New engine, safety tech, and air vent lighting
Mercedes saved the best for last at its Los Angeles Auto Show press conference. After showing the updated S-Class cabriolet, talking about its EQ electric vehicle brand, and the U.S. reveal of the AMG GT4 race car and AMG Project One hypercar, the German automaker’s the third-generation 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class made its debut. Beauty and style were commonly used adjectives during the presentation, but this four-door coupe is much more than that. Mercedes packed the CLS with a new straight-six engine and plenty of neat technology and luxury.
The New Inline-Six Engine
Mercedes-Benz finally brings back the straight-six engine after a long absence, making the automaker one of the few that still uses an inline-six engine. The 3.0-liter I-6 produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, thanks to a combination of turbocharging and a small electric motor. An integrated starter generator and a 48-volt onboard electrical system called the EQ boost assists the engine when accelerating by adding 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque for a short amount of time. Driving without the gasoline engine, or “sailing,” is possible, and the system supplies the battery with power through high-efficiency recuperation. This allows for improved fuel efficiency and plenty of immediate power.
Neat Safety Tech
The new 2019 Mercedes CLS is full of new safety tech from the S-Class, but here are just a few interesting ones. In the event of a lateral collision, the Pre-Safe Impulse Side feature will rapidly inflate the appropriate seat’s side bolster in an effort to move the passenger 2.75 inches away from the impact zone in order to help reduce the load of the accident. Pre-Safe Sound helps prevent hearing loss in the event of an accident by omitting a short interference signal that triggers the ear’s protective reflex called the stapedius reflex. The standard car-to-x communication (also referred to as V2V) system acts as a receiver and transmitter of warning messages and driving conditions from other vehicles, allowing drivers to “see” hazards much farther ahead. With the help of the Comand navigation system (if equipped), the route-based speed adaptation system will automatically reduce the CLS’ speed in anticipation of upcoming roads bends, junctions, roundabouts, toll booths, and exit roads. The Active Speed Limit assist automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed when the identified speed limit changes.
It’s Now a Five-Seater
Unlike the previous two generations, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS is now a five-seater. Even though Mercedes designed the rear seats to have the same appearance as the front seats in order to create a single-seat impression, the new CLS does, in fact, have a middle seat. It might be small and not very noticeable, but it’s there.
This feature links many comfort systems together including climate control, the fragrance system, surface and steering wheel heating, lighting, music, and the seat’s heater, ventilation, and massaging functions to create a specific environment in the cabin. There are six settings that can be selected: Refresh/Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort/Well-Being, and Training (three training modes include muscle relaxation, muscle activation, and muscle balance). Each setting adjusts all comfort systems to the mood or needs of the driver and helps to increase driver performance and well-being, according to Mercedes.
Ambient Lighting (in the Air Vents)
Like many Mercedes-Benz vehicles, an impressive 64-color ambient lighting system is available and provides additional interior customization for the occupants at the touch of a button. On the 2019 CLS, the ambient lighting extends to the air vents, providing a high-tech and modern interior look. In addition, the ambient lighting in the air vents briefly changes to red (warner) or blue (colder) depending on how you adjust the climate control. This is one of many standard features in the redesigned CLS.
The highlight of the interior is the optional dual-screen cockpit, which consists of two 12.3-inch high-resolution screens (one in the instrument cluster and one in the center stack) that are merged together to form a very large widescreen display beneath a single continuous glass panel. The instrument panel screen displays crisp gauges and important reconfigurable driver information, and the center stack screen displays the latest version of Mercedes’ Comand infotainment system. The fully digital cockpit can be configured into three selectable styles: Classic, Sport, and Progressive. The two screens create quite a remarkable look in an already striking interior.