Mercedes-Benz CLS 2018 revealed in LA

30 November 2017 by Justin Hilliard

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its third-generation CLS at the Los Angeles motor show overnight, with the coupe-style large sedan set to launch in Australia during the second quarter of next year.

Just like the facelifted S-Class, the CLS will feature all-new turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engines – including petrol and diesel – from launch, with unspecified four-cylinder options to join the range at a later date.

While the Australian line-up is yet to be confirmed, the European market will initially have access to two diesels and one petrol, all of which will put power down via Mercedes-Benz's '4Matic' all-wheel-drive system.

Dubbed CLS350d 4Matic and CLS400d 4Matic, the two diesels produce 210kW/600Nm and 250kW/700Nm respectively from the same 2925cc capacity.

They also share a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test, as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 148 grams per km.

The CLS400d 4Matic dashes from 0-100km/h in 5.0 seconds, making it 0.7s quicker than the CLS350d 4Matic.

However, the petrol-powered CLS450 4Matic will be the headline act, as its 270kW/500Nm 2999cc engine is boosted by a 16kW/250Nm 'EQ Power' electric motor over short periods, allowing for a spirited 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.8s.

An on-board 48-volt electrical system helps power the electric motor, which can offer zero-emissions driving via a coasting function that is similar in set-up to other mild hybrids.

Thanks to its electrification, the CLS450 4Matic drinks 7.5L/100km of fuel and emits 178g/km of CO2.

Nevertheless, the CLS450 4Matic's reign will not be long, as Mercedes-AMG is expected to cook up a new CLS flagship, dubbed CLS53 4Matic.

Replacing the outgoing V8-powered CLS63 that will not receive a successor due to the four-door GT's imminent arrival, the CLS53 4Matic is anticipated to churn out around 320kW from its petrol powertrain plus the electric motor's output.

As such, this AMG model should rocket from standstill to triple digits somewhere in the low four-second bracket.

Providing five seats for the first time, the CLS's new interior is a significant departure from the second-gen model, while changes to its exterior styling are more evolutionary.

The more-angular LED headlights are set lower than before, while the aggressive front grille opening is larger and wider.

Additionally the CLS's curvaceous rear hips are gone, replaced by smoother haunches that follow the side profile's lead by reducing the number of creased surfaces.

In lieu of the older model's droopy-looking tail-lights, straighter two-section LED units offer an obvious point of differentiation at the rear end, as does a sportier-styled bootlid.

Inside, the relationship between the CLS and its E-Class sibling – upon which it is based – is apparent, with both featuring the same dual 12.3-inch displays that provide digital instrumentation and multimedia functionality respectively as part of their near-identical layouts.

Boot capacity is 520 litres but can be expanded further when the 40/20/40 split second row is folded, while the seats themselves are an exclusive design not seen in any other Mercedes-Benz model.

Available safety and driver assist technologies will be extensive, such as adaptive cruise control, steering assist, speed limit assist, lane change assist, park assist and lane keep assist, all of which contribute towards a higher level of autonomy under the German carmaker's 'Intelligent Drive' banner.

While the CLS rides on a four-link front and five-link rear suspension as standard, an air suspension with adaptive damper system is optional and can be adjusted from comfortable to sporty via several driving modes.

Edition 1 versions of the aforementioned three launch variants will be on offer during the first year of CLS production, with the specials further including an AMG bodykit, 20-inch alloy wheels, Nappa leather upholstery and 'Edition 1' designations.

Will the third-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS become a style icon? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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