“If Benz makes it, it becomes a legend”... 'Fusion Coupe' Mercedes CLS, a beautiful destroyer

“If Benz makes it, it becomes a legend”… ‘Fusion Coupe’ Mercedes CLS, a beautiful destroyer

‘Creating a new history of the coupe’. The Mercedes-Benz CLS is both a destroyer and a creator. Mercedes-Benz CLS created a new segment called ‘4-door coupe’ by destroying the 2004 ‘coupe = two-door, two-seater’ formula in 2004 when ‘coupe = two-door two-seater’ was considered a formula. Mercedes-Benz Korea launched the Mercedes-Benz CLS in Korea last month with a partial change of the 3rd generation.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS created a ‘fusion coupe’ while at the same time destroying the classic coupe. The name of the car contains the meaning of Chic, Luxurious, and Sophisticated. Built on the proven Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform, the Mercedes-Benz CLS created a sensation as soon as it appeared. European auto magazines praised it as ‘the best luxury car’. After the Mercedes-Benz CLS, Volkswagen CC, Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe appeared one after another. The heyday of the 4/5 door fusion coupe has begun.

The history of the coupe is divided into before and after the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The definition of a coupe also shifted from the fact that the proportion of rear seats was reduced and two doors were attached in the traditional sedan structure to whether it had a more individual and dynamic ‘coupe-like’ body style. Furthermore, a coupe-type SUV appeared. The Mercedes-Benz CLS, which created the fusion coupe, was also successful in sales. To date, more than 45,000 units have been sold. The Mercedes-Benz CLS is also loved in Korea. According to the Kaizuyu Data Research Institute, which counts the number of units sold by vehicle type based on vehicle registration data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Mercedes-Benz CLS sold 5243 units in 2020. Even last year, when the automotive semiconductor crisis was severe, 3,429 units were sold. It sold the most after Mercedes-Benz E-Class, S-Class, GLE, GLC, GLB, and A-Class. It is the overwhelmingly top-selling 4/5-door fusion coupe. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS 300d 4Matic sold in Korea adopts a diesel engine-based mild hybrid system.

It is equipped with a new four-cylinder diesel engine with a 48V electrical system and a second-generation integrated starter-generator (ISG) and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The maximum output is 265 horsepower and the maximum torque is 56.1 kg·m. The price is 93.7 million won. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4Matic applied a gasoline engine-based mild hybrid system. A next-generation in-line 6-cylinder gasoline engine with a 48V electric system was installed. It has a maximum output of 367 horsepower and a maximum torque of 51.0 kg·m. The price is 114.1 million won. Mercedes-Benz Korea will also bring the most powerful Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic Plus (+) among the Mercedes-Benz CLS to Korea.

Prior to the official launch in Korea, the AMG CLS 53 4Matic Plus Circuit experience event was held on March 24 at AMG Speedway (Yongin, Gyeonggi-do). The AMG CLS 53 4Matic Plus has evolved more aggressively and elegantly than the previous model. In the front part, the AMG exclusive radiator grill with a vertical bar catches the eye. The rear part reinforces the presence of a high-performance vehicle with a racing car-inspired diffuser, chrome exhaust pipe, and trunk lid spoiler. Inside, the AMG Performance steering wheel finished in nappa leather and dynamica material conveys a high-performance presence.

The test car adopted a 6-cylinder gasoline engine with a 48V electric system and an integrated starter-generator and an AMG Speedshift TCT 9-speed transmission. It has a maximum output of 435 horsepower and a maximum torque of 53 kg·m. The time to zero to 100 km/h (0 to 100 km/h) is 4.5 seconds, which is second to that of a supercar. The total length × width × height is 4995 × 1895 × 1420 mm. When entering the circuit at low speed, it moves heavy and elegantly. It’s powerful on straight sections, but it speeds up without getting tired and distracting. Braking performance is also excellent. It is clean but powerful with minimal vibration. Although the body length is close to 5m, it exhibits a high level of breakthrough performance even in cornering sections. The Mercedes-Benz CLS is an ensemble of a coupe and a sedan. The AMG CLS is a fusion coupe that combines a high-performance sports car with a ‘one seat three class’ fusion coupe. The price is 131.1 million won.

[글 최기성 매경닷컴 기자 사진 벤츠코리아]

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