Review: 2012 Mercedes CLS 550

Posted on 18. Dec, 2011 by in Auto News

I guess the novelty of a new design as much as the next guy, but never understood the four-door coupé. I mean, these terms are not mutually exclusive? A coupé can not have four doors and a car with four doors, not a coupe? Mercedes started this conundrum with the CLS in 2004, and then Volkswagen decided to jump to strengthen the moving train on Passat sales with the CC in 2008. It was only a matter of time before VAG decided to compete with the CLS head on the A7. After all Audi model envy has been around for years, and if they stay on the right track with the world domination, they must attack the mainline Germans at every body style. Not one to rest on his laurels, Mercedes redesigned the CLS for 2011. Michael Karesh argued for a A7 from Audi and Mercedes in July, you can join them for a week. Let's see if the CLS has what it takes to rule the highest in this extremely small niche.

The new CLS, as the previous model is essentially a Mercedes E-Class styling exercise. Outside, the new CLS is larger than its predecessor by almost an inch in any dimension. Mercedes' new love of angles mixed with curves is an attractive mixture of Bentley, Jaguar XJ, and "a lot" of the old CLS. If the old CLS was released back in 2004, I thought to myself, "it looks like has been placed," and I did not think about eggs. The new Merc plate meets an aggressive pose from almost any angle, but the rear end still looks a little pinched. On the bright side, look at the all-LED headlights as they could pierce your soul, and that's what I want in a German car. The Audi A7 on the other side is almost boring in comparison. Sure, the A7 apes the R8 hips, but the front is decidedly pedestrian A3/A4/A5/A6/A8/A-insert-your-number-here.

Flamers, you get ready for your torches! Let's dive in to the interior. "Got headroom?" No, headroom in the rear is far from impressive, but who cares? This is after all, a coupe so the rear seats have little impact on my impression of the car. Please note that the primary task of the four-door coupe not carry four in comfort, it should be worn four "when needed". As a result, both the A7 and CLS will "suffer" from the limited space in the back, but what are these seats really? Not the kids. No, these are the seats for Business, where you. Jam someone in the back of a 5-minute drive to Il Forniao and wow them with your car acceleration The CLS performs this task with ease, but the A7 feels nervous. More on that in a bit.

Despite pricing the CLS on the E, the majority of the internal bits and pieces are clamped from the E instead of the more expensive S, including the e. Quite small COMMAND screen and controls Revoked by the E are the steering wheel, seat controls and window switches. Fortunately Mercedes borrowed just the high-rent units for use in the CLS. The smart switchgear conspires with the stitched dashboard make the CLS interior a significant improvement over the e. The haphazard fit and finish The A7 on the other side seems to borrow more from the A8 than the A6 with an interior that is first-class, modern and decided maybe even less German than the Mercedes ..

About this nervous A7, here is the reason: Audi may be decided to compete with the CLS head-on in terms of interior and exterior design, but may (in the American market at least) specs of the engine, the table tilted heavily in Mercedes' favor . Because under the hood of the CLS550 to the same all-new 4.6L twin-turbo V8 CL550 suggests as we reviewed in September. The new M278 engine uses lightweight aluminum construction, direct injection, variable valve timing and twin intercooled turbocharger (up to 12.9psi gain) to increase paradoxically horsepower by 5% to 402 hp, the torque by 14% to 443 lb-ft, while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 20%. Not a bad trade statistics.