CLS450 EDITION 1
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?
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