2012 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS officially revealed

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Seeing as how the four-door coupe market has exploded in the last few years, Mercedes-Benz, the creator of this niche with the old CLS, had a big task ahead of itself with the next generation CLS Class. It’s the second generation of the Three-Pointed Star’s four-door coupe and (compared to the stereotypically mild overhaul of some premium German cars) it boasts a refreshingly new look.

Now, after many spy shots and rumors, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS has been officially revealed in all of its four-door coupe glory, at the 2010 Paris motor show, seven years after the CLS first graced the Mercedes range, but it enters a far more hostile market than the one it effectively invented in 2003. The CLS carved its own niche but its creation has since inspired the Volkswagen Passat CC, Audi A7 Sportback and BMW 5-series GT, while more practical saloons such as the Jaguar XF have aped its more sweeping, coupe-like window line.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class created a new vehicle category in 2003 by combining the elegance and expressiveness of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a sedan. The Mercedes CLS delighted the public, astounded the competition and created a new style icon: for years the CLS has endured as the only four-door coupé in its class, and since October 2004 it has been the car of choice for around 170,000 buyers worldwide. “Customers all over the world benefited from our bold move to launch a completely new vehicle concept onto the market”, explains a delighted Dr. Joachim Schmidt, member of the board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales & Marketing. “And with its exciting design, the new edition of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class also benefits from the fact that we are a whole generation ahead of the competition with our four-door Coupé.”

As you can see, the new model boasts a more aggressive design, but still in the arching lines that made its predecessor such a popular limousine. We can see more aggressive angles in the front, as well as the first full LED headlight assembly, with 71 individual LEDs composing the main headlight, running light, turn signals and side lamps.

Mercedes has yet to reveal firm technical details, but expect a mixture of six- and eight-cylinder engines (with diesel to outsell petrol) and a range topped by a hot AMG version, boasting the tuning arm’s new 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8. It’s still likely to be badged the CLS63 AMG, though. Engines have yet to be detailed, but you can expect two gasoline versions to appear for the US market. the CLS350 will most likely get a direct injection 3.5-liter V6, while the CLS550 will get a twin-turbo V8.
We can see LED technology in the rear as well, while the side design borrows some cues from the already revealed 2011 CL Class. On the inside, the same attention to detail is present, as is a new three-spoke steering wheel with multiple controls. The new CLS also boasts the same gear selector as its other cousins, the S and CL Classes.

The design retains its predecessor’s proportions yet manages to look strikingly different to before, a sharper, more chiseled appearance reminiscent of the Mercedes SLS AMG supercar and one which is set to influence a lot of future Mercs.

Celebrating its world premiere at the Paris motor show (October 2 – 17, 2010), the 2012 CLS-Class builds on the pioneering role of its predecessor with a fresh new interpretation. “The new Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class points the way forward for the future perceptible design idiom of Mercedes-Benz”, explains Professor Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes-Benz. “At the same time it takes its inspiration from the great tradition of stylish, refined sportiness which has always been a feature of Mercedes coupés.”