|Parent company||Daimler AG|
Santiago Tianguistenco, Mexico
|Body style(s)||sedan/4-door coupé/fastback|
|Engine(s)||3.5L 272 hp (203 kW) V6|
5.0L 302 hp (225 kW) V8
5.5L 382 hp (285 kW) V8
5.4L 469 hp (350 kW) Supercharged V8
6.2L 507 hp (378 kW) V8
3.2L 225 hp (168 kW) Turbo Diesel V6
|Wheelbase||2,855 mm (112.4 in)|
|Length||4,910 mm (193.3 in)|
|Width||1,873 mm (73.7 in)|
|Height||1,389 mm (54.7 in)|
The current iteration of the CLS is internally designated as the C219 and it was first offered for sale in Europe in autumn 2004. It is assembled by Daimler AG in Sindelfingen, Germany and Mercedes-Benz-Valdez in Santiago Tianguistenco, Mexico.
BackgroundThe CLS marked Mercedes-Benz's return to the executive-size coupe market since the (W124) E-Class Coupe (a two-door sedan) went out of production in 1995. The (W210) E-Class did not spawn a coupe variant, as Mercedes-Benz choose instead to introduce a smaller coupe based on the compact C-Class, the CLK-Class. However, the CLK-Class was built with a lengthened C-Class wheelbase so it could be slotted as a mid-sized vehicle, and it also featured styling cues, engines, and similar pricing to the (W210) E-Class to give the impression that the (W124) E-Class Coupe had been directly replaced.
The CLS name also caused some to confuse it as the four-door version of the CL-Class, the full-sized coupe based on the S-Class. Indeed, the styling cues of the next generation C216 CL have been strongly influenced by the CLS.
Priced to slot between the mid-sized E-Class and the full-sized S-Class, it competes in the range which was previously solely occupied by the BMW 6-series. Prior to the launch of the CLS, Mercedes had no direct answer to the executive-sized 6-series which positioned itself between the compact/mid-sized CLK and the full-sized CL. The CLK is slotted between the BMW 3 series coupe/cabriolet and the 6 series coupe/cabriolet, while the CL has no direct competitor. Others maintain, however, that the CLS has no direct competitor.
During its development, Mercedes-Benz executives nicknamed the CLS the "Jag fighter," hoping that it would be the type of vehicle that Jaguar customers would be attracted to. Jaguar, however, has not launched a four-door coupe since production until recently announced as the 2009 Jaguar XF sedan. Due to the popularity of the CLS-Class, other manufacturers are offering similar four-door sedans.
W219The first generation of the CLS, the Mercedes-Benz C219, is based upon the W219 platform, a W211 E-Class spin-off that is six inches (152 mm) longer.
The CLS-class was first displayed as the Vision CLS concept at the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The production version CLS 500 made its debut at the 2004 New York International Auto Show. A new AMG model was introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, the CLS 55 AMG. Only 3,000 CLS 55 AMG cars will be built each year.
The CLS was first offered for sale in the United States in January 2005; the CLS 550, CLS 55 AMG and CLS 63 AMG are sold in the United States. The CLS 550 has a base price of US$65,620, with the CLS 55 starting at US$87,320. CLS63 starts at $92,500 for a base model, and is offered with steering wheel mounted paddles (F1 style), and 19" wheels for the US market.
The CLS 350 and CLS 500 have a 7-speed automatic transmission.
A diesel version, CLS 320 CDI, is available for the European market with a 3 liter V6 producing 224 hp (167kW) and 510 N.m (376 lbf) of torque. For model year 2007 (MY2007), the engine found in the CLS 320 CDI is updated to produce 540N.m, although Peak power remains unchanged
IVM Automotive, a subsidiary of German roof system specialist Edscha, developed the entire vehicle from the Vision concept to the production version. More than 150 IVM engineers were involved, making the CLS the largest vehicle development project in the company's history.
Mercedes-Benz has planned a yearly production of 30,000 units worldwide, of which about 10,000 will be shipped to the U.S. market.
For the model year 2007, Mercedes-Benz has replaced the CLS 55 AMG with the CLS 63 AMG. The CLS 63 uses the newly developed AMG M156 naturally aspirated V8 engine capable of 514 hp (378 kW) and 630 N·m (464 ft·lbf) of torque. This results in a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 and 3.9 seconds for the CLS55 AMG and CLS63 AMG respectively.
SpecificationsIn the 2007 model year, the CLS-Class' powertrains include one of the following engines:
- CLS 350 - A 3.5 L V6, generating 200 kW (292 hp DIN), and 350 N·m (258 ft·lbf) at 2,400 rpm
- CLS 500 (CLS 550 in the US market) - A 5.5 L V8, generating 281 kW (382 hp DIN),
- CLS 63 AMG - A 6.2 L V8, generating 378 kW (514 hp DIN), and 630 N·m (465 lb·ft)
- CLS 320 CDI - A 3.0 L V6 Turbo Diesel, generating 167 kW (224 hp DIN), and 540 N·m (398 lb·ft) (European market only).
- CLS 350 CGI - A 3.5 L direct-injected V6, generating 215 kW (292 hp DIN), and 365 N·m (269 lb·ft)
FeaturesMercedes-Benz has put all of its latest safety features into the CLS-class. In addition to front airbags, there are side-impact airbags in the front seats and side curtain airbags throughout. The car features a "smart" sensor system for the seatbelts and airbags that can detect and react to accident severity. An optional Pre-Safe system predicts an impending collision; when the system is activated, the seatbelts tighten, the front passenger seat adjusts to crash positioning, and the sunroof closes automatically. Mercedes-Benz engineers describe the feature as a human-like reflex system.
The CLS-class comes with a choice of four interior colors, three types of leather and two kinds of wood. Leather interior comes standard, with Nappa leather upholstery available on designo models. Burl walnut and dark laurel wood interior trim are available in either a high-gloss or silk matte finish. Leather colors include Black, Basalt Gray, Sunset Red and Cashmere. New scratch-resistant exterior paint is three times as durable as past exterior finishes.
There are 33 inches (838 mm) of rear legroom, which is not quite as accommodating as the 35.6 inches (904 mm) available in the E-Class. Elbow room is generous at 57 inches (1448 mm). The trunk can hold 16 cubic feet (453 L) of cargo.
The following features are standard in all models: heated auto-dimming mirrors, outside temperature gauge, rain-sensing wipers and projector-beam headlights. Also standard is a Thermatic automatic climate control system; this system assesses and adjusts interior temperature and humidity levels and filters the air in the cabin. There are dual controls in both the front and rear seats.
Other available features include: self-cleaning bi-xenon HID headlamps, distronic radar-guided cruise control, power sunroof, keyless go, drive authorization system and Parktronic parking sensors. Available electronics include: COMAND control system, GPS navigation and surround sound audio.
The CLS 55 AMG and CLS 63 AMG are modified versions of the CLS produced by Mercedes-AMG. Features exclusive to AMG models include: perforated sport seats, 18 inch (457 mm) light-alloy wheels with wider tires (for the UK), 19 inch five spoke light-alloy wheels (standard in North America, optional for all other markets), large air inlets and quad chromed oval exhaust pipes.