2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview
The Mercedes Benz CLS was completely redesigned for 2012, now featuring a bolder and sleeker design.
Two models are offered: the CLS550 and the performance-themed CLS63 AMG.
Taking cues from the SLS AMG, the front-end design features a long, sporty hoodline. The car’s blade-like silhouette boasts an arched roofline and bold stance. Out in the open, the heavily sculptured side panels and wheel arches reflect the car’s athletic posture. The CLS63 AMG is more aggressive with large functional air intakes in the front apron, a unique grille treatment, and a rear spoiler.
The CLS550 interior is extremely inviting with leather upholstery, sophisticated wrap-around design elements, multi-color ambient lighting, sunroof, and full-length console. Standard front seats are 14-way power with optional heating and active ventilation. A 610-watt harmon/kardon audio system with Bluetooth®, satellite radio, 6-disc CD/DVD changer, and 10-gig storage is standard. Options include iPod interface and rear-seat entertainment. CLS63 AMG is also richly appointed, and various trim upgrades are available, including a carbon-fiber package.
The CLS550 is powered by a 402 horsepower 4.6-liter twin-turbo V8 engine backed by a 7-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available. The CLS63 AMG features a hand-built, 518-horsepower 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 that is mated to a paddle-shifted 7-speed transmission with multi-clutch technology. There’s also a performance package that adds 32 more ponies and increases the speed limiter to 186 mph. A start-stop function is available to help save fuel, but thrift is not always a trait of AMG owners. The CLS550 is rated at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The CLS63 AMG is rated at 16/17, and both models require premium gasoline.
Ride, handling, and even the electromechanical steering can be adjusted according to driver preferences. The CLS-class features an adaptive air suspension that automatically selects damping profiles for the desired ride, and it lowers the suspension at cruising speeds to help improve fuel economy. The CLS63 AMG boasts massive disc brakes with 6-piston calipers up front
Both CLS models provide 10 airbags, including front pelvic, front knee and window-curtain airbags. Rear side-impact airbags are optional. The CLS owner also has access to numerous Mercedes driving-assistance systems, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, parking assist, blind-spot assist and lane-keeping assist. Some systems will actually intervene with light touches on the brake if sensors detect drifting out of lane. Other available safety features include rear-view camera and active headlamps.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is a sporty alternative to the E-class sedan while the CLS63 AMG is a world-class touring machine that competes on the same level as the Audi S8, Porsche Panamera, and Cadillac CTS-V.