LOS ANGELES -- Mercedes-Benz hopes new fuel-efficient engines that include an electrical boost function and an even more dynamic appearance will help its new CLS reclaim sales leadership in the lucrative niche for luxury coupe-styled four-door sedans.
With the new generation, the CLS is a five-seater for the first time. The change was made because of feedback from customers who asked for more practicality, Mercedes' product manager Lutz Regelmann said.
Mercedes is debuting the rival to the Audi A7 Sportback and BMW 6-series Gran Coupe at the auto show here this week.
The CLS advances the brand's "sensual purity" design language with its clear contours and reduced lines, the automaker said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The new CLS is a design icon. In line with our 'hot & cool' design philosophy, we have reduced its DNA to an extremely puristic level," said Gorden Wagener, chief design officer.
Wagener and his team have significantly reduced the number of sharp edges and creases in the third generation of the low-slung sedan that launched the niche for coupe-styled four door cars in 2003.
The interior is dominated by the optional widespread digital cockpit comprised of two 12.3-inch displays arranged end to end and stretching across the dashboard, sharing one single continuous glass cover.
Besides five seats, the CLS has more luggage space. When required the backrests can be folded down to expand the 520-liter luggage compartment.
With the update, the CLS moves to a new platform -- MRA, or Modular Rear Architecture, the same platform used for the redesigned E class. It gets the latest suite of Mercedes semiautonomous driving features that debuted on the re-engineered S class.