1 Jun 2011
By LUC BRITTEN
For their money, buyers of the redesigned W218 CLS buyers not only got more bang for their buck but greater efficiency thanks to weight savings, better aerodynamics technology-packed engines.
The only engine choices at launch being the diesel-powered CLS 350 CDI and the roaring turbo V8-powered CLS 63 AMG.
Although the AMG-wrought 5.5-litre V8 was smaller than the normally aspirated 6.2-litre engine of the previous generation, thanks to turbocharging, sophisticated direct-injection and other advances it generated more power – 386kW compared with 378kW – and torque – 700Nm compared with 630Nm.
The zero-to-100km/h sprint took just 4.4 seconds, down 0.3 seconds on the previous generation. An optional AMG Performance Package was available to lift power and torque to 410kW and 800Nm, shaving an extra 0.1 seconds from the sprint time.
Fuel consumption was 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 were also down, to 233 grams per kilometre, well down on the 345g/km of the previous road rocket.
Compared with its AMG V8 sibling, the 3.0-litre CDI V6 was not shamed for torque, pumping out 620Nm – just 10Nm short of the glamour model. However, power peaked at 195kW.
Combined fuel economy was rated at 6.2L/100km, better than anything from the previous petrol-only CLS range. CO2 emissions similarly so, at 163g/km.
All CLS model continued with seven-speed automatic transmissions, with the AMG version getting the Speedshift version for sportier driving.
Safety innovations included Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, and LED headlights – with a full 71 LEDs – as standard.
When it was new