RAC Cars News


First sighting of new Mercedes-Benz CLS

By raccars Published


Coupe spotted and name change could come next to reflect links with Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The third-generation take on the four-door Mercedes-Benz CLS has been seen for the first time and it is believed that a name change is on the cards to reflect links with the E-Class. The car had its front end heavily disguised but there were still some hints as to the design changes that have been made to the coupe.

A new era for the Mercedes-Benz CLS

It seems that the new Mercedes-Benz will have slimmer LED headlights, which might be accompanied by a slimmer grille. The long bonnet also slopes downwards to meet what appears to be a flatter nose.

Another change is that the model’s belt line seems to rise up more towards the back than it does on the current model and the lid of the boot sticks out and sits flat. This contrasts with the way in which it currently follows the smooth curvature of the car’s back window and roof line, although it is entirely possible that this is a misdirection arising from the mule’s disguise.

It is the tail lights which seem to have undergone the most dramatic design change, however. The current model has diagonal, tear-shaped lights but the new version of the Mercedes-Benz coupe appears to have horizontal versions which are similar to those which can be seen on the brand’s S-Class coupe.

It is expected that the next Mercedes-Benz CLS will share engines and its platform with the company’s new E-Class, although it should be noticeably wider and longer. This shared platform has sparked rumours that the car’s name will change to reflect its links with the Mercedes E-Class, becoming the CLE rather than the CLS.

The history of the CLS

The Mercedes-Benz CLS coupe was first launched in 2005 and attracted attention due to its sleek, svelte appearance and low-slung, sloping roof line. This was combined with a two-plus-two seating layout and four doors.

The current CLS was launched in 2011 and underwent a facelift during 2014. It is well-known that the current model is in its final years, however, as Mercedes has already released its Final Edition special. It is expected that the new model will be officially unveiled during the second half of next year, in preparation for a 2018 arrival in showrooms.

It is unknown if a Shooting Brake variant of the CLS will ever appear, however, given slow sales of the current estate-bodied CLS. The Shooting Brake variant notched up only 750 sales in the UK last year, compared with 2,300 for the coupe.

Mercedes-Benz has refused to confirm that the Shooting Brake will not make a reappearance, however, saying the there is still a strong market for estate cars in both the UK and Germany.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Final Edition

The CLS Final Edition went on sale in the summer in both Shooting Brake and coupe formats and is the last variant in advance of the new CLS, which should also share the same MRA architecture as the C-Class and S-Class.

The Final Edition model is not, in fact, a limited-run CLS or stand-alone model. Instead, it is a new spec and is available in some markets with almost all of the engine choices featured in the current CLS line-up.

It was not launched in the UK, however, as most of equipment it was offering is already included with the British version of the CLS. However, there is the possibility that a UK-specific version may be launched before the new Mercedes-Benz CLS makes its appearance in 2018.

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