Mercedes-AMG CLS53 Edition1 4Matic+ now available in SA
As the head of the family, you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your family salon. No longer does a regular E-Class or 5-Series cut the mustard. You want something more stylish to differentiate you in the corporate carpark. But for those weekend drives to Harties and the Lowveld, you want something sporty. A large coupe like the E-Class Coupe is too impractical, but the S-Class sedan is too big. You want a practical 4-door sedan, with a slight performance orientation, but that also something stylish. What is the perfect fit? Mercedes seems to have solved your first world problem with their new CLS-Coupe.
Mercedes-Benz, makers of the first automobile, were the first to market with an executive sedan-coupe, in 2004. Based on the E-Class platform, the W219 CLS-Coupe which was initially designed by Michael Fink. With a similar platform, drivetrain and interior technology, the CLS was a less practical E-Class, with only 4 seats, less headroom and a smaller boot. The first generation sold like hotcakes, and so did the second gen, the W218, which had a very ferocious AMG model, the CLS63s, which packed a 5,5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 packing a mind-bending 430kW and a traction defying 800Nm.
The new AMG, the CLS53 is a new model in the AMG stable. It borrows the 3.0-litre, turbocharged straight six from the 43 models in other Mercs, and adds an electronic compressor which adds more power, and covers the gaps when the turbo is still spooling up. In total, the CLS53 produces 320kW and 527NM to all four wheels, through the 4Matic+ system which sends power to the rear wheels in most circumstances and only to the fronts in extreme conditions. It also has a 9-speed automatic gearbox with a wet clutch setup. This allows the 53 to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, on to a limited 250km/h top speed.
Looking at the styling of the CLS, we see it has a bold, coupe-like shape. The front features inspiration from the very popular A-Class. The front features angular headlights, which are slimmer than those in the outgoing model. It features LED daytime running lights, as well as Mercedes’ Multi-Bean LED system which features dynamic headlamps. The trapezoidal grille features a large Mercedes emblem (which also hides the sensors and radar for the safety features and cruise control), and a chrome twin spar bar running across the grille, with the AMG lettering featuring on it. Below that, as well as on both sides of the bumper, we find air intakes which feed air into the engine for cooling, as well as to cool the brakes and for aerodynamics.
Down the side of the CLS, Mercedes steered clear from cluttering the design. We find no hard lines, merely softer lines which provide the car with an elegant look. The CLS has the same length as the E-Class, as well as a similar wheelbase, however, it has a lower roof, and a coupe shape rear end. The continues in the rear, where the CLS has a smaller rear profile than the E-Class. It features taillights similar to those on the A-Class. They are angular and feature LED-bulbs. The boot lid features a small spoiler, and below that is a profile line which connects the taillights. A black diffuser, with 4 chrome tailpipes (although these look good, they aren’t real) from which the straight-six sounds surprisingly good (take notes, BMW).
Moving onto the interior, we find arguably one of the best-looking interiors in the entire motoring industry It’s similar to the one found in the E- and S-Class. It doesn’t feature the new MBUX infotainment system found in the A-Class, instead, it features the last generation of the COMAND infotainment system which debuted in the S-Class in 2013. In front of the driver, you find two 12,3-inch displays, which provide a smorgasbord of information. The steering wheel is also beautiful to behold, and hold, and has many buttons which control the 2 screens, volume and track adjustment, as well as various other features.
The first display tales the place of the traditional gauge cluster found behind the steering wheel. It’s controlled by trackpads on the steering wheel. It features traditional information such a speedometer and rev counter. Additionally, a fuel gauge, temperature gauges, trip information and other such vehicle information can be displayed on this screen. You are also able to change the style of gauge cluster displayed, should you want a more sporty feel. You can also display information from the entertainment system, as well as the navigation on the first screen.
The second, main infotainment screen sits in the middle of the dashboard. It’s controlled either by a trackpad on the steering wheel or the central swivel wheel with a trackpad on top of it. The infotainment system has smartphone mirroring through Android Auto and Apple Carplay, as well as other features such as satellite navigation, and controls for the massaging front seats, which should be a treat on longer journeys. The rest of the dashboard is typical Mercedes, with swathes of leather, metal, and carbon fibre. The coolest feature is the 64-colour ambient lighting, which allows you to change the colour of the ambient lighting at your whim. The panoramic sunroof also adds an airy, open feeling to the cockpit. The front seats can be optioned with the AMG bucket seats, which hold you in place when you’re driving sportily, although they may be uncomfortable on longer journeys.
The CLS53 is a brilliant car. It looks the part, and it certainly goes the part. With it also not being as thirsty as a 63 model, its kinder to your wallet (and your rear tyres) too. Should you want an allrounder, which outperforms its competition, the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 Edition 1 4Matic+ is the car for you. To get your hands on an Edition 1 model, which is limited to the first year of production, you need to shell out R1 706 900, before the plentiful options you will most likely add. Is it worth it? Absolutely.