Ahead of its formal media debut at the Paris Motor Show on September 30, Mercedes has released more photos of its most emotionally styled sedan, the CLS. The public days follow on October 2 – 17.
While abandoning some of the flowing and rounded look of the original, the new flagship is trying to straddle the opposing fences of automotive design – curves versus angles.
Auto design has been in this cycle for decades, if not forever. Round it off, then square it off or combine the two – repeat.
The four-door coupe, of course, maintains its signature frame-less side glass and longitudinal accent lines that soar from front to rear, in an unacknowledged tribute to Detroit stylists who perfected the four-coupe coupe look in the 1950s, the Golden Age of American automobiles.
And there is nothing new under the German sun either, starting with the Benz ‘s recently exaggerated or over-sized tri-star on the grille, the long nose that sweeps back into a reclined windshield followed by the a low roof that recedes into a truncated trunk lid.
But the CLS is not about practicality, of course – rear head or trunk room are secondary to the look, one that was so successful that is being pursued by virtually all automakers in their current or future portfolios, from the Buick LaCrosse to various Jaguars, to Hyundai’s Sonata and the Volkswagen CC, to name but a few. Cadillac stands alone in pursuing purer angles.
The interior of the new CLS has been upgraded, too, in a distinct departure with classic design, it echoes the current and widely copied German clichés by eschewing wood in the signature show car in favor of carbon fiber panels and cold Teutonic tones and chrome cues that could also be used on modern bathroom fixtures or Braun and Bosch appliances. On reflection, they in fact already are.
However, the latest interior shot released today shows lighter tones and wood accents as well in at least one version – a good thing in my view because the higher beltline will produce a cave-like effect inside.