TTAC Photochop: Mercedes-Benz CLS
When Mercedes took the desperate brave decision of rolling out what is now called the first modern four door coupe, they were only hoping to boost a little the sales in the executive sedan segment. But the success that followed exceeded all their expectations and gave birth to a trend that now includes Porsche, Volkswagen, and Aston Martin (and to a lesser extent Jaguar’s XF). The only “loser” in this expansion is the E-Class, which looks suddenly misplaced: not as luxurious and exclusive as the S, nor as seductive and exotic as the CLS. Now Mercedes is preparing for round two with the CLS…
For the next CLS, the test mule we’ve seen until now shows increased wheelbase and width over the outgoing generation. With the smaller 4-coor coupe CLE supposedly coming to market in the next two years, shifting the CLS upward makes sense. Other than that, MB has no serious reason to alter in essence its successful recipe. That’s why I reckon the second-gen will be evolutionary and instantly recognizable as a CLS. As you can see in my chop, I’ve made the car slightly larger. Problem is that I’ve also increased the wheels a little bit, which makes the car’s growth harder to see(that’s trend, that’ll only stop when we’ve reached the physical limit – perhaps 25 inches?) The rest of the design steps gently from the curvy lines of the past several years more toward what we saw in the Fascination concept at the Paris auto show. More tech, inside and out (check out the chop’s headlights, for example), and a big median crease down the side of the body to demonstrate direction and movement. I also think it’s likely that the “banana” profile, an important part of this cars identity, will be prominent on the new model.
Thinx on Oct 27, 2008
I test drove the CLS twice in 2007 (one vanilla, the other an AMG), and have been in a couple of others that my friends have. Eye-catching exterior design, but very flawed from the inside-out, specially if you plan to have people in the rear seat. The visibility was also poor enough that I didn't feel comfortable driving it. In the end, the compromise wasn't worth it - I just got the CL coupe instead, which IMO looks even better. The impractical, style-heavy qualities are also the reason that I don't think the E-Sedan loses any serious buyers to the CLS.
MagMax on Oct 27, 2008
I couldn't agree with you more, AKM. I think it's ugly and contrived and wouldn't have one if it were a gift. Ultimately a car has to be functional and to use it one has to be able to get in and out, sit in it, move around in it, and see out of it in more than one direction. I drive an E500 daily and think it looks better than the CLS, is easy to enter and leave, and has better visibility than most cars on the market today. No banana on wheels for me, thank you very much.
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