The new-generation CLS-Class: Fine-tuning for the design trendsetter

Apr 14, 2008
  • Modified front end and new rear apron
  • New CLS 280 with 170-kW/231-hp V6 engine
  • V8 engine in the new CLS 63 AMG develops 630 Nm of torque
Mercedes-Benz is about to make the CLS even more irresistible and will be presenting the new-generation of this unique, four-door coupé in the spring of 2008 – the pioneer of a whole new automotive segment. Understated but masterly neatly sums up the result of the restyling programme for the CLS. At the front, it is the modified radiator grille that stands out, with two louvres now instead of the previous four. The diamond-shaped, three-dimensional grilles painted in atlas grey that cover the air intakes project an even greater air of self-assurance as well as adding further emphasis to the vehicle's width. The exterior mirrors have also been given a new look. The LED side indicator lamps that are built into them are arranged in the form of an arrow to produce a most eye-catching effect, especially in the dark. The mirror surface has furthermore been enlarged by 32 percent to afford a clearer view of the traffic behind and thereby boost active safety.
The side view is dominated by new, attractively styled light-alloy wheels, measuring either 17 inches (CLS 280, CLS 320 CDI and CLS 350 CGI) or 18 inches (CLS 500) in diameter. When viewed from the rear, the new-generation CLS makes its mark with a new rear apron, new tail lights, as well as modified tailpipes. The centre section of the rear bumper now drops down further, while the additional light-catching contour running along it adds to the impression of breadth. This is further emphasised by the exhaust tailpipes, which are trapezoidal in shape, and not oval as before.
LED technology is now deployed for the tail lights: the brake lamps, tail lamps and indicator lamps all make use of the extra-fast-reacting light-emitting diodes. Just like the side indicators in the exterior mirrors, the rear indicators look like arrows when they light up, which is particularly striking in the dark . The same is true of the optical fibres at the side, which are always activated whenever the low-beam headlamps are switched on. A new deactivation function for the low-beam headlamps when the ignition is switched off helps to optimise energy management.
The new bodywork details harmonise perfectly with the multi-award-winning design of the CLS and make the four-door Coupé always look as if it is about to dash off. Almost four years on from its world premiere, the electrifying, muscular lines of the trendsetter are as unique and as unmistakable as ever.
New inside: three-spoke steering wheel and infotainment units
Great attention to detail was paid while updating the interior too: modifications include a restyled leather steering wheel in a three-spoke design with multifunction buttons, as well as a new-look instrument cluster, whose white dials now contrast distinctly with the chased surface of the backplate. The previous matt laurel colour scheme has been replaced with new chestnut wood trim elements.
The CLS also features the new infotainment units. These high-performance units combine ease of operation and intuitive menus with perfect entertainment. Features include speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, an MP3-compatible CD and DVD player, as well as a Bluetooth interface which can establish a wireless connection between a mobile phone and the vehicle's hands-free system. The Audio 20, Audio 20 CD with CD changer, Audio 50 and Audio 50 APS with DVD changer and LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system have now been upgraded to a 5‑inch colour screen. The COMAND APScomes with a high-resolution 6.5-inch colour display, LINGUATRONIC for audio, navigation and telephone calls, a Music Register for storing audio files, plus an SD memory card slot.
CLS 280: new entry-level engine variant with 170 kW/231 hp
The CLS 280 is equipped with a new entry-level engine, a sophisticated V6 powerplant with a displacement of 2996 cc developing a peak output of 170 kW/231 hp and a maximum torque of 300 Newton metres. This propels the CLS 280 from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds and gives it a top speed of 245 km/h. Combined fuel consumption in the NEDC cycle is 9.8 - 10.0 litres per 100 kilometres. The second V6 petrol model in the range is the CLS 350 CGI. Its advanced six-cylinder engine featuring piezoelectric direct injection and spray-guided combustion generates 215 kW/292 hp and returns impressively low fuel consumption figures of 9.1 to 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined). Under the bonnet of the CLS 500 is a V8 drive unit with a displacement of 5.5 litres and a maximum output of 285 kW/388 hp. What makes the CLS 320 CDI with its 165-kW/224-hp V6 diesel engine especially thrilling is the formidable torque of 540 Newton metres on the one hand and, on the other, low fuel consumption of just 7.6 - 8.1 litres of diesel for every 100 km (NEDC combined).
All CLS models come fitted with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission as standard. In manual shift mode "M", the driver is able to shift through the gears using shift paddles on the steering wheel if desired. This shortens the 0-100 km/h acceleration time by 0.2 seconds.
CLS 63 AMG: flagship model with AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC
The flagship CLS 63 AMG is powered by the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine with 378 kW/514 hp and 630 Newton metres of torque. The high-revving, naturally aspirated engine now makes its presence known in an even more distinctive fashion: the AMG sports exhaust system's redesigned rear silencers deliver an even more captivating soundtrack through the two sets of oval-shaped, chromed twin tailpipes. The CLS 63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, while its top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission now incorporates a double-declutching function. This does more than just intensify the emotive driving experience - the virtually load-free downshift procedure also leads to a reduction in load-alteration effects, which is of particular benefit when braking ahead of corners on the race track.
Cylinder arrangement,
valves per cylinder
Bore x stroke
102.2 x 94.6
Compression ratio
11.3 : 1
Rated output at
Max. torque at
Fuel consumption (combined)
l/100 km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h
Max. speed
*electronically limited
Also new is the black-painted radiator grille with two louvres instead of the previous three, which blends in perfectly with the AMG bodystyling. The AMG light-alloy wheels, with their new triple-spoke design and a titanium grey, high-sheen paint finish, now measure 19 inches in size instead of 18 as before, and are shod with tyres measuring 255/35 R 19 at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear. In the interior, the CLS 63 AMG comes with a new AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with a three-spoke design. The grip areas are specially contoured and trimmed in perforated leather. Gear selection can be performed manually by means of two aluminium AMG shift paddles.
Attractive optional extras from AMG
There is an exclusive choice of new optional extras from the AMG Performance Studio for the CLS 63 AMG: take for instance the AMG performance steering wheel with a smaller diameter, a rim that is flattened at the bottom and silver-coloured aluminium shift paddles, AMG carbon-fibre trim, illuminated AMG door sill panels, AMG velour floor mats, the AMG exterior carbon-fibre package and the titanium-grey painted AMG 19-inch light-alloy wheels with a twin-spoke design and a polished finish, which are manufactured using first-rate forging technology.
The Performance Package developed in the AMG Performance STUDIO is also available; it includes even more powerful components and is aimed specifically at drivers with sporty inclinations:
  • 390 x 36-mm internally ventilated composite brakes discs at the front
  • AMG multiple-disc limited-slip rear axle differential with a 40 percent locking factor for even better traction
  • 19-inch twin-spoke AMG light-alloy forged wheels with mixed-size tyres (255/35 R 19 and 285/30 R 19)
  • AMG performance suspension
  • AMG performance steering wheel with smaller diameter, flat underside, silver-coloured aluminium shift paddles
All CLS models can be embellished by the addition of the AMG bodystyling package: this comprises a prominent front apron with large air intakes, side sill panels, a beefy rear apron featuring a black insert and AMG tailpipes. There is also the option of new AMG 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a high-sheen finish with 255/35 (front) and 285/30 (rear) tyres.