by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLE (C 257) - First scoops of the CLS successor

At the end of next year or in early 2018, Mercedes-Benz will unveil the third generation of its current CLS model. Given the recent repositioning of the portfolio and the new naming scheme that came into force in 2015, the CLS title will be changed accordingly to CLE as to emphasize the direct connection with the new E-Class.

From what is visible in the first spy shots, the CLE looks set to grow in size compared to the current C 218 generation of the CLS. Shorter front overhangs and longer rear overhangs will also help visually elongate the new business 4-door coupe. The new CLE, which, according to latest rumors, is internally codenamed C 257, will ride on the second generation of the MRA rear-propelled platform. Developed from the Mercedes Rearwheel Architecture of the new E-Class (213 model series), the new MRA 2 underpinnings will boost the level of comfort and will ensure sharper dynamics for the new CLE.

In terms of exterior design, Prof. Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, will launch Phase 2 of the Sensual Purity design philosophy with the new 4-door coupe. We expect a clean side profile (maybe only a few straight character lines), slimmer headlights, horizontally positioned tail lamps and the characteristic low, rakish roofline. Inside, the dashboard will most likely receive more sinuous surfaces and several distinct design features as to set the CLE apart as an exclusive car.

The Widescreen Cockpit known from the E-Class will make its way onto the new CLE as wheel, probably as a standard feature on every model line. We also expect to see a new steering wheel complete with Touch Control commands. The cabin will accommodate 4 passengers as usual, so the new CLE may also get a detachable tablet mounted into the rear armrest, used by the rear passengers as to control the functions of the COMAND Online infotainment system.

In addition, the new CLE could also get a gesture control system and touchscreen capability for the Widescreen Cockpit, features that are expected to be first debuted on the brand new S-Class facelift generation (222 model series) arriving at the start of spring 2017. What is more, as the current CLS model generation introduced the first full LED headlights back in 2010 and the MULTIBEAM LED (with 24 independently adjustable LEDs per lighting unit) system in 2014, absolute firsts in the automotive industry, the new CLE will also pioneer an all new lighting technology: the first full OLED multibeam headlamps, that are expected to offer an increased visibility range of 600 meters, enhanced efficiency, multiple illumination functions and modes and lesser costs compared to nowadays' LED or even laser-based technologies. The tail lights are also dubbed to replace the current LEDs with OLEDs.

According to uncited sources, there will also be a new generation CLS, only that this time, the development job was handed over to Mercedes-AMG. This will turn the current generation into a fully-bred AMG performance 4-door coupe that will fight against Porsche Panamera. In order to emphasize its belonging to the GT family, the project has received the internal designation C 290, whereas the new model might be called Mercedes-AMG CLS GT4, as to showcase the fact it will be underpinned by an all-wheel-drive platform.

As previously reported (see HERE), the CLS Shooting Brake will appearantly be discontinued and will not make it for a second generation due to sluggish sales. Even though the initial reception of the Concept Shooting Break was encouraging and led to the decision of production (see HERE), the series model X 218 never managed to reach the summit of success and attract the desired number of clients.

Image Credits: Autoevolution / Motor1

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