A new look, more technology and a nine-speed automatic transmission are on the cards for the facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, which is expected to debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in late June before going on sale here in the first quarter of 2015.
The revised CLS-Class sedan spotted in Germany by our spy photographers boasts clear styling updates including a new 'diamond' grille similar to that seen on the A250 Sport hatchback, a heavily revised front bumper reminiscent of the all-new C-Class, and new high-tech headlights like those seen on the S-Class flagship.
These grainy images give little away in terms of the finished product, but under the skin there will be some significant changes, including the first application of a nine-speed automatic transmission for the Mercedes-Benz brand.
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.
Technologies from the flagship S-Class and heavily revised E-Class are expected to be offered in the updated model, including the Night Vision assistant - which projects an infra-red image of the road ahead between the speedometer and tachometer - and Distronic Plus active cruise control with steering assistance available on some models.
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.