Stuttgart. The CLS will come to the starting line in April 2021 with a sharpened design. The front end in particular, with new radiator grilles and bumpers, expresses the dynamism of the four-door coupé even more strongly. At the same time, the interior has been upgraded with additional leather and trim combinations as well as a new generation of steering wheel. A latest-generation diesel with integrated starter-generator expands the model range. A strictly limited special model of the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption 9.0-8.7 l/100 km; combined CO2 206-199 g/km) forms the sporty-exclusive spearhead. The modernised CLS celebrates its world premiere in April, and the first models arrive at European dealers in July. Thanks to a comprehensive refresh last summer with updates to the driving assistance systems, the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system and ENERGIZING Comfort, the CLS was already up-to-date technologically.

As a coupé, the CLS, together with all roadsters and cabriolets, belongs to the category of dream cars at Mercedes-Benz. To date, more than four million examples have been sold to customers all over the world, including more than 450,000 CLS models since the launch of the first generation in 2004. China was the largest sales market for the CLS Coupé in 2020, followed by South Korea, the USA and Germany. The reason most frequently cited by customers for buying the CLS is its design: Sportiness is the true luxury in this customer segment.

Now the CLS shows off an even sportier look. The entry-level model with AVANTGARDE Exterior as standard features a new front apron with striking air intakes, two louvres at the sides, and a front splitter in silver chrome. The rear apron has a black diffuser-look insert and a silver-chrome trim strip. Two new designs are available for the 19-inch light-alloy wheel: 5-twin-spoke or multi-spoke rims.

If the CLS is equipped with the AMG Line Exterior, it signals its sportiness even more clearly: AMG styling components are fitted in this version. These include an AMG-specific front apron with A-wing in black, a front splitter in silver chrome, sporty, distinctive air intakes with vertical bars and aerodynamically shaped flics in high-gloss black. Other features include AMG sill trim on the side and AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid. In combination with AMG Line Exterior, two new colours can be selected for the 20-inch, high-gloss AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheel in bi-colour look: tremolite grey or high-gloss black.

All models with AVANTGARDE Exterior or AMG Line Exterior receive a new radiator grille. Special features of this grille are the Mercedes-Benz pattern (a three-dimensional star pattern with chrome-gloss surfaces), a louvre in high-gloss black with chrome inlay and the integrated Mercedes star. The new paint colour for the CLS is spectral blue metallic.

In addition to the more distinctive exterior, the interior has also been enhanced. Two new trim finishes, including for the centre console, are available in open-pore brown walnut and high-gloss grey wood. The range of leather seat upholstery has also been expanded: Neva grey/magma grey and sienna brown/black are the two new colour combinations here.

As part of the update, the CLS receives a redesigned multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather. The spokes are finished in high-gloss black with silver chrome edging, the paddle shifters in silver chrome. With the Driving Assistance Package (optional extra), the driver is supported by Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist. Here, the steering wheel uses the capacitive principle to detect the driver’s hands. There is a two-zone sensor pad in the steering wheel rim. The sensors on the front and reverse sides of the rim register whether the driver’s hands are on the wheel. No steering movement is now required to inform the assistance systems that the driver is in control. This enhances user-friendliness when driving in semi-automated mode.

Greater individualisation possible with designo

The 250 experts at Mercedes-Benz designo in Sindelfingen can transform the CLS into a very personal one-off if desired. The selection has also been increased for these special options: new, for example, are the special lacquers jupiter red, cashmere white magno and emerald green. These are available for all equipment versions.

The two-tone designo interior with exclusive nappa leather is available in five new combinations: classic red/black, saddle brown/black, tartufo brown/black, deep white/black and yacht blue/black.

Sharpened in many details: Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+

Mercedes-AMG has updated the sporty top model of the model series with numerous visual highlights and attractive equipment packages. The standard innovations on the CLS 53 4MATIC+ include the redesigned front end with the sporty AMG bumper in A-wing form with black flics and visible air curtains, as well as the AMG signature grille with vertical bars. The surrounds of the windscreen frames are made of polished aluminium or, in combination with the Night Package, in high-gloss black. The exterior mirrors are painted in the colour of the vehicle. Here, too, models with the AMG Night Package or AMG Exterior II Carbon Package are an exception: The mirrors there are finished in high-gloss black or have a housing made of carbon fibre. Mercedes-AMG drivers also steer the CLS with the latest-generation steering wheel, here in nappa leather finish and with the familiar AMG steering wheel buttons with display.

