Here's which model got axed.
The original Mercedes-Benz CLS introduced the world to the four-door coupe concept with its sexy roofline and pillar-less doors. It was once the prettiest vehicle in the Mercedes lineup, but its importance has significantly dwindled over the years. The arrival of the AMG GT 63 precluded the need for the CLS 63, so Mercedes discontinued it back in 2017. It wasn't quite as potent, but the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 filled its place in the AMG lineup.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS just made its official debut, sporting a facelift inside and out. We knew this updated model was coming based on spy shots, but we didn't realize the CLS lineup would shrink yet again. The official photos show the 2022 CLS with two variants, but CarBuzz can confirm that only one is coming to the United States.
The car pictured in the darker blue shade is the CLS 450, powered by a turbocharged mild-hybrid inline-six producing 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes also showed off the facelifted CLS 53 (pictured in light blue), sporting a more highly-tuned inline-six with 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. The CLS 53 will likely exist in other markets but not the US.
"At facelift, the 2022 CLS will be available in the US exclusively as the CLS 450 4MATIC," a Mercedes spokesperson told CarBuzz. This wording doesn't rule out the car arriving as a 2023 model, but the CLS 53 is at least taking a brief hiatus.
With the recent influx of AMG models, it's a bit surprising to see the lineup shrink, even by a single model. However, it's not difficult to see why Mercedes gave the CLS 53 the ax. Even with a 67 hp advantage, the CLS 53 only hit 60 mph two-tenths of a second quicker than its non-AMG counterpart. And like with the CLS 63 back in 2017, the CLS 53's role in the lineup is basically filled by the AMG GT 53, not to mention other 53-branded models like the E53 Sedan, Coupe, and Convertible.