This week, U.S. journalists are test-driving the very first new-generation 2012 CLS coupes arriving in the U.S. The all-new CLS-Class coupe represents the first major redesign of a car that established an entirely new market segment - the four-door coupe, which combines the emotional appeal and dynamic design of a coupe with the comfort and functionality of a sedan. The 2012 CLS line consists of three exciting models, all powered by new biturbo direct-injection V8 engines and, for the first time, offers 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. MSRP's start at $71,300 for the CLS550, $73,800 for the CLS550 4MATIC and $94,900 for the high-performance CLS63 AMG (not including delivery charges of $875).
World's First Four-Door Coupe
The distinctive body lines of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS have been accentuated by its new design, and overall, the new CLS is about 1.2 inches longer and wider than its predecessor. The CLS fits right between the S-Class-based CL and the E-Class two-door to form a family of Mercedes coupes that makes efficient use of existing chassis and powertrain layouts while preserving their unique individual identities. More Fuel-Efficient CLS550 With its new 4.6-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V8 the new CLS550 achieves 26 percent better fuel mileage (est. 18 city / 26 hwy) than the previous model, while still producing 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque. The CLS550 is equipped with new electrically assisted power steering, AIRMATIC air suspension and a revised seven-speed automatic transmission. Standard Mercedes safety technology on all CLS coupes includes PRE-SAFE, ABS anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, traction control and the ESP electronic stability control. DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Brake is optionally available, as well as Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.
CLS63 AMG Features Eco Stop-Start System
The 5.5-liter version of the new direct-injection V8 engine in the 2012 CLS63 AMG is rated at 518 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque. An optional AMG Performance Package increases output to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Even with its high-performance, the CLS63 AMG is 26 percent more fuel efficient (est. 15 city / 23 hwy), thanks in part to an innovative ECO stopstart system. Whenever the AMG model stops in "D" or "N" with the brake pedal depressed in "Controlled Efficiency" transmission mode, the engine is automatically turned off to save fuel. As soon as the driver releases the brake, the engine computer decides which piston is in the best position for first ignition, and the direct fuel injection and multi-spark systems work with a starter motor to re-start the engine almost instantly.
Innovative MCT Transmission
The CLS63 AMG features a 7-speed MCT (multi-clutch technology) sport transmission with an innovative start-up clutch that replaces the conventional torque converter. Providing the direct feedback of a manual transmission with the total convenience of an automatic, the MCT transmission offers impressive versatility and faster shift times.
In addition to larger brakes and wider wheels and tires, the CLS63 AMG also sports a unique combination of steel coil springs at the front and AIRMATIC suspension at the rear, which provides especially responsive handling from the front suspension, while the self-leveling AIRMATIC at the rear maintains consistent ride height, regardless of the load. Along with a tubular front stabilizer bar, the CLS63 AMG is fitted with special front control arms and wheel hub carriers that provide wider track and more negative camber for even better grip in high speed curves. The CLS63 AMG rear suspension includes new track rods and push-pull rods as well as more rigid sub-frame mounts that all contribute to enhanced cornering.