CLS aims for a class of its own

  • 08-Oct-2010 03:42 EDT
Mercedes-Benz_CLSb.jpg

CLS engines boast fuel improvements across the range of up to 25%, while increasing the amount of power available.

With the arrival of the Porsche Panamera and Audi A7 in the segment that started with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz had its work cut out with the replacement of its four-door coupé. The German manufacturer has promised that one of the calling cards of the CLS MkII will be efficiency gains, which will be achieved by using a variety of strategies.

A new steering system leads a number of technological improvements for the coupé, which debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Electromechanical Direct-Steer is at the center of an overhauled CLS chassis designed to improve the car’s ride comfort. It represents the first time engineers have been able to choose and program a variety of parameters that can influence steering perception, according to Mercedes-Benz.

Details on the system were limited in France, but the steering technology also makes an important contribution to overall efficiency by only requiring energy when steering actually takes place. Mercedes says that can cut fuel consumption by up to 0.3 L/100 km and 7 g of CO2 in the ECE fuel consumption cycle.

Tweaks to the suspension feature up front where a specially adapted design for the three-link front axle with McPherson struts—as seen on the E-Class—were adopted. Compared with the previous model, the German manufacturer says all components have been modified to achieve higher levels of comfort and driving dynamics.

The BlueEFFICIENCY engine lineup is greener than that of the outgoing car. Mercedes is claiming that the four units offer up to 25% lower consumption but boast higher power outputs. Two six-cylinder models will initially be available: the CLS 350 CDI producing 265 bhp (198 kW) and a 306-bhp (228-kW) CLS 350 with start/stop capabilities as standard. This technology will also feature in the range-topping CLS 500, powered by a V8 engine producing 408 bhp (304 kW).

Weight savings of 24 kg (53 lb) come from doors that are fully aluminum in their construction. Compared with the outgoing parts, the CLS’s doors feature deep-drawn aluminum panels and extruded section, the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature such a setup. The bonnet, front wings, boot lid, parcel shelf, and various support sections and major chassis and engine parts are also aluminum.

Aerodynamics, too, have played a significant role in the efficiency of the new car. Despite new CLS being wider than the previous model, engineers in the aero department have ensured a reduction in wind resistance by up to 10%. A 13% improvement in the Cd value has ensured it achieves 0.26.

Another technological highlight is the use of LED high-performance headlamps for the claimed first time in an automotive application. These lights combine Mercedes’s intelligent light system using bi-xenon headlamps with LED technology. Armed with 71 LEDs, the headlamps help to enhance the abilities of Mercedes’ adaptive highbeam assist technology for driving at night.

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