The New Mercedes AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+ Means Business. And Pleasure

30 September 2019
The third generation CLS has updated ride settings, beefed up bodywork and an engine that's chomping at the bit

When Mercedes first launched their AMG CLS in 2003, their aim was to blend the aesthetics of a coupe with the comfort of a sedan. Throw in all-out performance from AMG and you start to get a very impressive motoring venn diagram.

After 16 years, this third generation CLS has really come into its own, mixing the storied AMG performance with a new, smoother and more civilized ride when it’s needed, plus an upgrade on the already striking CLS body.

What you have here is a grown-up, refined, stately car that’s just dying to show you how much fun it can be. Think of it like your managing director at the Christmas Party. Only much, much cooler.

From the outside, the new AMG CLS has lost none of its enticing menace, the front end crouching like a sprinter ready to explode out of the blocks. Through the body, AMG specific panels and a rear-apron diffuser add to the 53’s road presence, while the addition of a moulded spoiler lifts the back end. It's the subtlest of touches but it looks fantastic. The quad exhausts also give everyone plenty to think about in your wake.

Which brings us to performance. The AMG’s six-cylinder in-line engine makes use of an electric auxillary compressor to eliminate turbo lag, propelling the 3.0 litre engine, and you, to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. Opt for the driver’s package and it won’t stop until you hit a top speed of 270km/h. Short shifts mean faster response times from the gear paddles and the 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive means it’ll grip like the road like glue.

There is of course a time and a place for all this. And given that you likely won’t be racing very often (if ever), it’s comforting to know that when you switch the CLS into Air Body Control (available on request) you get an air dampened suspension which softens the stiff racing set-up and transforms the CLS into a luxurious and relaxing cruiser.

Powerful yet comfortable, brash and refined, spacious but elegant: the new AMG CLS 53 is a series of brilliantly resolved contradictions. Safe to say, we enjoyed drivng it very much.

Shot on location at W Dubai