James Bond hates inconspicuous, so Mercedes is giving him a Panamericana grille.
To conquer, one must first divide the enemy. Unless of course you’re talking about an automaker conquering the entire luxury segment, in which case one must divide, splitting and multiplying like a cancer cell to give customers so enough choices to pull the weight of multiple niche car companies. That’s been Mercedes’ policy for some time now, and just as it’s planning to expand both the high and low ends of its lineup, Auto Express has learned a bit about what to expect from the new CLS.
With an expected reveal date during this September’s 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new CLS will be based off of the current E-Class, sharing its engine and transmission options while being clothed in a body that has a bit more flair to it. As previously reported, the CLS line will be split, with the second model, based off of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept we saw in Geneva, aimed squarely at the Porsche Panamera and BMW M6 Gran Coupe market. According to Mercedes chief design officer Gorden Wagener, both cars will be geared for international men of mysteries who have kids in tow. “The CLS is for James Bond, and the GT Concept is for Jason Bourne. That describes the different approaches to those vehicles.”
That’s not to say the AMG GT sedan will be lacking in the gadgets department. Like the CLS, it will feature Mercedes’ cutting-edge silicon from the current E-Class and S-Class. And even with an aggressively sloped roofline, large wheels, and a slim passenger windows, interior headroom will remain the same as on the current CLS. Those grasping for a mental picture for the CLS should envision the current model with a Panamericana grille grinning up front, though unlike the AMG GT sedan, Bond’s car will feature Mercedes’ latest inline-six engines and no chance of a V8. Save that trade-in for 2019 when both four and five-seat layouts of the CLS and AMG GT sedan are expected to hit dealerships.