Mercedes-Benz established the current fastback sedan trend when it launched the original CLS over a decade ago. The iconic swoopy sedan now enters its third generation with the 2019 CLS unveiled on Wednesday at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The car also marks the introduction of the next step in the evolution of Mercedes’ “sensual purity” design philosophy. It’s a design philosophy where sculptural, three-dimensional surfaces take focus in creating character, as opposed to creases or overly complex graphics favored by other makes.
The 2019 CLS’s design is characterized by a rounded grille that almost mimics the aggressive Panamericana design favored by Mercedes-AMG. This grille flows into a hood with an almost fluid-like surface, and is flanked by wide, low-set headlights.
The side design is characterized by the high, arching waistline and the sporty, low greenhouse with frameless side windows. It’s a look that’s featured on all three generations of the CLS. Also typical of the CLS is the muscular rear shoulder line which blends smoothly into the flat rear end.
For the interior, there’s a major departure from previous CLS design themes. The turbine-style air vents and digital dash looks very modern. You’ll also notice the dual screens, one for the instrument cluster and the other the infotainment system, are enclosed within a single pane of glass just like on the latest S-Class models. Note, only a single screen, in this case for the infotainment system, is fitted as standard.
And only a CLS450 model will be available at launch, though buyers will be able to choose from rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. The powertrain in the CLS450 is Mercedes’ new 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with 48-volt mild hybrid technology. Here, a motor generator, which also serves as the starter motor, assists the internal combustion engine, for example when moving off the line or under high-load situations, and under braking it can recover energy. The inline-6 on its own delivers 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, while the motor generator adds a boost of 21 hp and 184 lb-ft.
Finally, it’s worth a mention that Mercedes’ new route-based speed adaptation system will be available on the 2019 CLS. The system automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed, up or down, for a number of road situations. Mercedes lists bends, highway exits, junctions, roundabouts and toll booths as examples.
The 2019 CLS will reach showrooms in the fall of 2018. Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch.