Mercedes-Benz adds new, small capacity engine to large luxury coupe, the CLS


UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz South Africa's response regarding the car's local status, has been added lower down in the article.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS is a luxury ship on wheels. The car, with its vast array of technological features and class, is one of the automaker's leading innovations. Not just in terms of technology, but also with regards to design and overall package.

The CLS, sold in most major markets around the world, is also available in China – one of the leading markets for luxury cars. If a new model makes its appearance, chances are that China (followed by the US and Europe) will be on the of the first custodians.

As if to underline the statement, Carscoops published an article that the CLS will gain a new engine and that this new model is destined for the Chinese market. Called the CLS 260, the car will serve as the new entry-level model to the range.

The CLS, according to the publication, will adopt the same turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that's found in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and power is unchanged at 135kW and 280Nm.

Would you consider the CLS 260 if it came to our market, and why? Email us.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 260

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS 260. Image: Carscoops

A small(er) engine?

The CLS is a big car and, as such, one would think that an engine of decent displacement would suffice. In South Africa, we have two six-cylinder models making up the range. The CLS 400d (250kW/700Nm) and the CLS 53 AMG (320kW/520Nm).

Other markets have greater engine options, including four-cylinder units. The 1.5-litre, however, is the smallest, but there is merit to the decision.

REVIEW: Mercedes' lavish CLS 53 AMG 4Matic+

The automotive world is fast-moving into an electric, low-emission future, one that's leaving the traditional internal combustion engine behind. By bringing in this engine, Mercedes-Benz can gauge how a leading market will react to a large, fuel-efficient luxury car. As it stands, the CLS 260 is said to use around 7.2-litres/100km, but will not forego performance in the process.

0-100km/h takes a leisurely 8.7 seconds, while top speed is rated at 250km/h.

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Mercedes-Benz CLS 260

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS 260. Image: Carscoops

Should this car come to SA?

Mercedes-Benz SA said: "We will only offer the CLS 400d and CLS 53AMG in our market. No plans for the 1.5-litre engine, not for our market at this moment."

But what's our take: should the CLS 260 come to South Africa?

Quick Review: The Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d might be a lofty sedan but it is as frugal as a small city car

Well, if it makes financial sense, then yes. But according to Carscoops, the CLS 260 will carry a starting price of 576 800 yuan, which equates to around R1 486 812. That is more expensive than the R1.3-million CLS 400d and R1.34-million CLS 400d AMG Line. It's highly unlikely that buyers in this segment will opt for a smaller displacement engine at a higher asking price.

However, with one eye on the future and one on the present, a model like this could make sense. The execution of such a marketing plan, however, would have to be watertight.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 260

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS 260. Image: Carscoops

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