re-start of the engine.

The CLS63 AMG features a 7-speed multi-clutch transmission that uses a start-up clutch to replace the conventional torque converter. Providing the direct feedback of a manual transmission with the total convenience of an automatic, the MCT transmission makes faster shift times possible.

Larger brakes, wider wheels and tires and steel coil springs up front give the CLS63 especially responsive handling. The self-leveling air suspension in the rear maintains consistent ride height, regardless of the load. Along with a tubular front stabilizer bar, the CLS63 AMG has special front control arms and wheel hub carriers that provide wider track and more negative camber for even better grip in high speed curves.

The rear suspension includes new track rods and push-pull rods as well as more rigid sub-frame mounts that all contribute to enhanced cornering.

With its stunning acceleration, superb handling and impressive braking, The CLS63 AMG is a very satisfying ride for serious drivers. But regardless of which model you choose, from each of its four impeccably tailored seats, the CLS-Class delivers a hard-to-match motoring experience.

Prices start at $71,300 for the CLS550, $73,800 for the CLS550 4MATIC and $94,900 for the high-performance CLS63 AMG (not including delivery charges of $875).

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

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