2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class (CLS250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, CLS350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, CLS550) - Pictures, Features, Specs

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With its exciting, bold design and refined sportiness, the all-new 2012 CLS benefits from the fact that - as the inventor of the segment - Mercedes-Benz is a whole generation ahead. All the engines available in the CLS are new and provide an improvement in fuel consumption of up to 25 percent compared with the previous models.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassView more 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class pictures in our 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class photo gallery

Also making a contribution to the increase in efficiency is the electromechanical Direct-Steer system fitted as standard equipment and celebrating its world premiere in the CLS. The 2012 CLS is also the first car in the world to feature available LED High Performance Active headlamps.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

A generation ahead: with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle category in 2003 which for the first time combined the elegance and expressiveness of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a sedan. The customers were delighted, the competition astounded: for years the CLS has endured as the only four-door coupé in its class, and since October 2004 to the present it has been the car of choice for around 170,000 buyers around the globe. "Customers all over the world benefited from our bold move to launch a completely new vehicle concept onto the market", explains a delighted Dr. Joachim Schmidt, head of Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz. "And with its exciting design, the new edition of the CLS also benefits from the fact that we are a whole generation ahead of the competition with our four-door Coupé."

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

The engines: up to 25 percent lower consumption but with higher output

The ultimate in efficiency: this is the hallmark of the engines which are used in the new CLS. Both the output and torque of all units have been increased compared with the previous models, and at the same time consumption has been significantly reduced by up to 25 percent. In the U.S., the V8-powered CLS550 will produce 402hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. In Europe, two six-cylinder models will initially be available in January 2011: the CLS350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY producing 265 hp and the CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY producing 306 hp and fitted with the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engine range will be extended just two months later with the addition of the CLS250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, producing 204 hp. In the ECE consumption cycle, it consumes 5.1 liters of diesel/100 km.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Lightweight construction and aerodynamics: making significant contributions to efficiency

The intelligent lightweight construction used in the CLS makes a significant contribution towards addressing the classic conflicting goals of low weight and high strength. As a result the 2012 CLS550 is the first vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to be fitted with doors featuring a full aluminum construction. They consist of deep-drawn aluminum panels with extruded sections, and are around 52 lbs lighter compared with conventional steel doors. In addition, the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, parcel shelf, various support sections as well as major parts of the chassis and engine are all made from aluminum too.

Aerodynamics also play a significant role in the outstanding efficiency of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS. Although the new model is wider compared with the previous model and therefore presents a larger frontal area to the wind, it has still been possible to reduce wind resistance by up ten percent. This is thanks to a 13 percent improvement in the Cd value, which now stands at 0.26.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Electromechanical Direct-Steer system: a new steering sensation

Supreme driving dynamics coupled with superlative ride comfort on long journeys was the focus in developing the chassis for the new Coupe, whose design and functions are geared towards a stylish sportiness. To this end the chassis concept, which has already been well-received by the trade press and the public in the new E-Class, has undergone a thorough revamp, adding a central new component: the electromechanical Direct-Steer system is making its world premiere in the new CLS. This pioneering innovation is a radical step forward in the relationship between driver, car and road. This is because for the first time engineers have the freedom to freely choose and program a wide variety of parameters which can influence steering performance.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

In addition, this steering technology also makes an important contribution to the overall efficiency of the CLS: the steering assist function only requires energy when steering actually takes place, cutting fuel consumption.

For the front suspension, the principle of a three-link front axle with McPherson struts - as used in the E-Class - was adopted and developed into a special enhanced design for the new CLS. The principle of the lightweight independent multilink rear suspension, fitted to a subframe, was also adopted for use in the CLS from the new E-Class due to its unrivalled wheel location qualities. Compared with the previous model, all components have been modified to achieve higher levels of comfort and driving dynamics.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

LED High Performance Active headlamps: enhanced visibility with complete functionality

The CLS is the first car in the world to feature dynamic LED High Performance Active headlamps, which combine the daylight color impression of LED technology with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today's bi-xenon light generation. With a total of 71 LED's, the headlamps have an exciting look and help to highlight the distinctive appearance of the CLS. The light specialists at Mercedes-Benz were also able to combine the LED technology with the familiar and innovative Adaptive Highbeam Assist for the first time, which has resulted in a completely new level of safety when driving at night.

There are additional benefits of LED-based lighting technology: the average operating life of an LED is around 10,000 hours, around five times longer than that of a xenon light. Also LED headlamps most closely approximate the color temperature of daylight. This means that LED light complements normal human perception patterns. Studies have shown that the closer the color of artificial light comes to daylight, the less the strain on the eyes. With a color temperature of 5500 Kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K).

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

New driver assistance systems: enhanced safety

More than a dozen driver assistance systems in the new CLS help prevent traffic accidents and reduce the severity of injuries. New optional equipment includes Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

Using short-range radar sensors, Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver if it detects the risk of a collision when changing lanes. If the driver ignores warnings and the vehicle comes dangerously close to a vehicle in the next lane, Active Blind Spot Assist will intervene. Applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle via the Electronic Stability Program ESP® creates a yaw movement which counteracts the collision course.

Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also linked to the ESP® for the first time. This system kicks into action if the Mercedes vehicle inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In this case, Active Lane Keeping Assist uses the ESP® to brake the opposite wheels and thereby prevent the vehicle from crossing the line. A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings are crossed, the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel which generates vibrations for a short time – a discreet but effective cue to countersteer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Exterior: classic Coupé styling with distinctive front

The new CLS builds on the pioneering role of its predecessor yet at the same time is an entirely new interpretation. What immediately strikes the eye is the innovative front design, which is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Visually, the radiator grille is not integrated into the hood but is formed separately. This highlights the long, sporty hood even further. The grille is dominated by the large central star, which underlines the car's relationship to the other coupés of the brand and also enhances brand identity.

The typical CLS outline, with its elegantly long proportions, is the dominating attribute of the new model. The effect of the dynamic, athletic form has been enhanced with a new interplay of lines and areas. The front edge of the structure above the wheelwells slopes off towards the rear. Referred to by the designers as the dropping line, this novel design feature also represents a new interpretation of a formal design element harking back to the uniquely rich forms of historic Mercedes sports cars.

A distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the new CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to pounce.

Photo: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassPhoto: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

The interior: design brings quality to life

The interior of the CLS is also distinguished by a timeless design which combines straightforward elegance with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. An eye-catching feature is the wrap-around cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver's door over the instrument panel and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated seamlessly into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.

The CLS also lives up to its role as a design icon thanks to the innovative nature of the materials used. These comprise an exciting mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces. The refined sportiness of the interior of the CLS is further reflected in the generous use of high-quality trim elements. They are located on the instrument panel, the center console and on parts of the door linings. Customers can choose between two exclusive types of wood: high-gloss brown burl walnut or high-gloss black ash.

View more 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class pictures in our 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class photo gallery:

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class specifications, overview, information and imagery courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz

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