Future Cars: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Will Be An Exercise On Elegance

When launched in 2004, the Mercedes-Benz CLS was a breath of fresh air within the four-door luxury sedan class. In fact, Stuttgart coined a new term for the car, calling it a four-door coupe, with many other automakers following suite, including BMW which created the 6-Series Gran Coupe as a direct competitor to the CLS.

Seven years later, in 2011, we saw the introduction of the current, second-generation CLS, which retained the coupe theme, but muscled-up the styling.

Now time has come for the German luxury brand to introduce a third-generation. So let’s take an illustrated preview at what to expect:

Elegant, Yet Powerful Styling:

Inspired by the AMG GT, the front-end takes on a more aggressive approach; cue a large and angry-looking grille, forward-leaning headlights and a dominant lower intake that looks ready to inhale anything in its path.

The view from the sides is perhaps a little more restrained than the out-going car, Here, the character lines are straighter and more elegant. On the original CLS, the droopy rear was likened to that of ill-fated, Australian AU Ford Falcon of the late 1990’s. No such hint of that this time round as the rear is squatter, with Audi-like, horizontal tail-lamps leading into the trunk-lid.

Under the Skin:

Based on the versatile MRA platform, the CLS shares its underpinnings with the current E-Class. However it does appear to be wider and longer – helping to improve occupant space and accommodating its staunch, yet elegant new look.

Another benefit of the new platform, is the availability of either rear or all-wheel-drive and plug-in hybrid options. Fans of the inline six can rejoice; expect the volume seller to have a 3.0-litre, turbocharged straight-six and a 9-speed automatic.

AMG enthusiasts will not be forgotten either, with two levels of potency in CLS50 and the full-fruit CLS63 guises. Borrowed from the AMG E63 S, the latter’s twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 will be brutally fast producing 603 ponies.

The Other Good Bits:

There had been speculation Mercedes-Benz may drop the CLS nomenclature in favor of ‘CLE’, as part of a streamlined naming strategy. The reason for change was that the CLS is technically an E-Class in different clothes, however recent conjecture suggests the CLS nameplate holds too much weight to abandon.

Unfortunately what has been culled is the gorgeous shooting-brake variant – we can only hope it reappears at a later date.

When it debuts in 2018 as a MY2019 model, the CLS will immediately walk into a dog fight with Audi’s all-new A7 and RS7 variants. BMW will also be ready and waiting too – albeit with its odder-looking, but way more practical 6-Series GT.

Share your thoughts about the new CLS in the comments below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

Photo Gallery

  • WG

    The side profile looks bland, though I don’t think the side character line will resemble that in the rendering.

  • TheBelltower

    Okay. The first one was sexy. the second gen wasn’t. Let’s see if they can do better on the third try.

  • Kash

    I can tell you from the spyshots the 3rd gen CLS won’t have a shoulder crease, it’ll have the lower one, but for the most part the doors will be smooth with a nice even shoulder curve that will start behind the headlights, blend in with the front arches, shoot down the side, and vanish into the top of the trunk. The headlights are gonna be more aggressive and have that slight eyebrow current Merc coupes have.

  • Bash

    this is nice really, cant wait to see how the interior will end up to be?

    • baofe

      This is not real so don’t get your hopes up

      • Bash

        I know, one cant dream/wish! I have a feeling that this going to be amazing. I’ve always loved the CLS.

  • Nordschleife

    This front end seems a little off to me. Like a generic version of their current design ethos.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Seems too conservative.

  • Elmediterraneo

    There will be no E63 coupe/cabriolet because of the S63 coupe/cabriolet.
    There is no SLC 63 because of the AMG GT roadster.
    So I guess Mercedes could drop the CLS 63 in favour of the rumoured 4 door AMG GT.

    • Kash

      Mercedes will make a CLS63 in the 3rd gen.

      Right now their reasoning for the GT sedan is the Panamera, the Panamera is a whole notch above the CLS and Mercedes isn’t ready to push the CLS from its $67k to the Panamera’s $85k starting price because then it’s no longer right between the S-class and E-class sedans, where Mercedes wants the CLS to be. The Panamera is not quite up there with the S-class in opulence and comfort, at least the 1st gen wasn’t, but it’s performance was and surely will be again. A Panamera Turbo S model can go toe to toe with the S63 and CLS63 both, but the CLS still leaves some things to be desired from the Panamera’s customers. This is where the GT sedan is going to come in and deliver what the CLS cannot. It’ll be much more bespoke and sportier, something that is more likely to draw customers from the S-class than the CLS, but the S-class sells enough it’ll be just fine, just like the Panamera.

      AMG’s bespoke models (the GT) can exist next to the Mercedes models (the SL and eventually the CLS) the same way that Porsche and Audi can both exist under VW with things like the A7 and Panamera. The A7 is the more mainstream model to the Panamera just like the CLS will be to the GT sedan. There’s a big enough gap between the Porsche and Audi that even Mercedes can get in on it with a bespoke AMG model.

      My money’s on AMG eventually being spun off into their own brand of sorts with dedicated designers, and engineers to focus on making bespoke models like the GT to go head to head with Porsche, but they’ll still be a tuner for Mercedes and we’ll still see Mercedes-AMG models to rival Audi Sport models. Same goes for Maybach except we won’t have things like the S600 Maybach alongside a bespoke Maybach sedan.

      The GT also has no bearing on the SLC and its variants. The reason we won’t be getting a V8 SLC is because it’d just be a low volume variant for an already low volume model in an abysmally low selling segment where the best seller didn’t even sell 450 units in January ’17 (Boxster and Cayman combined). The segment itself didn’t even see 1300 total sales between the 6 models in it (7 if you count the Boxster and Cayman separately) in the same month. This is not a segment to have 3 and 4 variants in.

  • Kagan

    I don’t want to dissapoint you youngsters but I have heard it before and every time you get dissapointed.

  • Jhon

    the last beautiful mercedes

  • Bdoleza

    Well if they’re going to morph the E-class’ looks into the C-class, as they appear to be attempting to do, then the least they could do is make the looks of the C-class NOT suck. So I say more power TO them in this important endeavor.

  • Yardie

    The current one is awesome. The new one will also get those fugly rearlamps like the other Benz Coupés and stations..so.. No need for it

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Not with that grille.

  • Stephen Baxter

    Makes me think a little of a w126 with SEC front conversion 🙂

  • alexxx

    best front in the line up…

  • LexusGXman

    I’m gonna throw up. They need to do what Porsche should’ve done; take the 911 and just literally stretch it out and stretch the platform to make a literal 4 door 911. The new Panamera is great don’t get me wrong but Porsche needs to make a true 4 door 911. It would look great and drive great and be instantly recognizable and perhaps more appealing considering it adorns the 911 badge. Merc needs to just take a GT and pull it long ways and add another pair of doors maybe even coach doors!(won’t happen)

  • Mike Gonzalez

    we all know that render looks better than what the final product ever will…
    just imagine the CLA in XL version and there you have it

  • nastinupe

    The second generation was a disappointment. I hope that the 3rd is better. Mercedes has been on a role as of late.