First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – Autos.ca

29 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – Autos.ca
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

October 8, 2010

Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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Florence, Italy – According to Dr. Michael Kramer, VP of Program Management at Mercedes-Benz, the design of the current CLS ‘four-door coupe’ is the main reason people choose it over more traditional four-door luxury sedans, such as the E-Class sedan. Its sweeping roofline and distinctive side body crease that arcs from the front fender to the tail lights creates a distinctive silhouette that has doubtless influenced the design of other ‘four-door coupes’ since, such as the Volkswagen Passat CC and the new Hyundai Sonata.

We won’t pretend to judge whether the CLS’ new styling is #8220;better#8221; or “worse,” but there are some important differences that have changed the character of the car. The sweeping body crease on the sides has been replaced with one that arcs down towards the rear fender where it meets a ‘hip’ line that arcs up and over the rear wheels, similar to that seen on the new E-Class sedan and coupe.

This gives the impression of the CLS “sitting on its haunches” like a cheetah ready to pounce. The new hip line also merges gracefully into the new larger, wraparound LED tail lights. Up front, a larger grille that’s bolder and more upright than on the current model presents a less streamlined appearance (though the new CLS actually has a lower 0.26 coefficient of drag) and new LED/xenon headlights with a more aggressive look.

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CDI (European model). Click image to enlarge

Overall, the exterior styling of the 2012 CLS has a more dynamic, athletic and slightly less elegant appearance. And whereas the current CLS, which joined the Canadian Mercedes-Benz line-up in 2005, looks like nothing else in the Mercedes line-up, the new model’s hip line is a feature shared with other Mercedes’ models, making the new CLS a little less distinctive than before.

As before, 2012 CLS models sold in Canada will be restricted to the V8-powered CLS 550 and CLS 63 AMG models. But this time, the CLS 550 will have 4Matic all-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive, a worthwhile safety feature that is standard on most Canadian Mercedes-Benz models. The high performance 2012 CLS 63 AMG, which arrives in the summer of 2011, will remain rear-wheel drive.

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CDI (European model). Click image to enlarge

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Europeans will also get a six-cylinder CLS 350, and two six-cylinder diesels: the CLS 350 CDI and the CLS 250 CDI. Given the popularity of the E 350 sedan in Canada, you’d think the CLS 350 would also sell well here, but we won’t get it. Diesels would be nice too!

Its new frameless, aluminum doors are about 24 kilograms lighter than the current model’s steel doors, and the hood, front fenders, trunklid and rear parcel shelf are also made of aluminum, as well as parts of the suspension and engine.

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550. Click image to enlarge

Under that lightweight aluminum hood is a new 408-hp twin-turbocharged 4.6-litre V8 which replaces the current 382-horsepower 5.5-litre V8 engine. Combined with Mercedes’ new “ECO” engine start/stop function and a more advanced seven-speed “7G-Tronic Plus” automatic transmission, fuel consumption has improved by up to 25 per cent despite the increase in horsepower, says the company.

New combination LED/xenon headlights will be standard in the new CLS while full LED headlights will be optional. The major advantages of these LED headlights are that they more closely approximate the colour of daylight and last about five times as long as xenon headlights. The new active headlights swivel when the driver turns a corner, and will include Mercedes’ Adaptive Highbeam Assist which automatically lowers the high beams when another car approaches or another car passes, and then raises them again when the car is out of sight.

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

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