In terms of optional extras, two new packages allow the coupé to be even sportier: the AMG Night Package II, available in combination with the AMG Night Package, includes the radiator grille, Mercedes star at the rear and typography in darkened chrome.

The AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package enhances dynamics in several respects. The red-painted brake callipers with black AMG lettering add a visual highlight to the exterior. In the interior, the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre or alternatively in nappa leather rounds off the package with sporty elegance. Racetrack-fit performance with a sporty emphasis can be experienced in the additional “RACE” driving mode with the Drift mode.

The CLS 53 4MATIC+ combines a powerful 320 kW (435 hp) output with sporty style and high efficiency. The integrated starter-generator briefly delivers an additional 16 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque and supplies the 48-volt on-board network. It unites the starter and alternator in one electric motor and is integrated between the engine and transmission. This, as well as the intelligent turbocharging with electric auxiliary compressor (eZV) and exhaust gas turbocharger, pursue the same goal: to offer the performance and driving dynamics characteristic of AMG, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The extremely fast-shifting AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission, the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive and the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension also contribute to the dynamic driving experience.

Performance for individualists: the limited Edition model from Mercedes-AMG

Only 300 units of the new Limited Edition are planned. For the paintwork, the customer can choose between cashmere white magno and selenite grey magno. There are racing stripes above the side sills. On the Edition model in cashmere white magno, these are in dark grey metallic gloss. If the CLS is painted in selenite grey magno, the stripes are black non-metallic gloss. Both stripe variants are highlighted in red non-metallic gloss.

20-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted black and with a high-sheen rim flange, are also standard, as are the AMG Night Package and the AMG Night Package II (see above for details). With the AMG Night Package, selected exterior elements are finished in high-gloss black. These include the front splitter of the AMG front apron, the housings of the exterior mirrors and the surrounds of the side windows. Aft of the
B-pillar, this CLS has heat-insulating, dark-tinted glass.

The AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package (for equipment scope, see above) also comes as standard with this Edition model. When the front doors are opened, LED technology is used to project the AMG emblem onto the ground next to the vehicle in a 3D look.

The features of the sporty special model in the interior: two-tone AMG nappa leather in black/silver grey pearl, AMG trim elements in carbon, steering wheel in nappa leather and DINAMICA with red contrasting topstitching as well as AMG steering wheel buttons and the AMG lettering on the centre console.

The powertrains of the CLS: powerful and efficient

In addition to the familiar petrol models, the CLS 300 d 4MATIC launched in March 2021 (combined fuel consumption 5.8-5.5 l/100 km; combined COemissions 153-144 g/km) has a mild hybrid powertrain. Its four-cylinder diesel engine (OM 654 M) comes with an integrated second-generation starter-generator and 48-volt electrical system. The output is 195 kW plus 15 kW electric boost. Energy recovery and the possibility to “glide” with the engine switched off make this powertrain very efficient. Electrification also allows the use of an electric refrigerant compressor for the air conditioning system. Here is an overview of the most important features:

  • A new crankshaft increases the stroke to 94 mm and the displacement to 1993 cc
    (previously: 92.3 and 1950).
  • The injection pressure increases to 2700 bar (instead of 2500).
  • Particularly fast response times and uniform power delivery thanks to two water-cooled turbochargers, both now featuring variable turbine geometry.
  • A sodium-filled cooling duct in each of the steel pistons. This helps to dissipate temperature peaks in the combustion cavity of the pistons.
  • Electric refrigerant compressor

In terms of exhaust gas aftertreatment, this most powerful of the four-cylinder diesel engines also takes things one step further. Its components include

  • A close-coupled NOx storage catalytic converter for reducing nitrogen oxides
  • A DPF (diesel particulate filter with special coating for reducing the amount of nitrogen oxides)
  • An SCR catalyst (selective catalytic reduction; with metered injected quantity of AdBlue) as well as
  • An additional SCR catalyst in the underbody of the vehicle with separately metered injected quantity of AdBlue

Still part of the range is the four-cylinder diesel without ISG in the CLS 220 d (combined fuel consumption 5.1-4.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 135-128 g/km).

