The new Mercedes CLS has been officially unveiled in both its four-door Coupe and five-door Shooting Brake forms ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which takes place over the weekend of 28 June.
Both variants go on sale shortly afterwards in July, ahead of scheduled September deliveries, with prices starting from £46,500 for the CLS 220 BlueTec – rising by £1,580 for the equivalent Shooting Brake.
Following on from the most recent teaser shots and headlight reveal of the CLS, Mercedes has released detailed images of the redesigned front end, confirming our suspicions that styling tweaks would be kept to a minimum. The long bonnet is carried over, but further down the nose there’s a more pronounced front bumper, gaping curved air inlets similar to those on the new Mercedes C-Class, and a new diamond radiator grille with softer lines.
Customers will have a choice of four engines, which include the new 168bhp 220 BlueTEC 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel, as well as a 3.5-litre turbocharged V6, capable of 328bhp and 480Nm of torque. For flagship CLS 63 AMG models, the 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine sees output rise to 577bhp, plus 800Nm.
Also making its way into the range is Mercedes’ latest nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic gearbox, although in the UK this will only appear in 350 BlueTEC variants. The 220 BlueTech and 400 will retain the current seven-speed transmission, nd the 63 AMG keeps its Speedshift MCT 7G-Tronic set-up.
Inside, there’s a new dash-mounted eight-inch colour display, redesigned three-spoke steering wheel, improved infotainment systems and greater levels of refinement, including new colour schemes set to arrive shortly after launch.
There’s a reconfigured interior layout for the front lights, too. Both models now feature all-LED layouts as standard, but the 2015 CLS is also the first Mercedes to feature the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s new Multibeam LED set-up. This uses 24 individually controlled high-performance LEDs to build on the existing Intelligent Light System.
Managed by one of the car’s four control units, each LED can adjust up to 100 times per second and is capable of 255 varying levels of brightness. They are being used to improve the existing Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus system, allowing the high-beam lights to remain partially on when approaching traffic without dazzling oncoming drivers.
Paired to the car’s dash-mounted camera, this tech also features four LEDs for the low-beam headlights – these now anticipate bends before the steering wheel is even turned, swivelling by as much as 12 degrees to provide up to 60 metres extra visibility. On top of this, the navigation system provides the system with details of approaching roundabouts, automatically activating the cornering light system both left and right when entering a roundabout.
Kicking off the range is the new 220 BlueTEC, which features a 176bhp 2.1-litre diesel engine and emits 129g/km of CO2. This starts from £46,500 for the coupe, rising to £48,080 for the Shooting Brake, and sits below the six-cylinder 350 BlueTEC (£49,950-£51,400). Also joining the Coupe range is the new CLS 400, featuring 328bhp 3.5-litre V6 and starting at £55,850.
At the top of both model line-ups is the rebadged CLS 63 AMG S, with the Shooting Brake costing £500 more than the £86,500 coupe. With an extra 28hp and 80Nm of torque, plus a limited-slip differential as standard, it now manages 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds – but the Shooting Brake is 0.1 seconds slower.
For the facelifted 2015 CLS, AMG Line will become the default specification on offer, resulting in the COMAND Online infotainment tech, heated front seats, and ambient lighting system all fitted as standard. Building on this are two option packs: the £2,395 Premium Pack (£2,095 in the Shooting Brake) and Premium Pack Plus, costing £3,595 in the Coupe and £3,195 in the Shooting Brake.
The Premium Pack addes an electric sunroof, split-folding rear seats, a reversing camera and Mercedes’ seat memory function, whilst Plus builds on this with Harman Kardon sound system and Keyless Go.
In top-spec 63 AMG S models, there’s similar extra standard equipment, including Keyless Go, an ambient lighting system, reversing camera, split-folding rear seats, powered tailgate and electric sunroof, at a claimed saving of £4,115.