Four-door will be based on E-Class underpinnings; it will likely be topped by a hybrid straight-six AMG version

The next Mercedes-Benz CLS will be more focused on offering maximum luxury and refinement when it goes on sale next year, in order to create a wide personality gap between it and the similarly shaped AMG GT four-door.

Captured testing on the open road in Germany ahead of its reveal at the LA motor show in November, the future CLS will sport the same number of doors and a hatched boot like the AMG model, but its similarities will end there.

Mercedes has chosen to slim the CLS's reach to clear space for its all-new and more extreme AMG GT four-door, which is due after the CLS in September 2018, spelling the end of the line for the V8-engined AMG CLS 63.

The range-topping version of the next CLS will therefore use two fewer cylinders in the form of AMG's turbocharged 3.0-litre unit, but the engine will mate to a 50kW electric motor. This new hybrid model will be called the CLS 53, the first of several Mercedes-AMGs to adopt the number.

The hybrid AMG CLS's combined system output is expected to exceed 450bhp, ranking it more than 100bhp behind the current V8-engined CLS 63 S. However, the hybrid six-pot model’s electric torque-filling ability should ensure performance is much closer.

The hybrid CLS is expected to come with regenerative braking technology to help replenish its lithium ion batteries when on the move. This technology is already in use elsewhere in Mercedes’ range, and would come as part of 48V electric architecture.

The wider CLS range's push for luxury is backed by the success of its close relative, the E-Class, which remains the executive saloon segment's luxury leader. The CLS four-door will share much of its underpinnings with the saloon, as well as a selection of turbocharged four-cylinder units, which will form the bulk of its engine line-up.

Six-cylinder petrol and diesels will come in higher ranking non-AMG models, tuned with a focus on smooth torque delivery and efficiency.

Along with its technical similarities, the CLS will inherit design features inspired by the E-Class, albeit with sharper styling to match its sleeker bodyshape.

Some of the semi-autonomous driving technology of the E-Class will be carried over to the CLS, including Speed Limit Pilot, which automatically adjusts the speed of the vehicle in relation to posted speed limits, and Active Lane Change Assist, which is able to autonomously perform a lane change.

Unlike the current CLS, the future car is expected to drop its Shooting Brake estate bodyshape due to low demand. Only 750 CLS Shooting Brakes were sold in the UK last year.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz CLS

Does the Mercedes CLS lead the four-door coupé pack?

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2 December 2016
I'm looking forward to seeing what this CLE looks like in the coming months. It does seem to have enormous overhangs that seem disproportionate to the general silhouette. Not sure how they'll deal with that.

24 March 2017
I'm betting that the new CLS and AMG 4 door won't be 'entirely different' but in fact very closely related. Time will tell.

25 March 2017
I think Mercedes have missed a trick with the styling which should echo the superb AMG 4 door. They CLS seems to be getting blander with every new generation.


10 October 2017

that they will drop the shooting brake. Really liked the current one far more than the saloon. It was just the high prices and droopy rear style that held it back.

10 October 2017

That'll be the most under used option ever. (full stop)


Hydrogen cars just went POP

10 October 2017
Agree. Who would seriously use these ridiculous bits of autonomous nonsense? Surely changing lane is about as easy as breathing?

The original is still a beauty, but the second generation was horrible to behold. Except for the rather lovely shooting break, which wasn't ever sold properly.

10 October 2017

"Mercedes-Benz CLS makes way for AMG GT four-door with luxury focus" and "Four-door will be based on E-Class underpinnings; it will likely be topped by a hybrid straight-six AMG version" Great headlines Autocar as it suggests the CLS will no more and is making way for the GT four-door which is to be based on the E Class' underpinnings. It's only until you read the article that you realise a new CLS is also on the way, as I had always thought was the case.

10 October 2017

The first CLS was a stunner IMO while the second generation model was nowhere near as good looking (I really hate those rear wheel haunches) it has massive road presence and looks so much more pretigious and expensive than it is, much more than the first model. So lets hope the 3rd gen model combines those positive elements of its predecessors. And being a four door coupe of the E Class, will it finally be called the CLE? I've no idea what happened to the CLC which was mooted when the current C Class was launched, it's not like Mercedes to have a gap in its line up!

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