To be based on the same MRA platform that underpins a majority of the Mercedes saloon range, the new CLS also looks to utilise the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz design language, draping it over the long and low proportions that have helped make the CLS such a hit. The front and rear bumpers are both still covered in our images, but it is clear that the new CLS will share elements with the upcoming A-class, featuring a down-turned grill and slim, swept-back headlights.
The new CLS looks to draw more inspiration from it’s original generation, eschewing the second-gen car’s muscular rear haunches for a much smoother surfacing technique that is rapidly being spread across the Mercedes model range. The prototype’s satin paintwork really accentuates the bodywork, looking incredibly restrained and sophisticated next to rivals like the new Audi A7 and BMW 6-series Gran Coupe.
Round towards the rear the CLS’s slim, horizontal tail lights look pleasingly distinct from other Mercedes-Benz models. The restraint seen on the car’s flanks is not continued on the rear bumper either, as this model has two very large cut out vents.
Destined to share the higher-specification drivetrain options of the E-class saloon, the CLS should also have an options list including a variety of four and new inline-six petrol and diesel engines. The CLS is also expected to introduce a new hybridised AMG variant to sit below a full-fat CLS 63 model, utilising an inline-six petrol engine assisted by an electric motor.
The production car will be shown at the LA motor show, with cars reaching customers by the summer of 2018. Pitched against the all-new Audi A7, the CLS no longer has this part of the market to itself like the original did, so will have to offer more than just attractive sheet metal to appeal to well-heeled buyers.