What is it?
The shiny new Mercedes CLS has met with Mercedes’ shiny new mild hybrid drivetrain, with a real best-of-both-worlds brief.
The CLS 450 mixes a potent in-line six-cylinder twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine with Mercedes’ new ‘EQ boost’ technology, comprising a 48V integrated starter generator and a lithium ion battery.
Sited between the engine and the nine-speed automatic gearbox (which drives all four wheels as standard), it not only provides the engine with an extra 22bhp and meaty 184lb ft of instant torque, but can completely switch the engine off in Eco mode when ‘sailing’, leaving the EQ boost to power the rest of the car’s ancillaries. Clever stuff.
The CLS 450 also presents our first chance to try Mercedes’ all-new big four-door coupé on the standard 19in alloy wheels filled with the noise-suppression foam, our earlier UK test being limited to the 400d version and its optional 20in wheels that made for a noisy and overly firm ride.