Responsible for creating the four-door coupe craze now 15 years ago, the third generation incorporates Mercedes-Benz's latest styling language derived from the AMG-GT and E-class, with the three-pointed star claiming that it builds "more strongly than ever on the aura and unique character" of the original.
Again riding on the same platform as the E-class, the CLS retains a sweptback coupe appearance with a longer bonnet, thin LED headlights inspired by those of the AMG-GT and recently spied A-class, a new grille and crystalline taillights similar to those of the S-class Coupe.
The E and S-class influences continue inside with the same layout and range of features, made up of the now obligatory 12.3-inch dual display monitors, turbine air vents, a choice of 64 ambient lighting colours and a variety of wood, leather and aluminium choices.
Like the S-class, the CLS can optionally be specified with Mercedes-Benz's Energising Comfort Control system as the S-class, that adjusts the climate control, seats, sound system, steering wheel and ambient lighting to suit one of six modes selected; Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and Training.
Underneath its new skin, the CLS offers a choice of three suspension options; the standard steel-spring setup, optional Dynamic Body Control with continuously monitoring adjustable damping and three modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+), and the Air Body Control air suspension also with adjustable damping.
Safety tech is a further nod to the S-class with standard items including Active Brake Assist, Pre-Safe, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist and Lane Keeping Assist.
As part of the optional Driving Assistance Package, the CLS can be had with Active Steering Assist, Active Distance Control Active Brake Assist with Cross Traffic Alert, Active Blind Spot Assist, Distronic Active Distance Control, Evasive Steering Assist, Lane Keeping Assist with Pre-Safe Plus, Active Lane Change Assist, improved camera and radar system and the new Assistance Graphic instrument cluster.
In addition, the headlights now features Ultra Range high beam where the brightness on full range remains above the required one lux over a claimed distance of 650 metres.
It is also new underneath the bonnet where the CLS comes powered by Mercedes-Benz's new range of straight-six engine, made up of two diesels and one petrol, the latter featuring a 48-volt integrated start and generator for a mild-hybrid setup.
Displacing 3.0-litres, the unit in the CLS 350d develops 210 kW and 600 Nm of torque, while the CLS 400d cranks out 250 kW and 700 Nm. In both cases, a 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox feeds the grunt to all four wheels via Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic system. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h with the 0-100 km/h dash taking five and 5.7 seconds respectively.
For now the sole petrol option until the arrival of a clutch of four-cylinder mills, the CLS 450's 3.0-litre unit punches out 270 kW and 500 Nm of torque, but with an extra 16 kW and 250 Nm available for short bursts as part of the EQ Boost hybrid setup. The drivetrain mirrors that of the diesels with top speed again limited to 250 km/h, while the 0-100 km/h sprint takes 4.8 seconds.
As previously reported, no V8 will be available as it will clash with the AMG-GT. A six-cylinder 53 badged AMG will however be added to the line-up at a later stage.
An exclusive Edition 1 model will be available a year after the CLS's April 2018 launch, which comes with 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light alloy wheels painted in black, black pearl nappa leather seats with diamond copper centre finish and contrasting stitching on the centre console, dashboard, doors and armrest, chrome Edition 1 badging on the centre console, Edition 1 badgeed floor mats and a IWC analogue clock with dial face.
No pricing has yet been announced.