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Benz trims $18k from CLS AMG

Slick: The second-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS will be available at launch in entry-level CLS350 CDI and flagship CLS63 AMG variants.

Thundering new AMG-enhanced CLS to land at $263,500 as Benz reins in price

2 Jun 2011

MERCEDES-BENZ has snipped more than $18,000 from the price of its new-generation CLS63 AMG, the barnstorming twin-turbo V8 four-door ‘coupe’ that will top the all-new CLS-class range when it begins its roll-out in Australia later this month.

The flagship model, which shares its blown 386kW 5.5-litre V8 with AMG versions of the S-class and CL-class Benzes, will lob in showrooms with a $263,500 list price (plus government and dealer charges).

This compares with $281,660 for the current model, the price of which went up almost $3000 just three months ago.

The new range-topper will be joined in Australia by the first diesel-powered CLS in this country, the V6 CLS350 CDI BlueEfficiency, priced at $159,200 (plus ORCs).

Later in the year, the range will be expanded with two more CLS variants, the petrol V6-powered CLS350 BlueEfficiency and the V8-powered CLS500 BlueEfficiency.

For now, Mercedes-Benz Australia is keeping its powder dry on the pricing of those extra models, but judging by pricing of other Benzes, the petrol CLS350 is likely to be comparable with that of the diesel V6, providing twin entry points to the range.

4 center imageFor their money, CLS buyers will not only get more bang for their buck but greater efficiency from the new four-seat cruiser that is based on a reworked E-class platform and follows in the wheel tracks of the segment-busting first-generation CLS that along with Maserati’s Quattroporte re-wrote sedan styling rules with its coupe-like roofline when it was unveiled in 2004.

The AMG-wrought 5.5-litre V8 might be smaller than the normally aspirated 6.2-litre engine of the previous generation, but thanks to turbocharging, sophisticated direct-injection and other advances it generates more power – 386kW compared with 378kW – and torque – 700Nm compared with 630Nm.

The zero-to-100km/h sprint takes just 4.4 seconds, down 0.3 seconds on the previous generation. If buyers want more, they can opt for the AMG Performance Package that lifts power and torque to 410kW and 800Nm, shaving an extra 0.1 seconds from the sprint time.

Fuel consumption has been cut by 31 per cent, with Mercedes claiming 10 litres per 100km on the combined cycle – down from 14.5L/100km and a benchmark among such big-bore super tourers. CO2 emissions have been choked to 233 grams per kilometre, well down on the 345g/km of the previous rocket.

Apart from idle-stop, fuel economy gains have been attributed to light-weight construction and improved aerodynamics.

It says the new model has frameless aluminium doors weighing 24kg less than the previous steel doors, while aluminium also has been employed on the bonnet, front fenders, boot lid, parcel shelf and other bits and pieces.

Mercedes says it cut wind resistance by up to 10 per cent, even though the new model has a bigger frontal area because it is wider. The Stuttgart company quotes an aewrodynamic Cd value of 0.26, a 13 per cent improvement.

As well, new electro-mechanical steering makes a contribution to fuel savings, freeing the engine of the drag from a hydraulic steering pump to save 0.3L/100km.

The new 3.0-litre diesel CLS variant is expected to be one of the best sellers in the new range, such is the appeal of diesels in modern luxury cars.

Compared with its AMG V8 sibling, the CDI V6 is not shamed for torque, pumping out 620Nm – just 10Nm short of the glamour model. However, power peaks at 195kW.

Combined fuel economy is rated at 6.2L/100km, better than anything from the previous petrol-only CLS range. CO2 emissions are 163g/km.

All CLS model continue with seven-speed automatic transmissions, with the AMG version getting the Speedshift version for sportier driving.

Safety innovations include Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, and LED headlights – with a full 71 LEDs – will be standard.

2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS pricing:&nbsp
CLS 350 CDI &nbsp (a) $159,200
CLS 63 AMG $263,500

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