The Vision CLS | Part Five

The dimensions: spaciousness on a par with a saloon

The large rear doors are without doubt the most striking feature of the new coupé concept. They represent the real added-value that sets the Vision CLS apart from other coupés when it comes to convenience and practicality. Equally impressive is the room available in the rear of the four-door coupé: in terms of space at knee height (77 mm), headroom (924 mm) and shoulder room (1422 mm), the Vision CLS is vastly superior to other coupés of similar size. The space between seats, measured between the front and rear seat reference points (SRPs), is 829 mm – more than enough to rival many a saloon.

The body of the concept coupé is 4910 mm long, 1851 mm wide and 1391 mm high. And the wheelbase length of 2854 mm ensures an exemplary level of spaciousness inside the Vision CLS.

In terms of boot space also, the coupé is a fully-fledged touring car for four. With a capacity of 470 litres (according to the VDA measuring method), the boot provides plenty of room for suitcases, golf bags or other luggage items. The Vision CLS outperforms many a saloon and all coupés in this respect.

In conclusion, the Mercedes engineers and designers have succeeded in combining stunning coupé design with the comfort, convenience and high everyday practicality of a saloon.

The drive system: diesel power and 7G-TRONIC for dynamic driving pleasure

The Vision CLS has a sports-tuned chassis, AIRMATIC DC air suspension, speed-sensitive power steering, 19-inch wide-base tyres (255/35 R 19 at the front, 285/30 R 19 at the rear) and, at its heart, a powerful biturbo engine. There can be few better recipes for superlative driving dynamics and sheer driving pleasure.

With a power output of 195 kW/265 hp and a peak torque of 560 Nm available from just 2000 rpm, the six-cylinder CDI power plant shows just how sophisticated Mercedes Benz diesel technology has now become. As well as returning fuel-consumption figures of 7.5 litres per 100 km (NEDC cycle), the Vision CLS delivers performance on a par with higher-capacity V8 petrol-engined models, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and from 60 to 120 km/h in 5.7 seconds. It goes on to achieve a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited).

The high-torque six-cylinder CDI engine is the ideal partner for the newly developed transmission – the world’s first seven-speed automatic for passenger cars. Mercedes Benz will be introducing it as standard for V8 E-, S-, SL- and CL-Class models from autumn 2003. The special "kick-down" technology at the heart of the 7G-TRONIC allows fast acceleration in any gear and supreme ease of shifting.

Safety: Mercedes innovations from bi-xenon Active Light System to SBC™

Cutting-edge Mercedes innovations also mean the four-door concept coupé excels in terms of safety equipment, with a specification that includes adaptive front airbags as well as two-stage belt force limiters and high-performance belt tensioners for all four seats. Not to mention sidebags and windowbags.

Further innovations that are features of the Vision CLS include bi-xenon headlamps, Active Light System, automatic Cornering Light and the electrohydraulic brake system SBC™, all of which ensure safer motoring and minimise the risk of accidents. In addition, SBC™ incorporates unique convenience functions such as "Softstop" for stopping smoothly in heavy traffic, "Anti-stall Assist" to make hill-starts easier and "Tailback Assist", an aid that enables drivers to apply the brakes in stop-and-go traffic simply by releasing the accelerator.

Published 20 September 2003 Melanie Carter

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