Mercedes’s new CLS leaks ahead of official unveiling at LA motor show

E-Class cabin and new turbo straight-six engine but car’s design is disappointing


Ahead of its official unveiling at the Los Angeles motor show, the first images and details of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS have leaked online. Fans of the original 2005 CLS should probably look away now…

The exterior images show that the CLS is almost entirely identical to the S-Class and E-Class Coupes at the front, with the same broad, concave grille, and rhombus-shaped headlights. Around the back, while the sweep of the rear pillar is a direct lift from that original model, there is again rather a lack of character, with droopy-looking brake lights and little to separate it from the rest of the Mercedes range.

Inside, the cabin is basically the same as that of the E-Class Coupe and saloon, with a four-seat layout. Those who loved the original model’s distinctive cabin, with its Jaguar-like sweep of wood in the dash, will almost unquestionably be disappointed here, in spite of the overall excellence of the cabin in its other installations.

High-performance hybrid system

According to Australian website, Motoring. com, the CLS will feature the debut of the first AMG high-performance hybrid system. Badged as CLS53 AMG, the system will combine a new turbocharged petrol straight-six engine with battery assistance and four-wheel drive. BMW has already confirmed that its own M-Sport arm has a potential rival in the works.

That turbo inline-six will also appear in the CLS450 model, and there’ll be four-cylinder petrols and diesels too, and a plugin hybrid, as well as inline-six diesels in CLS350d and CLS400d versions.

Sadly, in another blow for distinctive models, the quirky CLS Shooting Brake estate model seems also likely to be dropped, as sales were disappointingly low.