The Mercedes Benz CLS was released to the British public on the 22nd March 2005.
The CLS-Class is based upon the current E-Class and has been designed to set the executive free from the numerous corporate saloons seen in the management car parks.
Mercedes state that the CLS-Class is a unique vehicle concept which combines the elegance and dynamism of a coupe with the comfort and practicality of a saloon. We are not sure if the CLS is a coupe or saloon - can a coupe have four doors? I guess they can as the Mazda RX-8 certainly has four doors and everyone calls that a coupe. And then there was the 1960’s Rover P5 coupe and that too had four doors - so a coupe it is.
Mercedes Benz expect to sell around 4,000 CLS-Class’s a year by the end of 2006, the split between the current line up being 65% CLS 350, 30% CLS 500 and 5% CLS 55 AMG. Initially there weren't plans to introduce a diesel model to the UK but as we now know there is CLS 320 in production. Interestingly 84% of all E-Class sales in the UK are diesel, so I am sure that they wanted to ensure that there was a market for a diesel CLS for these buyers.
For the purpose of this road test we drove the Mercedes Benz CLS 500, in Obsidian Black with Sunset Red Leather.How It Drove - Performance
When we first drove the CLS there was a choice of three engines, now the range has expanded to include a diesel and large capacity V8's. At the time of this review there was a CLS 350 powered by a V6 petrol producing 272 hp, CLS 500 the car we tested, with 5.0 litre V8, producing 306 hp and the CLS 55 AMG, producing a healthy 476 hp. And now a diesel, the CLS 320 is powered by a 2987cc - 224 hp, V6 as seen in the current E-Class.
Our car was fitted with the 5 litre (4996cc), 24 valve - V8, which produces 306 hp @ 5600 rpm. On paper this propels the car from 0-62 mph in just 6.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
In practice the CLS feels a lot quicker than the paper figures, plant the throttle and you are instantaneously rewarded with an addictive howl from the V8 which stays with you as you claim the rev range. When everything settles down the engine remains refined to the point of holiness, the only irritation being the slight tyre noise. Possibly the only real criticism is that it is clinical as it does everything so well, which can leave it feeling a little remote.
This is a 14-year+ news article, from our Mercedes Benz archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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