Get out of my way!
Watch out, the more brutal CLS II is headed Down Under next year, writes Paul Gover in Italy
IT’S always hard in the car business to do a sequel off the back of a success story, and the latest Mercedes-Benz CLS proves it. The original four-door coupe is a sales winner and a category pioneer, converting people to the idea of a four-seat sedan with a curvy coupe roofline, so CLS II is more of the same. But . . .
Benz has done a good job to improve the package and value, with a number of important new safety systems, but there are questions about the styling of the car that lands in Australia in the first half of next year.
If the original CLS was as smooth and unruffled as Pierce Brosnan playing James Bond, then the new car is Daniel Craig. It’s still 007, but harder edged, more brutal and threatening.
Benz knows it is pushing the limit with CLS II and it could polarise buyers, but there is a strategy.
‘‘I think the world is becoming a bit more obvious. There is a higher demand for showing your label, your brand,’’ says Benz’s chief de- signer, Gordon Wagener, says. He has definitely driven the CLS forward and there is lots of stuff inside his body to like, from a slightly roomier cabin to a driving experience that’s more planted and more refined.
Mercedes-Benz Australia is also promising pricing for the new team — with V8, V6 petrol and turbodiesel engines — that will be almost line-ball with the current stickers, which points to a starting price around $155,000.
A LOT of money has gone into the new CLS but it is not going to cost a lot more to buy. That’s a win.
The engines are upgraded, and the V6 petrol is an impressive newcomer, while the CLS gets Benz’s classy seven-speed automatic.
It’s too early for Benz to confirm prices or equipment for Australia, but CLS II should come loaded and the company always boosts safety
The CLS, take two: Mercedes-Benz is taking a harder-edged version of their winning four-door coupe for a spin.