Mercedes-Benz is out testing prototypes for its next-generation CLS, the current generation of which has been on sale since the 2012 model year.
Even though the CLS is more closely related to the E-Class than the S-Class, Mercedes won’t rename the vehicle a CLE, as some have speculated.
When announcing its new naming strategy in 2014, Mercedes said the CLS name would remain. It makes sense as the vehicle, which is entering its third generation, is close to having icon-like status, as the original was the car that launched the coupe-like sedan craze.
Under the skin the car will be twinned with the latest E-Class, but from our spy shots it appears the CLS will be both longer and wider. This makes sense as the model is meant to bridge the gap between the E-Class and S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz’s new nomenclature for vehicles
The platform is the familiar MRA design that currently sits in the C-Class and E-Class. It means the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, a standard 9-speed automatic, and plug-in hybrid capability.
In the United States, the standard powertrain should be Mercedes’ new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6, while above this should sit Mercedes’ version of the Mercedes-AMG-developed twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8.
Mercedes-AMG should have its own CLS43 and CLS63 versions of the new sedan. And we’ve also heard that the Affalterbach tuner is planning its own coupe-like sedan resembling its GT sports car.
Look for the new CLS to arrive in 2018, as a 2019 model. Unfortunately, there isn’t expected to be arepeat of the wagon body style, which Mercedes refers to as the Shooting Brake.