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This week, U.S. journalists are test-driving the very first new-generation 2012 CLS coupes arriving in the U.S. The all-new CLS-Class coupe represents the first major redesign of a car that established an entirely new market segment – the four-door coupe, which combines the emotional appeal and dynamic design of a coupe with the comfort and functionality of a sedan. The 2012 CLS line consists of three exciting models, all powered by new biturbo direct-injection V8 engines and, for the first time, offers 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. MSRP’s start at $71,300 for the CLS550, $73,800 for the CLS550 4MATIC and $94,900 for the high-performance CLS63 AMG (not including delivery charges of $875).

World’s First Four-Door Coupe

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The distinctive body lines of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS have been
accentuated by its new design, and overall, the new CLS is about 1.2
inches longer and wider than its predecessor. The CLS fits right between
the S-Class-based CL and the E-Class two-door to form a family of
Mercedes coupes that makes efficient use of existing chassis and
powertrain layouts while preserving their unique individual identities.
The More Fuel-Efficient CLS550, with its new 4.6-liter direct-injection
twin-turbo V8, achieves 26 percent better fuel mileage
(est. 18 city / 26 hwy) than the previous model, while still producing
402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque. The CLS550 is equipped with new
electrically assisted power steering, AIRMATIC air suspension and a
revised seven-speed automatic transmission. Standard Mercedes safety
technology on all CLS coupes includes PRE-SAFE, ABS anti-lock brakes
with Brake Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, traction control and the ESP
electronic stability control. DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Brake is
optionally available, as well as Active Blind Spot Assist and Active
Lane Keeping Assist.

CLS63 AMG Features Eco Stop-Start System

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The 5.5-liter version of the new direct-injection V8 engine in the
2012 CLS63 AMG is rated at 518 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque. An optional
AMG Performance Package increases output to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of
torque. Even with its high-performance, the CLS63 AMG is 26 percent more
fuel efficient (est. 15 city / 23 hwy), thanks in part to an innovative
ECO stopstart system. Whenever the AMG model stops in “D” or “N” with
the brake pedal depressed in “Controlled Efficiency” transmission mode,
the engine is automatically turned off to save fuel. As soon as the
driver releases the brake, the engine computer decides which piston is
in the best position for first ignition, and the direct fuel injection
and multi-spark systems work with a starter motor to re-start the engine
almost instantly.

Innovative MCT Transmission

The CLS63 AMG features a 7-speed MCT (multi-clutch technology) sport
transmission with an innovative start-up clutch that replaces the
conventional torque converter. Providing the direct feedback of a manual
transmission with the total convenience of an automatic, the MCT
transmission offers impressive versatility and faster shift times.

In addition to larger brakes and wider wheels and tires, the CLS63
AMG also sports a unique combination of steel coil springs at the front
and AIRMATIC suspension at the rear, which provides especially
responsive handling from the front suspension, while the self-leveling
AIRMATIC at the rear maintains consistent ride height, regardless of the
load. Along with a tubular front stabilizer bar, the CLS63 AMG is
fitted with special front control arms and wheel hub carriers that
provide wider track and more negative camber for even better grip in
high speed curves. The CLS63 AMG rear suspension includes new track rods
and push-pull rods as well as more rigid sub-frame mounts that all
contribute to enhanced cornering.

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