The unusual duo of camouflaged prototypes has been spotted roaming the streets of Frankfurt.
Both have four wheels and a three-pointed star, but that’s where the similarities end as the first-ever Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 and next-generation Sprinter are entirely different vehicles. The near-production prototypes were seen the other day still wearing full camo attire ahead of the scheduled premieres set to take place in the near future. Actually, we won’t have to wait much longer to see the range-topping CLS as the hybridized sedan will premiere in a couple of weeks at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Even though it’s clad in Mercedes’ typical swirly disguise from front to rear, it’s easy to see the CLS 53 won’t be that much different than the lesser versions of the range. A slightly more aggressive body is in the offing, complete with larger air vents, bigger wheels, and possibly a lowered suspension setup. Despite these changes made on the outside, the flagship CLS will still look restrained. There’s a very good reason for that – to allow the four-door AMG GT stand out once it will be unveiled also in Detroit to fill in the void left by the CLS 63’s demise.
Getting back to the “53” model, the cat is pretty much out of the bag as we already know it is bound to use a turbocharged inline-six 3.0-liter gasoline engine teamed up with an electric motor. The hybrid setup will be good for roughly 429 horsepower and there should be a decent amount of low-end torque given the electric boost.
As for the Sprinter, we’ve seen its tech-heavy interior already ahead of a full reveal slated to occur in February. Not only that, but Mercedes has teased its curvy front fascia courtesy of a digital design sketch published in September 2017. In addition, it’s a known fact a fully electric variant dubbed “eSprinter” will be launched in 2019.
The workhorse will be all-Mercedes as Daimler hasn’t continued its partnership with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which makes the Crafter. More than 1,000 different versions of the Sprinter will be available and the company has made the promise to fully produce the van at a new factory in North Charleston, South Carolina in the United States.