With worrying rumors of the CLS getting the proverbial ax in the United States, we shouldn’t be surprised that the 2022MY lineup has been simplified. Gone are the base model CLS 450 rear-wheel drive and flagship AMG CLS 53, leaving the CLS 450 4Matic as the only version of the more elegant cousin of the E-Class.
It’s a different situation in Europe where updated CLS soldiers use the performance derivative. Not only that, but the AMG variant gets a limited edition limited to 300 pieces. Buyers can choose from Magno Selenite Gray or Magno White Cashmere paint jobs, with body stripes above the side edges. The fancy version sits on 20-inch AMG wheels with a two-spoke design and a very shiny rim flange.
Opt for the limited edition and Mercedes will add the night package and the night package II as standard equipment. These bring an assortment of black design details with dark tinted glass to give the CLS 53 a classier look. The AMG Dynamic Plus Package is also included, adding red brake calipers and a Race driving mode with a Drift option. Open the front doors and the LEDs will project the AMG logo onto the ground.
Once inside, there is a sportier steering wheel wrapped in nappa leather with two-tone leather upholstery and carbon fiber trim. To complete the changes, AMG branded steering wheel buttons and contrasting red stitching.
The understated facelift applied to the CLS brings no changes under the hood of the “53” model, which continues to deliver 429 horsepower (320 kilowatts) and 384 pound-feet (520 Newton-meters) of torque. The Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) adds a temporary increase of 21 hp (16 kW) of power and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm).
The CLS 53 Mild Hybrid isn’t quite the greasy ’63’ model that had to die for the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe to live, but it’s no slouch either. It only needs four and a half seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km / h) from standstill and will end at an electronically regulated 155 mph (250 km / h) speed. When equipped with the optional AMG Driver’s Package, top speed increases to 270 km / h (168 mph).
Mercedes will put the slightly updated CLS on sale in Europe this month, while its American cousin is expected to arrive early next year.