The originator, the one that started all this “four-door coupe” silliness, is back: The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS premiered at the LA Auto Show this week in all its swoopy-roof glory. But, we don’t care how swoopy or fastback-y it gets — if it has four doors, it’s a sedan.
The biggest change is the model’s new 48-volt on-board electrical system that can provide 21 extra hp and 184 extra lb-ft of torque over short periods to the new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. Mercedes calls the integrated starter generator “EQ Boost” and in addition to providing power it allows the new CLS to accelerate without the combustion engine at all in certain situations. Mercedes says, as automakers usually do, the new I6 has the same output as a V8 with “significantly lower fuel consumption.” We’ll have to wait to find out how significant because it is yet to be certified by the EPA.
The new I6 provides 362 hp as opposed to 329 in the previous model, and 369 lb-ft of torque as opposed to 354. Peak power comes at 5,500 rpm and peak torque arrives at just 1,600 rpm. A nine-speed automatic will send power rearward, or to all four wheels.
Visually, the new CLS has fewer sharp lines and creases overall while the new front end is marked with LED headlights that angle downward toward the middle of the car. In back, the CLS picks up taillights similar to the new C-Class Coupe. The whole package looks smoother and softer.
Inside, the CLS comes standard with a 12.3-inch display, keyless entry, leather, ambient lighting, Dynamic Select drive modes, smartphone integration and new air vents, along with a few other bits. Upgraded models add another 12.3-inch display connected to the first for a super wide-screen look, inductive phone charging, a Burmester sound system, three-zone climate control and more.
A bunch of safety features will keep you out of your neighbors backside including Distronic — Mercedes’ name for adaptive cruise control – which uses active steering assist to follow the lines in the road, “even if road lines are unclear or non-existent,” and it can function in tighter curves. Emergency stop assist, active lane change assist, speed limit assist, brake assist and a bunch of other “assists” will help you with driving when the task gets too taxing.
If life in general gets too tough — never mind pointing a car down the road and between the lines at a proper speed — Mercedes has you double covered with Energizing Comfort. I’ll just cut to the tape here, so you can hear it for yourself:
“ENERGIZING Comfort links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the surface and steering wheel heating as well as lighting and musical atmospheres, and allows a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. As a result, well-being and performance levels are enhanced.”
It makes driving nicer, is what I think Mercedes is trying to say.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS goes on sale in the Fall of 2018 with the first models being labeled Edition 1. The Edition 1 will feature a special copper-themed interior with black pearl nappa leather, copper accents and copper stitching, a unique diamond design grille and an AMG-Line body with 19-inch wheels. We don’t have a base price yet, but for reference the current CLS starts at about $75,000 and goes up to $109K or so.