[dropcap]B[/dropcap]y the traditional definition, a coupe is a car with two doors. Yet 10 years ago Mercedes-Benz designers introduced the beautiful CLS and proclaimed it had created a new class — the four-door coupe class — and over the years many other manufacturers have followed with similar vehicles.
My reservations about the definition aside, the CLS is a stunningly beautiful automobile, yet it has been extensively revised for 2015. Designers honed the front section of the car and gave it an even more luxurious interior with many new handcrafted details.
New technical innovations were added, including Multibeam LED headlights, a nine speed automatic transmission (for the CLS550 rear-wheel drive), a powerful new fuel-efficient engine and intelligently networked driver assistance and safety systems.
The new CLS continues with a long hood, narrow window line with frameless side windows and a downward sloping roof. Overall, the design is even more dynamic with a new chrome diamond radiator grille, a striking front bumper with large air intakes and slightly darkened tail lights.
Under the hood
The CLS400 has a new 3.0 liter V-6 bi-turbo engine that delivers an 329 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque. It’s paired with the existing seven-speed automatic transmission, which has built a reputation for efficiency and comfort. The CLS550 has a 4.6-liter bi-turbo V- 8with 577 hp and 590 pounds-feet of torque and it is mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission that reduces fuel consumption and further enhances shift comfort and agility.
The CLS-Class vehicles also have such standard safety features as the Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can help prevent rear-end collisions if necessary through autonomous braking. Other amazing safety features are available, such as Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, Bas Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Pre- Safe Brake with pedestrian detection, Pre-Safe Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Parking Assist with ParkTronic including lateral parking maneuvers and a 360-degree camera.
At the same time, a completely new multimedia generation will offer intuitive operation in the CLS. The Audio 20 CD or optional COMAND Online infotainment systems are available in combination with the new eight inch color display in the head unit. Both enable the Internet to be surfed without restrictions when the vehicle is at a stop. The prerequisite is a Bluetooth-capable mobile phone with data option. Also standard is an integrated media interface to connect an iPod and iPhone.
In conjunction with COMAND Online, Mercedes-Benz Apps such as Weather, Google Local Search with StreetView and Panoramio, destination/route download and Facebook are now all offered. Audio and video playback is possible from various sources via Bluetooth — from the Apple iPod and iPhone, from SD card, USB stick or CD/DVD.
Base pricing for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS range from $65,990 to $106,550.[author image=”http://www.samaonline.org/Ron.jpg” ]Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.[/author]