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Mercedes-Benz CLS 2022: design changes for CLS 53, CLS 450


The latest generation of the car that originated the coupe-saloon trend, the Mercedes-Benz CLS, receives subtle design alterations for 2021.

Three years after the launch of the C257-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – a svelte four-door coupe – and it’s time for a light facelift inside and out.

It will take an eagle-eyed CLS fan to note the subtle changes outside, which Mercedes-Benz say are primarily limited to massaged bumper designs and restyled radiator grilles.

Both variants of the two-strong Australian CLS range will benefit from minor changes designed to keep the coupe fresh against key rivals like the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A7.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 2021 Spectral Blue
Spectral Blue has been added to the colour palette of the CLS.

Overseas, a range of four- and six-cylinder engines are available with petrol and diesel propulsion, though Chasing Cars understands there is no plan to deviate from the current local range that exclusively favours six-cylinder petrol engines – one on more luxurious Mercedes-Benz guise, and the other in more athletic Mercedes-AMG fashion.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed but it is likely that the CLS range will continue to open with the 270kW/500Nm CLS 450 – ably assisted by a further 16kW/250Nm boost from the 48-volt integrated starter generator mild hybrid system.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 still wears AMG Line trim as standard in Australia, and these cars will now pick up more black detailing around the front apron and air intakes – while the black gloss will be broken up by a front splitter finished in chrome.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 2021 cream leather
A variety of new interior leather and trim combinations are available.

AMG wheels are fitted as standard in sizes up to 20 inches, and there are new wheel designs, including a bicolour option for the CLS 450.

Inside, the CLS will grab Benz’s latest ‘Super Sport’ steering wheel design also seen on the recently facelifted E-Class. The wheel is fitted with capacitive hand detection for more accurate feedback for the lane keeping assistance system.

Additionally, new leather and trim options will be available globally, including two-tone grey leather and brown-black two-tone, with optional open-pore walnut and high-gloss grey wood joining the trim palette.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 2021 Spectral Blue
Pictured: the Mercedes-Benz CLS 2022 in AMG Line trim.

Globally, a CLS Limited Edition will be available – though there’s no word yet on whether any of the 300 units planned to be built will reach Australia, or which engines can be specified. The Limited Edition will include one of two matte paint options (white or grey), highlighted with gloss racing stripes above the side sills. 20-inch AMG twin five-spoke wheels will be standard, along with a variety of cosmetic options borrowed from the AMG suite.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 uses an upgraded version of the same M256 three-litre engine found in the CLS 450.

In AMG form, the motor produces an additional 50kW/20Nm for combustion totals of 320kW/520Nm – though the engine is again assisted with additional 16kW/250Nm boosts from the 48-volt system for a 0-100km/h time of 4.5sec – 0.3sec quicker than the CLS 450.

The AMG CLS 53 ramps up the aggression at the front end, among other design changes.

The AMG CLS 53 benefits from a more aggressive front apron now with additional black detailing, particularly when specified with the blackout Night Package, which is likely to be standard in Australia. Carbon fibre detailing outside will also be available as an option, while the new Night Package II darkens the radiator grille, rear Mercedes star and badgework to a dark chrome finish.

Inside, darker tones abound with available carbon fibre trim, while the AMG Dynamic Plus package will switch the new steering wheel rim finish to a mix of nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre.

An additional Race driving mode has now been added to the AMG CLS 53’s quiver with a built-in Drift mode.

Further Australian pricing and specifications is expected to be released ahead of the updated CLS’s local arrival around the third quarter of 2021, though prices are not expected to deviate significantly from the current tags of $164,600 (CLS 450) or $189,100 (CLS 53).

Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 2021 matte grey
The AMG CLS 53.