BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Oct 2003
Vehicle: C240 (w202), V-6, 170 hp. 188,200 km, Y2K model yr. Obsidian Black metallic color. H&R Cup Kit.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
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"In a double Frankfurt launch coup last month, Mercedes unwrapped its long awaited SLR supercar and the CLS- a swoopy new four door saloon cum coupe due to arrive late next year with an entry price of around 40,000 [British pounds].
Based on lightly modified E-Class underpinnings, the CLS slots into the Mercedes Benz range between the CLK and CL, taking on BMW's 6 series, the Jaguar XK8, and Audi Nuvolari.
Although the CLS is labeled 'Vision' - Mercedes parlance for concept car- it will go on sale virtually unchanged. ""The show car is highly representative of what we intend to build. Only detailed features will be modified,"" Mercedes boss Jurgen Hubbert told Autocar.
Buckling the coupe trend towards rear hinged doors, the CLS's long rear doors open in a conventional manner- hinging at the front on a strengthened side member. The B-pillar is retained, through clever styling tricks - darkened paneling on the pillars and tight shut lines between the doors - give it an almost pillarless apppearance. The doors are also frameless.
At 4,110mm long, 1,851mm wide, and 1,391mm high, the CLS is 90mm longer, 31mm wider, and 59mm lower than the E-Class saloon. Because it rides on the same 2,854mm wheelbase, the front end and rear overhangs are extended, most notably at the rear.
Production versions will come with a wide range of V6 and V8 petrol and diesel engines, as well as Mercedes' new seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox. Mercedes has also engineered the CLS to accept its 4Matic four-wheel drive system.
Also in the picpeline is a red hot CLS55 AMG version running the German car maker's familiar supercharged 5.4 litre V8 - as seen in the E and SL55. With 500hp and 516Ib feet of torque, it will combat the future BMW M6." -(Autocar/Bangkok Post Service, Motoring, pg.4, October 17, 2003)