The updated 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe and Shooting Brake range has launched in Australia, bringing a range of tweaks to one of the company’s style leaders.
Updates to the CLS range include subtly revised styling, more equipment, price cuts at the higher end of the range, a new CLS400 V6 coupe/sedan variant, and a new nine-speed automatic transmission on the CLS500 variants.
But perhaps most of note for performance enthusiasts is the end of the CLS63 AMG S Shooting Brake, which is now a coupe/sedan-only offering.
Stylistically, chief among the changes to the CLS range are the adoption of a new diamond-pattern grille, the revised bumper with larger intakes, new LED headlights with brighter and longer beams, and darkened rear tail-lights.
The Multibeam LED headlights, as Mercedes-Benz calls them, with adaptive automatic high beam operated by camera. They come standard across the range. Each headlight unit consists of 24 LED clusters, each of which can be switched on and off or dimmed individually by the car’s on-board computers.
The beam modules also swivel, meaning the CLS is capable of constantly lighting up the road as you round a corner. This happens not just via the wheel but also through the camera that reads the road ahead. The nav system also provides the headlights with additional directional lighting (left and right) at roundabouts.
Inside is a new free-standing 21.3cm display sitting above the instrument fascia and a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel.
There’s also more equipment across the range beyond the LED headlights: the CLS250 CDI coupe/sedan gets a 360-degree camera and illuminated door sills with Mercedes-Benz logos, while the Shooting Brake version in addition gets a cherry-wood luggage compartment floor with black inlays, a load-securing kit and rear privacy glass.
The CLS500 coupe/sedan gets on top of this new features including Multi-contoured, heated and cooled seats, an electric rear sun blind, better Exclusive Passion leather trim and a TV tuner. The Shooting Brake also gets the AMG Line Plus with racier exterior and interior styling bits, sports suspension and new alloy wheels.
This latter addition is because the company will no longer offer the CLS63 AMG S version of the Shooting Brake, with this hardcore version now only available on the coupe/sedan model. Demand from buyers just wasn’t there, it seems.
The CLS63 AMG S coupe/sedan gets a faster-shifting seven-speed DCT transmission than before, plus more equipment such as the 360-degree camera, the AMG Driver’s package with its increased 300km/h speed limiter, Easy Pack quick-folding rear seats and privacy glass.
On the engine front, the 150kW/500Nm 2.1-litre turbo-diesel kicks off both body-styles. The 4.7-litre CLS500 V8 remains also, with its 300kW/600Nm punch, but now with a nine-dpeed auto rather than the seven-speeder found on all other variants.
But between them, at least on the coupe/sedan, sits a new CLS400 version with a 245kW/480Nm (between 1200 and 4000rpm) 3.0-litre biturbo V6, and features above the CLS250 such as Airmatic electronically controlled dampers.
At the top of the pile is the 5.5-litre Biturbo V8-powered CLS63 AMG S coupe/sedan with its 430kW/800Nm punch, and 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.1 seconds. This version, as with all others, is a rear-drive proposition. Interestingly, this car does not adopt the company's new naming structure, which would label it Mercedes-AMG CLS 63.
Despite the positive changes, pricing at entry is unchanged, with the CLS250 CDI coupe/sedan costing $114,900 plus on-road costs, though the Shooting Brake version is up $900 to $124,900 over the outgoing 10 Edition version.
The CLS400 coupe/sedan slots into the range at $139,900 plus on-road costs, while the CLS500 in this body-style is now $169,000, which is a $9500 hike over the outgoing 10 Edition. The CLS500 Shooting Brake is now $179,900.
The flagship CLS63 AMG S coupe/sedan costs $249,000, which is in fact $13,175 cheaper than before.
These represent the most significant series of changes to the second-generation model range here since its local launch in coupe/sedan form in mid 2011 and the introduction of the Shooting Brake wagon in late 2012.
2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS pricing (plus on-road costs):
- CLS 250 CDI: $114,900
- CLS 400: $139,900
- CLS 500: $169,000
- CLS 63 AMG ‘S’: $249,000
CLS Shooting Brake:
- CLS 250 CDI: $124,900
- CLS 500: $179,900