Promocija Srpska verzija

Mercedes CLS

In the Cradle of Art

When it appeared (2003), the Mercedes CLS was the piece of art on four wheels as the first four-door coupe ever.


Florence, the medieval center of European culture is unique not only for its incredible cultural heritage, but it can also be proud being the birthplace of many brilliant minds, without whose work the world of today would not be as it is. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sandro Botticelli and Galileo Galilei have marked the renaissance, stirred up the spirits and pulled on themselves the wrath of the ruthless inquisition. Nowadays, the public is generally stirred by various bad news, but sometimes, by some car concept as well. It is likely the connection between art and steel, and the reason for presenting new CLS here, in Florence.

Mercedes “stirred” up the spirits in 2003, when “silently”, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, showed Vision CLS concept. Brazenly beautiful and big coupe with four doors. Now, some would say – so, what is so revolutionary? Well, nothing, I replied, except that the majority of E and D segments cars turned into four-door coupes. And not because the practicality of the car’s low body but because of very good looking, and because it is very aerodynamic. The CLS was the first to show the direction where to go.


Although Mercedes CLS is a four-door coupe, there is plenty of room in the rear, not only for the knees but also the passengers’ heads. Of course, as befits a prestigious limousine, there are two separate rear seats

How to Withstand Time?
The first CLS showed something more – that a good design can withstand time. Even today, seven years after its release, the first CLS is very beautiful! Perhaps even more beautiful than it is worth, especially when we mention driving characteristics. I have just never managed to resist the feeling that the CLS looks better than it drives. It is a matter of subjective feeling and taste, of course, but fairly persistent. However, despite my feelings, the first CLS has been sold in over 150 000 units, which is a great result for such an exclusive car. Unfortunately, one cannot stop the time and the change of generations had to come. Nothing new and terrible, but… CLS is not the one and the only, and even in this second start, there is a serious competition waiting for it – Audi A7 in the first place, and those that are yet to come. Honestly, Mercedes has a starting advantage, but it can easily be melted down if it does not look behind.

The principle is “simple” – keep what it should be kept and modify what you can do better. If it were so easy, I would make cars. However, Mercedes took that road. The excellent basis is largely retained. The form of the body and its proportions are not significantly changed. Only a few, hardly noticeable inches, and that’s it. It is a safe bet and there are no objections. There is no reason for that either. The CLS looks powerful, and when added that frontal drag coefficient is only 0.26, the only debate that remains is on the level of the taste diversity. The new CLS slightly turned to the dynamics.

     

The attention to details is like you would expect from Mercedes: retro analog clock in the center console just exudes prestige and tradition

 

Mercedes CLS 350 CDI

Engine
Type/cylinders turbo diesel, V6
Displacement [cm3] 2987
Valves/injection type 24/common-rail
max power [kW/hp/rpm] 195/265/3800
torque [Nm/rpm] 620/1600-2400
Body
type/seats/doors coupe/4/4
L x W x H [mm] 4940x1881x1416
wheelbase [mm] 2874
vehicle weight/payload [kg] 1815/485
boot capacity [l] 520
Suspension
front MacPherson, coil springs, shock absorbers, antiroll bar
rear multilink, coil springs, shock absorbers, antiroll bar
Brakes
front/rear int. ventilated discs/discs
Tires
dimensions 245/45 R17
Power transmission
RWD
transmission type/gears automatic/7
Test data by Vrele Gume
Performance

acceleration 0-100 km/h [s] 6,2
max speed [km/h] 250
average fuel consumption [l/100 km] 6,0
CO2 emission 159g
Price (with VAT) € : not determined yet

Not the E Class
Inside, the CLS turned to neither way. Even what is picked up from the E Class as a basis is adapted and changed beyond recognition, including dashboard, instruments and steering wheel. The changes are sufficient to make the customer feel that the overpayment is not for “just manicured” E Class. And those few extra inches are most felt in the rear seats that have definitely become more usable, especially in the terms of passengers height.

Now we come to the essence, if we consider that the appearance is a “form”. CLS shares platform with the E Class, but it is not just a “manicured” E Class. After a few hundred kilometers through Tuscany, the first impression is that CLS becomes a real “CLS-Class”. The suspension is far better adjusted, and the set up uses the lower center of gravity and fairly serious “diet” of CLS. In fact, almost all major body components (the boot lid, hood, front fenders and doors) are made of aluminum, as well as much of the suspension components, which put down car’s weight on (for Mercedes) reasonable 1800 kg. Seven-speed 7G-Tronic transmission (with the label “Plus) went through the audit which brought quicker and more decisive reactions and efficient gear changes in manual mode. However, a new, different and better character of the driving dynamics should be looked for in a real innovation – electric servo assistance. From my personal and subjective point of view, the CLS finally drives as it looks, to be more precise – it is more dynamic and more determined. Obviously, the CLS did not have to become uncomfortable. It is still a Mercedes from the most positive sense of the word, including the excellent acoustic insulation.

After a few hundred kilometers through Tuscany, the first impression is that CLS becomes a real “CLS-Class”. The suspension is far better adjusted, and the set up uses the lower center of gravity and fairly serious “diet” of CLS
The most impressive among V6 engines is for sure 350 CDI with the 620 Nm torque at just 1600 rpm

Much More Convincing
Engine selection has been reduced to a rational level. The new thing is four-cylinder 2.2 CDI (under the designation 250 CDI) with 204 hp, but the diesel fans’ favorite will be (with reason) 350 CDI with 265 hp and massive torque of 650 Nm. Gasoline is, for the time being, represented with a 3.5 V6 with 225 hp, and V8 with 408 hp. The optional 4Matic all-wheel drive is also new.

Let’s make a conclusion until some more extensive tests – Mercedes CLS second-generation is more dynamic, “younger” of course, but also more convincing. It is safer with PreSafe, nine airbags, and of course Active Blind Spot Assist, which along with short-wave radar monitors both sides of the vehicle and warns the driver with vibrations in the steering wheel, in case of lane departure etc. In case of some imminent danger, the system applies the brakes of inner wheels.

We will talk about the price and some other things early next year, when it goes on sale, and I must admit that I can hardly wait. I do not know whether it is because of Italy or Renaissance Florence, but somehow, we experienced the love at first sight.

The new thing is four-cylinder 2.2 CDI (under the designation 250 CDI) with 204 hp, but the diesel fans’ favorite will be (with reason) 350 CDI with 265 hp and massive torque of 650 Nm
from Florence, Aleksandar Uglješić
foto: A. Uglješić, Mercedes
aleksandar.ugljesic@vrelegume.rs
Translated by Pavle Barta
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