Get out of my way!

Watch out, the more bru­tal CLS II is headed Down Un­der next year, writes Paul Gover in Italy

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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.

Value

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.

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