Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Dream Cars -

At the launch of the new As­benz Stern af­ter­sales fa­cil­ity in Kuan­tan, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia put the CLS450 on dis­play along­side the AMG GT C and May­bach S560. In spite of the high pro­file com­pany, most of Kuan­tan’s af­flu­ent ci­ti­zens who turned up for the party spent more time eye­ing the CLS, in­side and out, than they did the other two – cars they are un­likely to see in this part of Malaysia again af­ter the event was over.

Per­haps it’s the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the CLS450. It’s the most af­ford­able car here at RM650k, fully im­ported. But to not credit the way it looks would be a sin. From the side, the CLS’s sil­hou­ette is still a fa­mil­iar sight three gen­er­a­tions on. But the fluid lines on which Mercedes-Benz bases its coupe billing for the trim­mer E-Class lead up to the new cor­po­rate face that most Malaysians would recog­nise based on wide­spread pic­tures of the up­com­ing W177 A-Class.

The CLS450 cer­tainly strikes an el­e­gant pose – its AMG Line and Edi­tion 1 bits am­pli­fy­ing its vis­ual ap­peal. But the real gem lies un­der the hood. Mercedes-Benz is re­ally show­ing a keen­ness to con­nect with driv­ing tra­di­tion­al­ists by re­vert­ing to a three-litre straight-six en­gine for its big­ger sa­loons. It’s a tease at BMW purists who have been left long­ing for a new in­line six for a while, with a twist. An al­ter­na­tor and elec­tric mo­tor are fit­ted be­tween the en­gine and 9-speed trans­mis­sion, ef­fec­tively mak­ing the CLS450 a mild hy­brid ve­hi­cle.

Mercedes-Benz re­fuses to call it one out­right. In­stead, it brands this clever bit of tech as EQ Boost in ref­er­ence to the ad­di­tional 22bhp it of­fers to all four wheels over short pe­ri­ods. Yes, the CLS450 is a

4Matic as well, and even with the al­ter­na­tor dry, it still has a healthy 367bhp to play with. There’s also 500Nm of torque where those horses came from, help­ing the car to 100kph from a stand­still in less than five sec­onds.

The best part of those five sec­onds is the straight-six sound­track un­der­ly­ing the CLS450’s ac­cel­er­a­tion, which will surely give the in­tox­i­cat­ing croon of Stuttgart’s three-litre biturbo V6 used in its AMG 43 mod­els a run for its money. In fact, the same block is used to pro­pel the feistier AMG CLS53, but up­rated to pro­duce 435bhp and 520Nm. If you’re cu­ri­ous, the AMG will cost you RM156k more. Not that the CLS450 will leave you want­ing.

In Edi­tion 1 trim, it also of­fers buy­ers a Nappa leather in­te­rior, an IWC ana­logue clock and Edi­tion 1 brand­ing scat­tered across the car which should come in handy when the time to up­grade comes. We wouldn’t sell it if we had one, though. For all the poise and flair that ra­di­ates across Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s Dream Cars range, it’s the soul in the CLS450’s drive and de­sign that re­ally gets us go­ing. Which one’s your favourite?

Tri­an­gu­lar lights set the tone forMerc’s new fam­ily look. Like it?

Edi­tion 1 gets crafts­man­shipbe­fit­ting an S-ClassCLS’s slop­ing roofline might bring out the claus­tro­pho­biain taller pas­sen­gers

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