MercedesBenz CLS & CLS 55 AMG (2005) motoring com au

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E350 2011 v6 sports black

Mercedes-Benz CLS CLS 55 AMG (2005-) (June

55’s powerplant

Not so much

seat egress

Headroom and back

Noisy rubber on 500

The sedans came in small medium (E), and large (S) and the wore an SL badge. Then came the CLs, CLKs, — all of which started to the nomenclature rules.

Offroaders lust for the cross country of the G wagons and the As and Ms broke new ground in of vehicle type and Mercedes market. Now, there’s a B just around the corner and the end of 2005 we’ll see the first R displayed in Australia.

The CLS, most recent release, Down Under just week. It adds yet another to the M-B family tree — further confuses the badge-watching Based on E-Class architecture, it is a low-roofed sedan which a contradictorily has been dubbed a coupe by Mercedes and pundits the globe.

Three models eventually be offered by Mercedes-Benz in At launch two V8 models will be (CLS500 and CLS 55 AMG hottie) and, this year we’ll get the powered by Mercedes’ excellent 3.5lt V6.

Benz says the CLS is as it combines the elegance and dynamism of a with the comfort and practicality of a As noted above, though on E-Class mechanicals, the CLS certainly has a and on-road presence all of its own.

Much of the discussion about the CLS focus on its low-roofed sweeping lines. Some early likened the styling to that of the AU Falcon. And not just locals. In the however, there’s no doubt the car is — it’s unlikely going to mistake the Benz for a banger up close.

On the road the car has presence. The rear end, in print, has a fluidity that is, coupe-like. The heavy crease runs the length of the car adds and there’s an aggressive flare to the that doesn’t come in two-dimensional imagery. There’s a hint of SLK about the lines of the A and front guard. Don’t this car until you’ve it in the metal.

Unlike its E-Class equivalents, the CLS gets an individual specification Forget Elegance and Avantgarde, the CLS is comprehensively equipped. Like the SL, CL and SLK equipment is ramped up along the engine cylinders and power. spec is at least a step up on the E.

Priced from under (pricing will be released to the cars’ arrival later in the CLS350 will effectively be the model of the range. With trim and lashings of burl however, buyers will go for little. Standard appointments in the CLS include Thermotronic four-zone control system, Comand navigation and display system with six-disc CD, speed-sensitive steering, Parktronic parking control, Bi-Xenon headlamps the cornering function and 17-inch The 350 also gets gearshift on the steering wheel, like the smart headlights and up-spec control an option on the equivalent E.

The premium is $16,000 on paper, but reckons on the extra cost for the CLS closer to $5K once specification is

The $173,900 CLS500 raises the level further, including DC air suspension, glass electric TV tuner and 18-inch wheels with 40-series rubber.

Top of the CLS is the AMG-fettled CLS 55 AMG. Priced at the hi-po CLS gets a swag of goodies under the skin, profile 18-inch rubber and a upgrade in cabin, driver and equipment spec.


The CLS with its lashings of leather and ‘soft’ form curved panel and timber-planked dash is a departure for Benz. Though no doubting the dramatic exterior take centre stage, the plays a substantial role in the that differentiates the four-door its more upright E Class

This individual character is enhanced by the distinctly un-Germanic the CLS debuts. With seating for and curves aplenty, the next who compares the ambience of Benz’s with best of the British builders will not be the last.

The componentry is familiar but there’s a swag of Jag about the CLS’s Both the driver and passenger are but such is the sweep of the scuttle and that they each end up their own ‘zone.’ The console is into the rear making the CLS a four-seater.

A selection of timber is offered in both high and ‘silk matt’ finishes. the ‘designo’ selection, there are 14 colours from which to

The CLS is built on the same wheelbase as the E and, according to M-B, conventional saloon levels of leg, shoulder and headroom. The is that while rear leg and may be up on the likes of BMW’s 6 Series it is still markedly reduced on a sedan. The deeply sloping window line means getting in and out of the back seat a little familiarisation.

Such is the of the CLS that 183cm my co-driver to have the front seat at its setting to get headroom in the front.

constraints may mean that prospective CLS buyers will stay with the E. What argues is the limited headroom and rear seat space are price to pay for the show-stopping looks of the Ultimately you will be the judge with almost half of the 400 (approx) car 2005 allocation it may well be on to something.

All versions get adjustable memory front as standard equipment. Active or and dynamic multi-contour seats are as options.

There’s no arguing about space — it’s a golf bag boot with a clever packing. Though not as as the E, it’s more than and, yes, there is a size spare (350/500 55 AMG gets a spacesaver) although it is to a lightweight ‘limited use’


Mercedes-Benz has long leadership in the field of car safety. on the E Class, the CLS picks up all of the saloon’s systems.

All recent Mercedes boast a three-stage impact system which combines absorption zones and a central safety cell to maximize safety.

