Despite being nearly 18 months away from production, the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS has been spotted by AutoCar undergoing testing. Along with the visuals the spy shots provide of the new Merc, the report also claims the car will drop the AMG V-8 model.
The new CLS is slated to be built off the same architecture as the E-Class. The new roots would imply that the car should be renamed CLE to correspond to the E-Class of products, but apparently it won’t be renamed. Mercedes-Benz is keeping the extended length of the car, making it worthy of the CLS designation, apparently.
Regardless of the name on the back, the car appears very evolutionary from the spy shots. It’s basically a combination of current CLS and the new E-Class, from a design perspective.
Like its underpinnings, the CLS will share its powertrains with the E-Class. This means a turbocharged four-cylinder and V-6 will make up the bulk of the CLS volume. Where things will being to change is on the AMG side of the house, where the report claims the AMG C63 will not have a V-8 replacement.
Instead, the AMG model will likely be a new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. To be clear, this is an all-new engine for Mercedes and shouldn’t be confused with the brand’s 3.0-liter bi-turbo V-6. Whereas the V-6 variant generates about 362 horsepower, the inline-six is rumored to hit the 450 horsepower mark, making it very worthy of the AMG badge.
The migration from V-8 to inline-six isn’t entirely surprising here. The move will provide some variance between the CLS and the upcoming AMG GT sedan, which will have plenty of V-8 power.