The diesel models at a glance:

  CLS 220 dCLS 300 d 4MATICCLS 400 d 4MATIC
EngineModel seriesOM 654OM 654 MOM 656
Additional output from ISGkW/hp15/20
Peak torqueNm400550700
Add. torque ISG 200
Combined fuel consumption1 acc. to NEDCl/100 km5,1-4,85.8-5.56.5-6.2
Combined CO2 emissions NEDCg/km135-128153-144172-163
Acceleration 0-100 km/hs7.56.45.2
Top speedkm/h237250250

Fuel consumption according to WLTP:

  CLS 220 dCLS 300 dCLS 400 d 4MATIC
Combined fuel consumption WLTPl/100 km6,4-5,56,6-5,87,4-6,7
Combined CO2 emissions3 WLTPg/km167-143172-153194-175

The petrol models at a glance:

EngineModel seriesM 264M 256M 256
Additional output from ISG2kW/hp16/2216/22
Peak torqueNm400500520
Add. torque ISG 250250
Combined fuel consumption NEDCl/100 km7.3-7.08,5-8,19.0-8.7
Combined CO2 emissions1 NEDCg/km168-161195-185206-199
Acceleration 0-100 km/hs6.14.84.5
Top speedkm/h250250250

Fuel consumption according to WLTP:

Combined fuel consumption WLTPl/100 km8,6-7,59,2-8,39,6-9,2
Combined CO2 emissions3 WLTPg/km196-171209-189219-209

What has happened so far: extensive technology update in summer 2020

The refresh of the CLS in summer 2020 focused on updating the driving assistance systems to provide cooperative support for the driver. This results in an especially high level of active safety.

Active Brake Assist

The CLS features Active Brake Assist as standard, which can prevent a collision or reduce its severity in many situations with autonomous braking. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds and even to prevent collisions, depending on the situation. As part of the Driving Assistance Package, this is also possible when making a turn across the oncoming lane.

Active Speed Limit Assist

A range of further Intelligent Drive functions can optionally be added to the Driving Assistance Package. This includes Active Speed Limit Assist, which reacts to speed limit changes using map data as well as input from Traffic Sign Assist. A route-based speed adjustment before detected curves, roundabouts, toll booths, T-junctions as well as before turning/exiting motorways/highways is also part of the scope of delivery. If the driver switches on Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with distance-based speed adaptation, the CLS can even respond to data from Live Traffic Information.

Active Stop-and-Go Assist

With the Driving Assistance Package Plus, Active Stop-and-Go Assist can take over the task of keeping in lane and maintaining the distance up to approx. 60 km/h to a large extent and with high availability in motorway traffic jams when lane markings are detected. The vehicle can restart automatically up to one minute after coming to a stop. Active Steering Assist can support the driver on multi-lane roads with the emergency corridor function, which prompts the vehicle to stay off-centre in the lane. On motorways, at speeds under 60 km/h, the vehicle refers to detected lane markings and applies swarm intelligence to take its bearings from vehicles in the surrounding area.

Automatic parking and exiting a parking space.

Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC and 360° camera makes it possible to enter and leave parking spaces automatically. The system facilitates the search for and selection of a parking space as well as entering and leaving (if the vehicle was parked automatically) parallel and end-on parking spaces or garages. The CLS is now also able to recognise and use parking spaces that are, for example, only marked as areas of larger spaces. The 360° camera transmits an even more realistic image to the media display, which includes an expanded side view. When leaving a parking space, the system is able to warn of traffic crossing behind the vehicle and can apply the brakes in case of doubt.

MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience)

The infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) was also significantly upgraded in the CLS in 2020. As standard, the CLS has two large 10.25 inch/26 cm screens arranged side by side for a widescreen look. Two 12.3-inch/31.2 cm screens are optionally available. The information for the driver and central display are easy to read on the large, high-resolution screens. The optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition.

Unique to MBUX is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next, for example. For instance, anyone who often telephones a specific person on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive their telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Other highlights include touchscreen control of the media display as standard and the use of augmented reality technology for the navigation display when the navigation function is active:


ENERGIZING Comfort networks various comfort systems in the vehicle and uses lighting and music moods as well as various massage programs for a wide variety of well-being programs. In the summer of 2020, the ENERGIZING COACH started in the CLS. This function is based on an intelligent algorithm and recommends one or other of the programs depending on the situation and the individual concerned. If a Garmin® wearable is integrated, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimise the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is to ensure that the driver feels well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.