Merc is prepping the third-gen model, and this is what it’s gonna look like

The four-door sedan body style seems to be in the middle of an evolution. Once the cornerstone of almost every automaker’s lineup, sedan sales are in decline, while alternative interpretations are popping up at an ever-increasing rate. One of the more popular developments is the luxury four-door coupe, a style that promises the rear-seat comfort and enhanced accessibility expected of a traditional four-door, plus the fashionable cut of a fastback profile. Mercedes is a bit of trendsetter in this arena, debuting the CLS as early as 2004, and the German competition has followed suit with the likes of the Audi RS7, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, and Porsche Panamera. Currently in its second generation, the go-faster AMG CLS 63 is ripe for an update, but the question is this – what’ll it look like? To find out, we did a few thought experiments and put together a rendering. This is the result.

Drawing inspiration from a series of recent spy shots, as well as Merc’s latest production and conceptual design language, the new AMG CLS 63 looks to be an absolute stunner of an automobile, more than capable of turning heads almost anywhere it goes. That said, there’s a lot at work here that isn’t immediately obvious, so read on for some history on the model, an analysis of the design, and why Mercedes may decide to kill the AMG CLS 63 outright.

Continue reading for the full story.

Background And History

2003 Vision CLS Concept

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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In 2003, Mercedes revealed the Vision CLS Concept at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, setting the stage for the first-generation CLS to roll off the production line a year later. The brain behind the looks belongs to Michael Fink, an American automotive designer also responsible for penning the preceding CLK.

The first-gen CLS received L-shaped headlights that fall into the front fenders with a swept-back appearance, adding visual length to the stretched hood line. Solid horizontal slats fill the front intake, while a prominent character crease runs from the front wheels to the rear, adding a sleek, sporty flavor to the profile. Complementing these performance cues is a low roofline and a short, rounded rear end.

First Generation 2005 - 2010

2007 Mercedes CLS-Class
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2007 Mercedes CLS-Class
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Mercedes-AMG dropped cover on the more powerful CLS 55 in 2004 at the Paris Motor Show, adding unique 19-inch alloy wheels, bigger intakes, and four exhaust pipes in the rear. In 2008, the CLS got a facelift with a new grille, tweaked air vents, trapezoidal exhaust tips, and an updated rear bumper.

Pre-Second-Gen Concepts

2010 Mercedes F800 Style Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2011 Mercedes Concept Shooting Break High Resolution Exterior
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Note: F800 Style concept pictured on the left, Concept Shooting Brake pictured on the right.

Prior to the second-gen CLS’s arrival at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Mercedes previewed the update with the F800 Style concept at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show. That same year, Mercedes also revealed the Concept Shooting Brake at Auto China, heralding a forthcoming wagon body style for the CLS.

Second Generation 2011 - Present

2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Exterior
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2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Exterior
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Styling changes for the second-gen CLS include a new front end studded with full LED headlights, a new grille housing and large three-pointed star emblem, and a more prominent flair for the rear wheel arches.

So What Exactly Am I Looking At Here?

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Exterior Spyshots
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2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Exterior Spyshots
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2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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Mercedes CLS spy shots pictured on top, TopSpeed’s Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 rendering pictured on the bottom.

There’s little doubt the third-generation Mercedes CLS is on its way to production, as evidenced by the above-pictured spy shots showing a camo-clad test mule out and about for some real-world testing. And although the swirling black and white lines do a good job in hiding what lies beneath, it’s still rather obvious the new CLS is a major step forward in terms of aesthetics.

Applying our patented X-ray filter and just a splash of imagination, we find the new CLS mixes cues from a variety of Mercedes sources, including the new E-Class, the AMG GT, the S-Class, and of course, the AMG GT super-sedan concept that dropped cover in Geneva earlier this year.

Standout features for the new CLS include a strong lineup of classic AMG styling elements, such as deep cuts in the front fascia and sinewy lines along the body, all of which lead the eye rearwards. A long hood line and truncated tail give the CLS added muscularity without overpowering the inherent elegance of the shape, combining the suggestion of performance with innate refinement.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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Deep intakes in the nose and vertical polished bars in the central grille recall the previously mentioned AMG GT sedan concept, giving way to slim headlights that seem stretched tight against the flared front fenders. LEDs are used for the L-shaped daytime running lights, while additional polished trim sparkles in the wings.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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Viewed from the side, the four-door coupe body style is revealed in its full glory, rocking a gently curved roofline that falls into the trunk with rear-biased poise, like an athlete preparing to sprint. The corners receive 19-inch multi-spoke AMG wheels with a black finish, polished lip, and lightweight alloy construction, under which you’ll find mammoth AMG-branded brake calipers. Other lightweight wheel options should include alternative designs, as well as sizing up to 20 inches in diameter.

In back, the CLS offers a well-rounded tail with a flat, angular spoiler jutting off the trunk lid. Slim taillights (also equipped with LEDs) visually enhance the car’s natural width, while a black diffuser with silver trim bring it closer to the ground. Quad exhaust tips glint with a polished finish, while the requisite badging declares the make and model.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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Opportunities for customization should be plentiful, with carbon fiber and blacked-out trim both returning to the options list. The AMG CLS will also get a wide variety of paint options, although most will be subdued shades of white, black, grey, and silver. That said, more engaging hues, such as Lunar Blue and Cardinal Red, will be on deck if you’re looking for something less traditional.

Current CLS 63 vs Our Rendering

2015 Mercedes CLS63 AMG
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2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2015 Mercedes CLS63 AMG
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2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63: Rendering
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Will the Mercedes-AMG GT4 Kill the CLS?

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Sorry to ruin the party, but its entirely possible Mercedes will axe the V-8-powered AMG CLS 63 in the forthcoming third-gen changeover. The rumor stems from a recent report from Autocar that suggests the model might see retirement to make room for the new 800-horsepower hybrid four-door AMG GT, also known as the GT 4. In a scenario like that, Mercedes would most likely replace the CLS nameplate with CLE, while the top-trim appointment would stop with an AMG-tuned 3.0-liter six-cylinder.

We still have about a year to go before the truth is revealed, but in the meantime, we wanna know – what do you think of our rendering? Should Mercedes continue to build the AMG CLS 63, or drop it in favor of the GT 4? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section.

Jonathan Lopez
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