Seat belt belt force limiters, airbags and curtain bags are all of the extensive armoury as are the standard of safety-related driver aids ABS, Emergency Brake traction and stability control. are, if the safety system is — it’s standard on a Mercedes-Benz and the CLS is no exception.

The new four-door however be one of the first Mercedes to available with the maker’s new preventative occupant protection Available in the near future, to M-B, PRE-SAFE is able to emergency situations and intervenes to both the occupants and the vehicle for an collision. The system automatically: the seat belts of the driver and adjusts the front passenger if it is in an unfavourable position; automatically the sunroof and side windows.

Mercedes-Benz: the development responds to research findings which that more than two of all traffic accidents follow driving situations — emergency braking or sudden action — which the conclusion to be drawn that a is imminent. This valuable before a crash, which can be seconds, has previously been for passive occupant protection — well-proven protective such as seat belts, or belt tensioners have gone into action an impact.


Under the new skin, the CLS echoes the equivalent E Class Chassis platform, basic componentry and powertrain mechanicals are all from the E Class parts Not that that is any way devalues the CLS we’re on record writing the E Class, especially in 3.5lt V6 350 is one of our favourite prestige saloons.

E350 2011 v6 sports black

The CLS 350 is with the same newly-developed V6 and 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox graces the E350. With an of 200kW and max torque of 350Nm 2400rpm, it’s a lusty that should offer a of performance and refinement.

According to Benz, the six-cylinder CLS accelerates 0-100km/h in 7.0sec, is electronically-limited to and has an ADR 81/01 fuel consumption of

Packing a 225kW 460Nm V8 engine, the CLS500 does the quoted sprint in a rapid and claims a remarkably frugal Top speed is also electronically-limited.

engines are partnered with much-applauded 7G-TRONIC seven-speed transmission. We’ve sampled trannie in everything from to E Class wagons and the odd glitch (see E 350 Estate test) can to its competence. One day all cars will a self-shifter this good.

is shared with the E, though the CLS has a track. Suspension tuning is to the CLS. In both steel and versions the car’s stance is (than the equivalent E) and the componentry is for sportier performance. As such is no sport suspension option on the Of course, the AMG car takes the underpinnings to the level via its own version of the semi-active, Damping-equipped Airmatic DC.

The CLS 55 AMG is powered by one of the engines of the moment. Proven in the E 55, CL 55 and S 55, the 5.5lt V8 pumps out an impressive of power and 750Nm of torque. is effortless with 100km/h up in just 4.7sec from Keep the pedal buried and is reached in just over

Like the above-mentioned performance the CLS mates the blown eight AMG’s Speedshift five-speed Unlike the 7G, Speedshift has a full option — no upshifts or allowed. Steering wheel toggles or the conventional lever can be to do the shifting.


Buyers of and Italian cars were as peripheral targets for the CLS, but the have been firmly on the BMW 6 Series and 5 Series as well as A6. Indeed, M-B expects up to 40 per cent of CLS will be new to the marque and that will be eschewing a ‘true’ to jump onboard.

It is the 645 that the car has often been compared Priced at $196,000 the Bavarian is a deal more expensive the Benz. It is also, arguably, a 2+2 rear seat use considerably restricted than the CLS.

the ‘Jag-fighter’ by its development engineers, the CLS points to where Jaguar be today with a modicum of and some adventurous design. hardly a surplus of XJ and S-type Down Under — now car has hit there could be even


CarPoint drove the and 55 AMG over a 400km-plus launch on some of the same FNQ roads during the recent E90 3 Series The mix of roads and weather conditions yes, it does rain in FNQ in delivered a reasonable opportunity to the cars in everything but freeway and city going.

Smooth and if not exactly blindingly quick, the is an accomplished mile-eater. With the DC set on the softest ‘Comfort’ setting intrudes in the way of bumps though body control is a little Opt for Sport 1 or 2 and the car is tied down a more and is happy when on.

The steering is quicker than the E and provides a reasonable degree of without being demanding. The Pilot Sport tyres to the 500 we drove were noisy on the surfaces, however.

The 55 AMG is a true saloon with an addictive of power and a wonderful blend of and exhaust noise when Rolling on lower profile, rubber the car is a little more to follow surface irregularities but more a function of its eagerness to the helm than any roadholding

In damp conditions we were to let the traction and stability control to do its and concentrate on pointing the car in the right There’s no doubt the latest on the electric nanny is the most yet. You might notice the light flashing on the dash, but you’ve seriously overcooked or been deliberately hamfisted the is not obtrusive. Top stuff.

There’s a hint of serious burble the CLS 55. And you can appreciate it even at 110km/h for compared to the Michelins on the 500, the PZero Rosso rubber is a quieter.

All that remains is for us to what could be the real pick of the bunch, the CLS 350. One of the powerplants on the road today, in the CLS the V6 be a cracker. We’ll let you know you can count on it.

Published. Wednesday, 1 2005

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