Sedan Style Battle – Mercedes-AMG CLS Vs. Mercedes-AMG GT4
Merc’s slick and quick four-doors go head-to-head as we analyze the exterior style of eachby Jonathan Lopez, on
Look, we get it. You want it all – mouth-watering good looks, endless comfort, space for four, and world-cracking performance. We’re the same way. That’s why Mercedes started building models like the AMG CLS 63, a “four-door coupe” with enough chutzpah to roll up on top-dollar sports cars like it’s nothing. However, word has it Merc and AMG are cooking up a new take on that old recipe with something called the GT4, a high-powered sedan capable of challenging the likes of the Porsche Panamera GTS and Aston Martin Rapide S. We think it’s a swell idea, and even went to the trouble of putting together a rendering of what it’ll look like. Problem is, we did the same thing for the upcoming third-gen AMG CLS 63. That means it’s time for a showdown.
As such, we did a little digging to find out what inspired these two models, and put them side-by-side to see which comes out in a battle of style. Both look mean, sleek, and like they’re doing three times to speed limit just standing still. The question is – which looks the best?
Continue reading for the full story.
Background And History
Before we get into the specifics for each of these machines, it makes sense to quickly recap where each model is coming from. Where can we trace the lineage, and does that older DNA appear in the modern body lines as well?
Pictured from left to right: 2003 Vision CLS Concept, first-generation Mercedes CLS, second-generation Mercedes CLS.
The four-door coupe CLS was first previewed in 2003, when Mercedes introduced the Vision CLS Concept at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. Mercedes followed up the concept with a production version for the 2005 model year. Standout styling cues for the first-generation CLS include a long hood line, a gently curving roofline, and a short, smooth-edged tail.
The look is simple and graceful, combining the sleek lines of a four-door with the proportional boldness of a coupe. The second-gen continued this theme, enhancing the style by way of a chunkier front end and more rounded haunches.
Pictured from left to right: Mercedes 300 SL, SLS AMG, AMG GT.
If you wanted to, you could trace the GT4’s genesis all the way back to the ‘50s with the 300 SL Gullwing. After all, it was that first SL-Class grand tourer that provided the inspiration for the SLS AMG, a high-powered two-door coupe and roadster that revived the legendary “Sport Leicht’s” penchant for opulent top speed performance and doors that flip towards the sky.
Merc replaced the SLS in 2014 with the AMG GT, revealing the modern two-seater at the Paris Motor Show. Throughout the lineage, the ultra-long hood, cab-back proportions, and lowered stance are obvious, all of which are features that should make it onto the modern GT4.
Exterior Features – CLS Vs. GT4
Mercedes-AMG CLS pictured on the left, Mercedes-AMG GT4 pictured on the right.
Placed side-by-side, there’s quite a bit of overlap between these two sports sedans, and it’s clear the Mercedes 300 SL provides plenty of the cues. Starting in front, both models get an extended hood with individual sinewy muscle lines that draw the eye rearwards. The headlight housings are slim and taut, pulled back into the front fenders, throwing additional visual weight towards the tail. The rooflines are a gentle arc that fall into the tail at a graceful angle, loading up the trunk with muscle-bound poise. The stance for both is low and long, looking like some kind of Teutonic missile ready to launch into orbit.
Placed side-by-side, there’s quite a bit of overlap between these two sports sedans, and it’s clear the Mercedes 300 SL provides plenty of the cues, with both models looking like some kind of Teutonic missile ready to launch into orbit.
But the devil is in the details, and there are a few things we can pick out that divide these two models into separate camps, at least aesthetically speaking. First, the front end on the GT4 is much more sleek and simple compared to the curves and angles on the CLS. Chalk it up to the busier front end on the second-gen CLS, as well as the aero-intensive design found on the current AMG GT, with the former focused on making heads turn and the latter focused on making additional frontend grip.
Both cars incorporate a good amount of aerodynamic enhancements. The CLS, for example, gets a prominent duckbill spoiler on the trunk, plus a sizable diffuser and prominent side skirts. However, we’d expect the GT4 to one-up the CLS when it comes to wing.
Not that both cars don’t incorporate a good amount of aerodynamic enhancements. The CLS, for example, gets a prominent duckbill spoiler on the trunk, plus a sizable diffuser and prominent side skirts. However, we’d expect the GT4 to one-up the CLS when it comes to wing, possibly with even more of the traditional DTM inspiration in back (something hinted at in recent spy shots), and maybe some active elements that rise and fall with fluctuating downforce needs as well.
Speaking of the rear end, it appears as though the GT4 utilizes rounded exhaust tips, whereas the CLS will use a more squared-off design. Of course, this is based on spy shots that might change when the production iteration rolls out, but either way, expect lots of shiny chrome on both.
Expect more carbon fiber on the even-faster GT4.
We would also expect more carbon fiber on the even-faster GT4. The CLS will likely get optional trim bits made from the composite, but the GT4 should get it as standard.
Wheel sizing will also likely differ, with the CLS getting 19-inchers as standard and the GT4 getting 20-inchers as standard. Of course, Mercedes will likely offer a variety of options for both models when it comes to sizing and styles for the rollers. The GT4 will also likely get a plus-one in terms of brake size, as well.
To be completely honest, we think both of these machines are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and picking one as the favorite is near impossible. So we leave it up to you, dear reader – which looks like the better Mercedes, stylistically speaking? Let us know in the comments section.