The four-door coupe segment is rapidly growing, but the progenitor of the niche, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, is still powering along. Currently in its second generation, the CLS has just undergone a mid-cycle update, bringing new styling, a revamped interior and plenty of tech upgrades to the table.
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The update affects the full CLS range—regular four-door, high-performance CLS63 AMG, and the CLS Shooting Brake sold overseas—and includes the addition of MULTIBEAM LED headlights, a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission, more powerful engines, and a more advanced infotainment system.
The new styling is only featured at the front of the cars. The changes consist of a new bumper design with more aggressive air intakes, as well as a revised grille which is now available with Mercedes’ expressive diamond pattern. The internal graphic of the headlights have also been updated and are now available with MULTIBEAM LED technology, which automatically adjusts the light path to prevent other drivers from being blinded. This allows the high beams to be left permanently on, though this means the feature is unlikely to be offered to American customers.
Under the hood, more powerful engines and a more efficient 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission can be found. In the U.S., expect the 2015 CLS to continue with the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG trim levels, although we may see a new entry-level CLS400 model added to the lineup. The CLS400 gets a new turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 good for 333 hp.
For 2015, the CLS550’s twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V-8 is rated at 408 horsepower, while the CLS63 AMG’s twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 is rated at 557 hp. Opt for the CLS63 AMG S-Model and power rises to a staggering 585 hp. Note, the AMG models continue with 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard, and most likely their previous seven-speed autos as well.
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Inside the cars, the infotainment system has been upgraded to meet the specification common to that of Mercedes’ latest range. This sees a new 8.0-inch display fitted to the center stack that works together with the COMAND interface. New for the CLS is the availability of COMAND Online internet connectivity and app system, which when connected with a smartphone allows for internet browsing. COMAND Online also provides the LINGUATRONIC voice control system. Finally, the design of the steering wheel has been updated and five new interior colors and six trim finishes added to the list of options for the CLS.
In the area of safety, the 2015 CLS is available with a host of new assistance systems along with existing systems with upgraded functionality. Standard-fit features include the COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which can help prevent rear-end collisions–if necessary through autonomous braking. Many of the S-Class flagship sedan's features can also be fitted. These include DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, PRE-SAFE Brake with pedestrian detection, PRE-SAFE PLUS, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC including lateral parking manoeuvres and a 360-degree view camera system.
Specifications for the U.S. market will be announced closer to the sales launch of the 2015 CLS this fall._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.