2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS revealed

Mercedes’ CLS is the four-door coupe of four-door coupes. The burgeoning new segment, now being mimicked at the low end by the likes of Hyundai and Volkswagen, and at the highest echelons of the auto industry by Aston Martin and, if rumours persist, Lamborghini, all began at Mercedes-Benz with the introduction of the CLS-Class in 2004. Soon, despite still looking fresh after six solid years and more than 170,000 sold worldwide, a new CLS will enter the market as a 2012 model.

Yes, don’t expect to see the new CLS at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer this fall as it won’t arrive until sometime next year, but feel free to drool all over the recently-released photos. It makes no bones about sharing design DNA with the automaker’s new flagship SLS sports coupe, although Mercedes didn’t go so far as to offer four gull wing doors. The styling similarities are more focused on the grille and headlight treatments, which pay homage to the original ’50s era 300 SL that inspired the SLS.

Those headlamp clusters feature 71 LEDs per side, and serve headlight, running lamp, turn signal and side lamp duty.

Climb inside the 2012 CLS and a new three-spoke sport steering wheel frames an all-new gauge package, but most will likely notice the column-mounted gear selector found in top-tier CL- and S-Class models; the CLS continues to share it underpinnings with the E-Class. A nice combination of classic Benz and Teutonic modern minimalism give the new CLS a high-tech yet warm inner ambience that should appeal to Mercedes-Benz faithful and converts alike.

CLS models have always offered performance-oriented powertrains, leaving Mercedes’ more economical motivators for E-Class and lower, but reports speculate that the brand’s new direct-injected 3.5-litre V6 will go under-hood in the base model. Other reports say that a new twin-turbo V8 will find its way into the CLS 550 engine bay, sporting 430 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, while a range topping AMG model will no doubt be part of the lineup too.

The new CLS will be introduced in the metal at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.