New models - Mercedes-Benz - CLS-class
More kit for Mercedes-Benz CLS
More equipment across the board and new V8 headline first facelift for Benz's CLS
1 May 2008
NOT content with revealing full pricing and specifications for its reskinned CLC-class compact coupe, redesigned C-class Estate and facelifted SL convertible in the space of about a week, Mercedes-Benz has now done the same for the first facelift of its sexy and successful CLS.
The big E-class-based CLS pioneered the four-door "coupe" craze in 2004, arriving in Australia in June 2005 in 200kW/350Nm CLS350 V6, 225kW/460Nm CLS500 V8 and 350kW/700Nm CLS55 AMG supercharged V8 guises.
In October 2006, the flagship of the 219-series CLS was upgraded to employ the same ballistic 6.2-litre V8 that will also be fitted to the facelifted SL, and that has proven so effective in the C, CLK, E, S, CL and ML-class AMG models.
Replacing the original CLS55 AMG's trusty 270kW/510Nm supercharged 5.4-litre three-valve V8, it produces no less than 378kW and 630Nm.
Following a mild update from August 2007, the three-variant CLS range now undergoes a number of cosmetic, standard equipment and engines upgrades.
On sale now ahead of its arrival here in mid-May, the CLS model update is headlined by the fitment of Benz's new 5.5-litre V8 to replace the CLS500's old three-valve 5.0-litre V8.
Visually, the new-look CLS350 and CLS500 feature new two-louvre diamond-shaped three-dimensional grilles painted in atlas grey, to replace the former four-louvre arrangement. There are new wing mirrors too, featuring arrow-shaped LED side indicators and a 32 per cent-larger mirror area.
New light-alloy wheels measure the same 18 inches in diameter for the CLS350 and CLS500, while at the rear all CLS variants get deeper new bumpers, new arrow-shaped LED tail-lights and, for non-AMG variants, trapezoidal exhaust outlets to replace oval-shaped items.
Inside, the three-year-old CLS gains a redesigned three-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel, a new contrasting-colour instrument cluster and a new-generation NTG 2.5 telematics system.
The latter features more logical menu navigation, speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, an MP3-compatible CD and DVD player, and a Bluetooth interface to link a mobile phone with the vehicle's hands-free system.
The CLS's standard cockpit management and data system (COMAND) continues to feature a 5.6-inch colour display, Linguatronic audio, navigation and phone activation, an SD memory card slot and a music register for storing audio files.
The entry-level CLS350 rises $3000 in price to $143,900, but Mercedes says that the extra standard equipment adds $4000 of value.
Four popular CLS options are now standard equipment in the CLS350: a 510-Watt, 12-speaker Harman/Kardon Logic7 surround-sound system, an in-car TV tuner for both analogue and digital television, electrically folding exterior mirrors and universal media interface connections for electronic entertainment devices.
The CLS500 price rises the same $3000, to $182,400, but the entry-level V8 CLS now dispenses 285kW and 530Nm, instead of 225kW and 460Nm. Its new 5.5-litre DOHC V8 now also burns just 0.6L/100km more fuel than the CLS350 - 11.6 v 11.0L/100km on the combined average ADR81/01 cycle).
Buyers of the revised CLS500 also gain, as standard, multi-contour and heated front seats and the universal media interface, which on their own are said to comprise almost $3000 of extra value.
The top-shelf CLS63 AMG's new price is $257,800 – a $4000 increase - and now includes new standard equipment including Distronic "autonomous intelligent" cruise control, luxury front seats with heating and ventilation, Keyless-Go un/locking and starting, triple-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels (instead of 18s) with titanium grey/high sheen finish and 255/35 front and 285.30 rear tyres, a three-spoke perforated leather AMG steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles and the universal media interface.
Benz says the CLS63 extras are valued at more than $8000.
Mercedes-Benz sold 501 examples of the CLS in 2007 - about the same number of homes the Lexus GS found in addition to more than 2000 versions of the E-class, Australia's top-selling large car over $70,000. BMW's 5 Series found about 1550 customers, with the Audi A6 third-best with about 750 sales.
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