Los Angeles motor show 2017
For when the going gets tough…
English spied – well, he could’t really miss it – this extraordinary extreme-weather pick-up with caterpillar tracks at each corner.
Should we tell GMC that Land Rover did the same thing, using Cuthbertson tracks, way back in 1958?
Early reactions have not been kind to the latest version of the Mercedes CLS, Stuttgart’s E-class super coupé, which began life as a svelte four-door coupé in 2005. The first version was the kind of car that could make the average Mercedes owner – usually a placid sort of cove – almost green with envy. The Mk2 version of 2010 turned down the looks, which weren’t lifted much by the 2014 facelift.
Now this car, the third version, has firmly pressed the louche button, with a super-surfaced, almost over-refined appearance, although we should wait until we see the car away from the show stand and in the daylight to give a full opinion.
This new coupé debuts Mercedes’s new range of in-line, six-cylinder engines: a 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel and a turbo petrol. The diesel is essentially the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a couple of cylinders added; in the C350 d 4Matic, it produces 286bhp and 442lb ft of torque, with the 400 d 4Matic developing 340bhp and 516lb ft.
The 450 4Matic turbo petrol model has 367bhp and 369lb ft, but it also packs a 48-volt integrated starter generator which adds a further 22bhp and 184lb ft to the wheel for short periods, and recoups braking energy to the car. Mercedes claims it adds up to the equivalent of a V8 engine – but I bet it doesn’t sound as good.
The new CLS goes on sale in December starting at £57,000 with the first deliveries in March. Interestingly there won’t be a shooting break version, which leaves a gap in the market – possibly. Also there won’t be an AMG 63 performance version to leave clear blue water between this four-door coupé and the forthcoming four-door AMG GT model.
Instead, the performance version is rumoured to be the AMG53 hybrid driveline, which is also slated for installation in the E-series – including the coupé and cabriolet versions – next year.