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by Matt Campbell

The facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLS has been teased ahead of its Goodwood debut next week, bringing a sharp new look and more technology, including high-tech headlights that can shield oncoming drivers from being dazzled.

The updated Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – which was spied last month wearing minimal camouflage – brings a new look inspired by the all-new C-Class, including a sportier-looking front bumper with large air intakes and a new ‘diamond’ grille similar to that seen on the A250 Sport hatchback.

But its headlights are the jewels in the new CLS’ crown – the Multibeam LED front lights make use of 24 individual LEDs that can apportion light so as not to dazzle oncoming drivers. This is not a new function for Mercedes-Benz, as it has a similar system in the S-Class flagship model which uses 56 LEDs in each headlight assembly, but in this instance the LEDs work in a similar way to the Audi Matrix LEDs – with right and left headlamps operating separately, all 24 LEDs able to be used or blanked according to what is required.

Mercedes CLS 6

The German brand says a camera is positioned behind the windscreen that sends information to four control units to ensure “the ideal light pattern 100 times per second”. The camera will tell the beams to bend as you approach a corner, and the headlights can also be influenced as the car approaches a roundabout by taking information from the satellite navigation system. With high beams on, Mercedes claims the illuminated field stretches 485 metres – 20 per cent further than regular high beams.

No other information has been made public about the new CLS, but it is expected to be the first model in the Mercedes line-up to be offered with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The 9G-Tronic gearbox is said to help the car slash fuel use over the existing seven-speed auto ‘box, while also offering smoother shifts. It is expected to be fitted to most petrol and diesel CLS models over time, though it’s not clear if it can be applied to the flagship CLS 63 AMG S model, which is powered by a punchy 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 with 430kW and 800Nm.

Mercedes CLS 2

Technologies from the flagship S-Class and heavily revised E-Class are expected to be offered in the updated model, possibly including the Night Vision assistant – which projects an infrared image of the road ahead between the speedometer and tachometer – and Distronic Plus active cruise control with steering assistance.

The CLS is expected to see a significant interior update as well, with a new top-mounted tablet style media screen, revised dashboard and new door trims. See images of the new interior here.

The new CLS debuts at next week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, and the first examples of the revised model are expected in Australia in the first quarter of 2015.

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the brand’s new Multibeam LEDs.




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