Cars > Peek

The all-new Mercedes-Benz CLS pops up

The luxurious fastback now has more high-tech toys

The all-new CLS-Class improves upon its already excellent predecessor. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

Mercedes-Benz has given a preview of the third-generation CLS-Class at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, the company is divulging even more information about the car. So here’s a peek into the latest version of the sexy luxury fastback from the German automaker.

While carrying on its tradition of “combining the elegance and dynamism of a coupe and the comfort and functionality of a sedan,” the all-new CLS ushers in the era of “Sensual Purity” design language, the most current from Stuttgart. And while it remains unique and stylish, following the silhouette of the outgoing model, the new car has lost the sharp edges and lines, making it look cleaner. Its drag coefficient of 0.26 is proof of that smoother, less-cluttered design.

Notice the much cleaner panels on the new-generation model. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

This CLS isn’t just good-looking, it has also become a lot smarter and safer. The car shares some of the most advanced driving-assist systems with the bigger, more luxurious S-Class sedan. Active Distance Control, Distronic and Active Steering Assist don’t just make the car even more comfortable to drive, they also guarantee the longevity of its bumpers and fenders. Utilizing a new and improved camera-and-radar system, the CLS analyzes driving behavior with the use of maps and navigational data, and then assists the driver when necessary. The system, for instance, automatically adjusts the vehicle speed before you reach the next corner.

The new CLS further evolves the shape of the so-called four-door coupe. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The new-generation CLS has received a range of new engines. One gasoline and two diesel powerplants are available. The top-spec model is equipped with a 3.0-liter, in-line-six petrol engine rated at 367hp and 500Nm, and complemented by what Mercedes calls EQ Boost. With tech derived from the brand’s Formula 1 cars, the gasoline motor has a starter/generator that allows it to receive up to 22hp and 250Nm over short periods, à la KERS (kinetic energy recovery system). This feature assists the petrol engine when accelerating, even negating the need for it to run while supplying power to the battery. With EQ Boost, you do not only get more power, you also get improved efficiency—with performance comparable to that of an eight-cylinder engine.

The diesel engines—both with six cylinders and a 3.0-liter displacement—are rated at 286hp/600Nm and 340hp/700Nm.

The new CLS has three engine choices with near-identical displacement and the same number of cylinders. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

One of the best technologies in the CLS is a great suspension system. All variants come standard with a “dynamically set-up steel comfort suspension.” Those who have a few more bucks to spend might want to have their cars equipped with the optional Dynamic Body Control and Air Body Control suspension aids. The former has a sporty setup but has continuously adjustable damping on all four wheels. The latter, on the other hand, is Mercedes’s very own air suspension system that ensures optimum comfort while letting you adjust and maintain the ride height and handling no matter how lightly or heavily laden the car is.

With a cockpit like this, who would want to sit in the back? PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

Inside, you can have two high-resolution 12.3-inch displays, giving you all the car-related information you need while making the cockpit look sharp. Outside, you can have multibeam LED headlamps that adjust to the traffic conditions you’re in.

The CLS has indeed come a long way, and in its third iteration, it ups the ante a notch even further. Buyers in global markets, however, will have to wait until March 2018 before they can get their hands on one. Meanwhile, it would be truly interesting to see how the adjusted car taxation scheme in the Philippines could impact its pricing once the car arrives in our market.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.