Two variants of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS and a flagship 2018 Mercedes-AMG CLS have been confirmed for an Australian launch in the second half of 2018.
The trio of petrol CLS models will be mild-hybrid powered, with the entry-level four-cylinder CLS350 model coming in rear-wheel drive, while the six-cylinder CLS450 version is all-wheel drive, and so is the range-topping six-cylinder AMG CLS53. No diesel will be offered this time around.
The pricing of the range-opening CLS350 model is set to start at $136,900 – well over the existing model’s base price (250d: from $115,355), but Benz’s local arm has confirmed an extensive list of standard equipment for what it predicts will be the volume model in the new CLS range, accounted for a predicted 50 per cent of sales.
The CLS350 is the first ever petrol four-cylinder CLS to be sold in Australia, with its 2.0-litre four producing 220kW of power and 400Nm of torque. It uses a nine-speed auto to send grunt to the rear wheels. The petrol engine is supplemented by what Benz calls ‘EQ Boost’, an integrated 48-volt electrical system which can add 10kW and 150Nm to the equation for short bursts. Fuel consumption isn’t known yet.
The EQ Boost system can supplement the combustion engine by implementing battery power for short bursts of extra performance, plus it has an advanced energy recuperation system that can feed the battery while you’re driving, too, thus helping save fuel by allowing the car to coast and keep all the electrics running, but with the engine off.
The CLS350 is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Next up the range will be the CLS450 4Matic, which will be in showrooms in the third quarter of the year priced at $155,900 plus on-road costs.
The CLS450 4Matic is powered by a six-cylinder turbocharged engine producing with 270kW of power and 500Nm of torque. It has an integrated starter/generator and 48-volt electrical system, and it adds 16kW and 250Nm to the equation for short bursts.
“The AMG component in the range is the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 4Matic+ model, which is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter.”
Mercedes-Benz says the engine tech “delivers the performance of an eight-cylinder engine with significantly lower consumption”, and indeed the fuel use is claimed at 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres.
The AMG component in the range is the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 4Matic+ model, which is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter priced from $179,900 plus on-road costs. The new flagship version also moves away from V8 power towards a part-electric six-cylinder powertrain.
This could essentially be seen as the replacement for the AMG CLS63 model, but it’s a good chuck more affordable than that existing manic flagship version (it was priced from $250,826). The CLS63 will not be offered this time around – Mercedes-AMG is saving itself for a four-door V8 halo model in the form of the new Mercedes-AMG GT4 Coupe.
The CLS53 4Matic+ isn’t your traditional horsepower hero because, like the 450 model, it comes powered by a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine with a larger twin-scroll turbo than the 450, and there’s an electric auxiliary compressor (electric turbo) to offset low-rev lag.
The engine punches out 320kW of power and 520Nm of torque, and is backed by the same 16kW and 250Nm of electric urge when required. It runs an AMG-fettled nine-speed automatic transmission, and its own fully-variable all-wheel-drive system (that’s why it is called 4Matic+, not just 4Matic).
Mercedes claims fuel consumption of 8.7L/100km, which is well down on the existing CLS63 V8 model.
If you’re thinking the E-Class-based model looks a bit longer than before, you’re right – the old car was 4940mm long, 1880mm wide and 1420mm tall, where the new model is 4988mm long, 1890mm wide and 1435mm tall – so, it’s bigger in every direction, in fact.
As a result, it’s the first time the CLS is a five-seater in this body style – previously the ‘Coupe’ model was a four-seater, and the ‘Shooting Brake’ wagon came in the more family-friendly five-seat guise. A wagon variant has been ruled out due to poor sales (people are dumb, in other words), so buyers will have to make do with the ’Coupe’ model’s 520-litre cargo capacity and 40/20/40 split-fold rear seats.
Across the range buyers can expect plenty of standard equipment including loads of safety gear: auto emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, driver fatigue monitoring, and even a system called ‘Pre-Safe Sound’ that prepares your inner ear for the noise of an imminent crash, with the aim of preventing sustained hearing damage.
It’s almost certain that Aussie buyers will get adaptive cruise control (now with the ability to sit idle in traffic for up to 30 seconds before automatically recommencing by tracking the car ahead), active steering assistance which Mercedes says “now provides even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer” (and has the ability for the driver to simply nudge the indicator for a lane-change movement). We’ll miss out on the new cruise control system that uses map data to adjust the speed ahead of bends, junctions or roundabouts, though.
“The CLS450 will also include a bi-modal sports exhaust system and power closing doors.”
Other items that will be fitted to all CLS models include LED headlamps, twin 12.3-inch displays (one for the driver, and one central media display), ambient lighting with illuminated air vents, Mercedes-Benz’s ‘Airmatic’ air suspension, 20-inch wheels, AMG exterior and interior styling packs, head-up display and leather trim with electric front seat adjustment, and climate control.
The CLS450 will add the S-Class-borrowed ‘Energizing Comfort Control’, which can adjust the climate, lighting, music and fragrance in the cabin within a few set modes: ‘Warmth’, ‘Freshness’, ‘Vitality’, ‘Joy’, ‘Comfort’ and ‘Training’, the latter of which instructs the occupants on exercises they can do in their seats.
The CLS450 will also include a bi-modal sports exhaust system and power closing doors.
The flagship AMG CLS53 will come with the AMG performance exhaust system, active multi contour front seats (with active bolstering), wireless smartphone charging and the ‘Night Package’ exterior finish pack.
A near-field communication system that can be used on your phone to enable it to be the key (and therefore unlock and start the car) is going to be optional on all models, too.
The final piece of the puzzle is the CLS Launch Edition pack. The pricing for this pack isn’t yet available, but it will be offered on the CLS350 and CLS450 variants and will add black-finish 20-inch wheels, a diamond grille with different chrome finishing, model-specific interior trim and wood finishes, plus the IWC analogue clock – a first for any model outside of the AMG range.
Mercedes-Benz CLS 2018 pricing (plus on-road costs)
Mercedes-Benz CLS350 – $136,900
Mercedes-Benz CLS450 4Matic – $155,900
Mercedes-AMG CLS53 4Matic+ – $179,900
This article originally appeared on CarsGuide.