The forthcoming Mercedes-Benz CLS will go toe-to-toe with Audi’s A7 and the entry-level Porsche Panamera when it goes on sale in 2018

New Mercedes CLS trims and equipment

Mercedes will only offer the CLS in AMG Line trim at the car’s launch, which includes Mercedes’ dual-screen TFT display setup as showcased in the E and S Class. The arrangement consists of two 12.3-inch screens acting as the instrument cluster and infotainment interaction point. 19-inch alloy wheels and Agility Control suspension will also be standard on all CLS models.

Additional technology and luxuries will be available through three upgrade packages: Premium Plus, Comfort and Driving Assistance Plus. Premium Plus adds keyless entry, electrically adjustable (front) seats and steering wheel, Burmester surround system and sunroof that are also included.

The Comfort package includes nappa leather and Mercedes’ air purification system as well as air suspension.

The Driving Assistance Plus package, features Mercedes-Benz’s semi-autonomous, route detection technology – the vehicle is able to recognise junctions and roundabouts allowing it to adjust its speed accordingly.

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New Mercedes CLS engines

Entry point to CLS ownership will be the 350d 4Matic (all CLS will be four-wheel drive), with its 3.0-litre in-line six diesel producing 210kW and 600Nm of torque and driving through Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic gearbox. The more powerful 400d produces 250kW and 600Nm.

The CLS 450’s petrol engine, producing 270kW and 565Nm of torque, is boosted by an electric motor generating 15kW and an additional 250Nm – giving the most potent CLS a 0-100km/h time of 4.8sec (the 350d and 400d reach the benchmark sprint in 5.7 and 5.0sec respectively).

The EQ Boost system fitted to the CLS 450 not only provides a performance advantage by adding to the internal combustion engine’s power and torque output during acceleration, but also allows the engine to run in ‘sailing’ mode and will charge the batteries via energy recuperation.

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Mercedes CLS chassis and suspension

Underpinning the new CLS is a four-link front and five-link rear suspension, with steel springs and passive dampers standard across the model line, with Mercedes’ air suspension and adjustable and adaptive dampers available at extra cost. 18-inch alloy wheels will be standard fitment.

Staying true to the CLS’s distinctive design, the latest iteration retains its low roofline, arching waistline and hunched rear arches, flat-sided windows and a forward slanting nose. There’s a new wider grille and front LED headlamps (the two-section rear lamps feature the same technology). As with previous CLS models, the latest car boasts an impressive drag figure of just 0.26.