New 2018 Mercedes CLS: prices, specs and pics

New Mk3 Mercedes CLS to start from £57,510, and will be available with two diesel engines and a single petrol option

Mercedes has announced pricing and specifications for its new CLS four-door coupe, which was formally unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month. The third-generation CLS is on sale now, priced from £57,510 ahead of summer 2018 deliveries. 

The Mercedes CLS is being launched with a choice of two diesel engines – the entry level 350 d is powered by a new 282bhp 2.9-litre six-cylinder engine, which manages CO2 emissions of 148g/km. The 400 d, priced from £60,410, produces 335bhp and 700Nm of torque from the same engine and returns the same CO2 emissions figures. Merc claims the 350 d can reach 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, while the more powerful diesel manages the same sprint in 5.0 seconds.

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There’s also a petrol edition, badged 450 at £57,610, which features Merc’s latest 3.0-litre straight-six motor, complete with 48v electrics and a 22bhp integrated starter/generator. The combustion engine develops 362bhp and 500Nm by itself, making it the fastest CLS at launch, with a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds. The system’s CO2 emissions are still some way off those of the diesels, at 178g/km, but Mercedes claims that this figure is still a solid improvement on the efficiency of the old V8 petrol engine, which the new six-cylinder unit matches on performance. 

The new CLS is based heavily on the latest Mercedes E-Class, sharing the saloon's chassis technology and, on all versions, its nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. The car will be offered with three suspension configurations - standard springs, adaptive dampers or full air suspension.

The new model gets a smoother look than the Mk2 CLS, with more of the swoopy lines that made the original such a distinctive proposition when it was launched back in 2003. In particular, the outgoing car’s awkward crease around the rear wheel arch has been axed to make way for a softer shoulder line that runs smoothly into the tail-lights.

Inside, the influence of the E-Class is even more evident; that car’s impressive 12.3-inch widescreen instrument panel and infotainment system has been carried over directly, although there are a few touches that are new on the CLS, such as illuminated air vents which incorporate ambient lighting that changes colour to show when a hotter or cooler temperature has been requested.

There are three seats in the rear, although the deeply scalloped outer seats give the impression that the car is, like its successors, designed for four occupants. The rear seats can be folded down in a 40/20/40 split to expand the boot space, which is 520 litres as standard. 

Only one trim level is on offer, which is AMG Line. Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, leather interior, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with DAB radio and Agility Control suspension. For an extra £3,895, CLS customers can spec their new four-door coupe with Merc’s Premium Plus package, which includes keyless entry, a 360-degree camera and electric sliding sunroof. Additional equipment also includes surround sound system from Burmester and Comand Online infotainment system.

Alongside Premium Plus, an extra £2,495 gets you the Comfort package, adding air body control, air suspension and nappa leather upholstery. For an additional £1,695, the CLS can be equipped with Mercedes’ Driving Assistance Plus package. First seen on the latest S-Class, the package offers autonomous driving technology such as active steering, speed limit assist, lane keep assist and blind spot assist. 

Next year, Mercedes will launch a more potent version of the petrol, badged 53 AMG, featuring a heavily tuned straight-six petrol engine along with the starter-generator. This will also be the fastest CLS as there are no plans for a full-fat 63 AMG, as such a vehicle would tread on the toes of the forthcoming four-door AMG GT.

Mercedes plans to introduce rear-drive versions of the new car - with four-cylinder petrol and diesel power - but they’re unlikely to arrive much before the end of 2018. The first batch of 2018 CLS coupe’s will be delivered next summer with Mercedes currently taking orders.

Are you impressed or disappointed with the design of the new Mercedes CLS? Have your say in the comments…

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