Mercedes-Benz CLS Executive Sedan available at Thailand, United Kingdom, Australia, Dubai, US Top Mercedes-Benz Dealer Exporter
The Mercedes-Benz CLS is an executive-size sedan originally launched in 2004 and based on the W211 E-Class and was internally designated as the W219. The second generation CLS-Class was introduced in September 2010 and production started in the beginning of 2011.
Mercedes-Benz CLS Background
The CLS marked Mercedes-Benz’s return to the executive-size coupe market since the (W124) E-Class Coupe (a two-door sedan) went out of production in 1995. The (W210) E-Class did not spawn a coupe variant, as Mercedes-Benz choose instead to introduce a smaller coupe based on the compact C-Class, the CLK-Class. However, the CLK-Class was built with a lengthened C-Class wheelbase so it could be slotted as a mid-sized vehicle, and it also featured styling cues, engines, and similar pricing to the (W210) E-Class to give the impression that the (W124) E-Class Coupe had been directly replaced.
Marketed as a four-door coupe, the CLS was designed by the American automotive designer, Michael Fink in 2001 (born 1967), who styled the first CLK, the C-Sportcoupe, and is known as the stylist who penned the Maybach 57 and 62. According to a Mercedes-Benz press release, the CLS-class was produced to combine the “strong, emotive charisma” of a coupe with the “comfort and practicality” of a saloon. Save for its four-door design, the CLS’s design tends towards a coupe, as its sleek roofline reduces the rear passenger room to a 2+2 arrangement, and it offers a smaller selection of engines tending towards high powered of the range, compared to contemporary sedans such as the E-Class.
Mercedes-Benz CLS W219 (2004–2010)
The first generation of the CLS, the Mercedes-Benz W219, was based upon the W219 platform, a W211 E-Class spin-off that is six inches (152 mm) longer. IVM Automotive, a subsidiary of German roof system specialist Edscha, developed the entire vehicle from the Vision concept to the production version. More than 150 IVM engineers were involved, making the CLS the largest vehicle development project in the company’s history. Design patents were first filed on July 24, 2002.
The CLS-class was first displayed as the Vision CLS concept at the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The first one rolled off the assembly line on April 20, 2004. The production version CLS 500 made its debut at the 2004 New York International Auto Show. An AMG version was introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, the CLS 55 AMG. Only 3,000 CLS 55 AMG cars were to be built each year.
On sale in Europe in 2004, the CLS was offered for sale in the United States in January 2005 as the CLS 500 and CLS 55 AMG. The first one for the export markets rolled off the assembly line on December 2, 2004. In 2006, Mercedes phased out both the 5.0L in the CLS 500 and 5.5L Supercharged V8 in the CLS 55 AMG in favor of two new 5.5L and 6.2L V8s. This resulted in the 2007 model year name change to the CLS 63 AMG (6.2L V8) and CLS 550 (5.5L V8) in the United States. The CLS 500 badge continues to be used in various markets with the 5.5L V8 motor.
Mercedes-Benz has planned a yearly production of 30,000 units worldwide, of which about 10,000 will be shipped to the U.S. market. The 2012 CLS 550 had a base price of US$72,175 in June 2011 (equivalent to £43905 today), with the CLS 55 starting at US$87,320. The 2012 CLS63 started at $96,775 (equivalent to £58869 today), for a base model, and is offered with steering wheel mounted paddles (F1 style), and 19″ wheels for the US market. It was assembled by Daimler AG in Sindelfingen, Germany and Mercedes-Benz Mexico in Toluca, Mexico.