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The third-generation 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS has been revealed at the Los Angeles motor show.

Some 15 years after the original made its debut, the new CLS brings a raft of upgrades including an overhauled interior, the latest driver assistance systems and a range of the company’s new inline six-cylinder engines.

Compared to the model it replaces, the third-generation four-door coupe is more in line with the current Mercedes-Benz design language, though there are subtle differences separating it from the core line-up.

The more aggressive face and longer bonnet give an imposing presence, while new LED headlights and s slimmer grille appear to draw inspiration from the Mercedes-AMG GT coupe.

As before, the swooping coupe-like roofline extends into a fastback bootlid, while the new tail-lights are a slightly different shape to other Mercedes-Benz ‘coupe’ models – though this could be due to it being a four-door.

The new car also continues the CLS trait of having pronounced rear shoulder line, which blends into the flat rear end.

Mercedes-Benz says the CLS’s split tail-lights, rear bumper reflectors, registration plate location at the rear and the logo at the centre of the boot-lid are design elements shared with all coupe models.

The most significant changes, arguably, have come on the inside, with the new CLS basically lifting its dashboard layout from the related E-Class.

Like the E-Class and S-Class, the new CLS features a dual 12.3-inch display for the driver’s instruments and infotainment system and turbine-like air vents, along with lashings of leather, wood and metal.

There’s also LED ambient interior lighting that can be adjusted in 64 different colours, including backlighting for the air vents – very snazzy – and the Energizing Comfort Control system that tailors lighting, climate control and audio according to several modes.

Mercedes-Benz says the seats in the CLS were designed specifically for this model series, and can be configured with contrasting piping or transverse seams.

The rear outer seats feature the same appearance as the front pews for a four-seater look, but the CLS is actually a five seater for the first time. Don’t expect it to be comfortable like an E-Class in the middle seat, though.

Meanwhile, the CLS offers new driver-assistance technologies from the S-Class flagship.

Standard across the range are autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assist, speed limit assist and the Pre-Safe occupant protection system. Pre-Safe Sound technology is also standard for the first time, preparing passengers’s hearing for the sensory assault of an accident when a collision is imminent.

Buyers can then opt for the Driving Assistance Package for adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, active speed limit assist, active blind-spot assist and active lane-keeping assist. There’s also a cross-traffic function for the AEB system, evasive steering assist and Pre-Safe Plus.

Mercedes-Benz says upgraded radar and camera systems mean the new CLS has a better ‘view’ of surrounding traffic, while using map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour. The CLS also features Vehicle-to-X communication equipment.

Three different suspension systems are offered, the first two being steel-sprung and the third the company’s air suspension system. Distinguishing the first two setups is the availability of adjustable dampers.

In terms of powertrains, new-gen CLS will be offered at launch with three new inline six-cylinder engines, two diesel and one petrol. A range of four-cylinder engines will join the range later on.

The CLS350d and CLS400d both feature a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel with 210kW/600Nm and 250kW/700Nm respectively. Both are equipped with 4Matic all-wheel drive, sprinting from 0-100km/h in 5.7 and 5.0 seconds respectively.

Claimed fuel consumption, meanwhile, is rated at 5.6L/100km for both variants.

Sitting atop the range is the CLS450 4Matic, which features a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six mated to a 48V on-board electrical system.

The petrol mill pumps out 270kW of power and 500Nm of torque, while the ‘EQ Boost’ mild-hybrid setup contributes an extra 16kW and 250Nm of torque over “short periods”.

Mercedes-Benz claims a 4.8-second 0-100km/h sprint for the petrol, with claimed consumption of 7.5L/100km combined. A particulate filter is also fitted as standard.

Finally, the CLS will be offered with a special ‘Edition 1‘ launch model – pictured in grey.

Available for “around one year after the market launch”, the CLS Edition 1 gets several exclusive appointments to help it stand out from the wider range.

Headlining equipment includes black pearl nappa leather with diamond stitching and copper accents, copper topstitching on the centre console, seats, armrests, dashboard and door linings, along with a special diamond grille with matte-chrome pins and louvre.

Other features include the AMG Line exterior package, 20-inch black AMG alloy wheels, multibeam LED headlights.

Australia

Mercedes-Benz’s local division has confirmed the new CLS will arrive Down Under in the second quarter of 2018, with further details to be revealed closer to launch.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for a full pricing and specifications run-down closer to the second quarter of next year.

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