Mercedes has sent us official photos of the 2011 Mercedes CLS and a few crumbs of detail on the new CLS ahead of the Paris Motor Show.
Last week saw the first dribble of what will undoubtedly become a flood of leaks in the run up to the Paris Motor Show at the start of October, with the leaking of official photos of the 2011 Mercedes CLS. When we reported the leak we did say we expected Mercedes to extract a digit and dish out the official gen sooner rather than later.
So this bright Sunday morning (Sunday, eh? That’ll teach us to leak Mercedes’ stuff) we get treated to a selection of official photos of the 2011 CLS (insert 2012 CLS if you’re in the US) and some detail. Not the usual album full of photos or the press release full of minutia, just enough to cover what was leaked and a bit more whilst still leaving some powder dry for Paris.
The new CLS is quite a challenge for Mercedes. The current model CLS – despite disparaging comments when it hit the headlines in 2004 that a coupe couldn’t have four doors – has been probably the biggest trend-setter of a car in a generation. Every car maker from the mass market end with VW to the rarefied end of the spectrum with Aston Martin has got in on the swoopy-coupe market with their own versions.
But it was Mercedes who started it all – or certainly made it successful – with the CLS. And – at least in our eyes – the CLS was the star of the Mercedes world because it dared to be different. It didn’t look corporate inside or out and we loved the Thug-in-Armani that was the CLS55 AMG (which got a bit lost with the CLS63). So where to go with the new CLS?
Evolution, not revolution is the answer. CLS as is – just a bit more so. Perhaps even – with its bigger dimensions – more practical (which we don’t like), but more of the same, just brought up to date.
The new CLS gets what is becoming the Mercedes family nose (a modern take on the SEC grill – and all the better for it) and the option of super-trendy full LED lights. But it’s back to the future inside with a column mounted gear change, but this time round it’s not three speed with a double de-clutch to make it work.
The rest of the interior – which stays a proper four-seater – is again an evolution of the current car, thankfully retaining a lot of the individuality of the current CLS.
Mercedes hasn’t given us anything on the oily bits – they’re saving that for Paris – but you can bet your house on the latest V6 and V8 units finding their way in to the 2011 CLS and it’s a strong bet – so we’re told – that Mercedes will be dropping in a turbo 4-pot oilburner.
That’s it for the information Merceds sent us, but it also seems likely that in addition to full details on the CLS at Paris we will get to see the Mercedes CLS Estate – or Mercedes CLS Shooting Break / Brake – in some sort of production form (the concept of which we saw at Beijing in the Spring).
Paris is looking good for Mercedes.