In a major shake-up of the local Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class range, more than $50,000 has been cut from the the V8-powered CLS500, while the CLS350 petrol and diesel variants have been dropped.
Previously priced from $210,300, the twin-turbocharged 300kW/600Nm 4.7-litre V8 CLS500 now costs $159,900, down $50,400.
The CLS500 effectively replaces the now-discontinued 225kW/370Nm 3.5-litre V6 CLS350, which was priced from $158,700.
The CLS500 – along with the entry-level CLS250 CDI – will be offered exclusively in special ‘Avantgarde 10’ specification, created to celebrate 10 years since the launch of the original CLS-Class.
Avantgarde 10 variants (pictured) gain 19-inch alloy wheels, active-cornering adaptive LED headlamps, AMG body kit and electronically controlled Airmatic damping system, heated front seats, and a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system.
The CLS500 Avantgarde 10 also uniquely gains an Easy-Pack quick-fold rear seat system and DAB+ digital radio, but loses the ventilated seats and rear sunblinds standard in the previous CLS500.
The CLS250 CDI Avantgarde 10 sedan and shooting brake variants are also now $5000 cheaper, priced from $114,900 and $124,000 respectively.
Mercedes-Benz Australia corporate communications senior manager David McCarthy told CarAdvice the range restructure was intended to keep interest high in the CLS-Class ahead of the introduction of the facelifted model, due in local showrooms early in 2015.
McCarthy said the CLS350 duo was discontinued because neither was a strong seller. He said the dramatic price cut for the CLS500 was motivated by the CLS350’s exit and the brand’s determination to sell higher numbers of the V8-powered variant.
The CLS500 is set to be replaced by a new nameplate from next year, likely to be called the CLS400. As with the E400 – which replaced the E500 in the large luxury sedan and wagon range – the CLS400 will trade the CLS500’s V8 for a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 producing 245kW and 480Nm.
Power and torque will fall 55kW and 120Nm, though 0-100km/h acceleration ability is expected to remain competitive with the V8’s 5.2-second claim, and combined cycle fuel consumption should improve by more than 20 per cent to less than 8.0 litres per 100km.
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class manufacturer’s list prices: