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Hot on the heels of Mercedes-Benz revealing the refreshed E-Class is an update to the CLS-Class. However, you’ll have to take a close look to see the bigger changes, unless the model is wearing one of its two new colors – Mojave silver and Cirrus silver. Mercedes announced today the 2021 CLS-Class would receive a significant update to its infotainment system. The German automaker will replace the aging and clunky COMAND system with the company’s MBUX one.

The CLS’s two large, 12.3-inch screens on the dash remain. One, the digital instrument cluster, provides relevant info to the driver while the infotainment system sits next to it. The update from the old COMAND system to MBUX also means occupants can control it through the touchscreen, which should make it even easier for some to use. Mercedes is also upping CLS’s safety with active brake assist as standard.

The 2021 CLS will arrive in two flavors: CLS450 and AMG CLS53. Nothing changes under the hood. The 450 uses the same turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine with EQ Boost, which produces 362 horsepower (269 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque.

A sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) takes 5.1 seconds while the all-wheel-drive 4MATIC version does it 0.3 seconds quicker – same as the current car. The AMG has its “AMG-enhanced” inline-six making 429 hp (319 kW) and 384 lb-ft (581 Nm) of torque. A sprint to 60 takes an estimated 4.4 seconds. Both engines pair with a nine-speed gearbox.

Mercedes-Benz CLS
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Mercedes didn’t release any pricing information. The entry-level CLS starts at $69,950, without destination, while the AMG starts at $81,200. If prices increase, it shouldn’t be by much. We expect the automaker to release pricing information closer to the sedan’s on-sale date, and Mercedes says the 2021 CLS will arrive at dealers in late 2020.

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Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG CLS receive MBUX Multimedia system for 2021

The CLS is entering the new model year with new exterior paint color options (Mojave silver and Cirrus silver) and an extensive technical update: the Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 and CLS 450 4MATIC, as well as the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53, will now feature the latest generation of the MBUX multimedia system (Mercedes- Benz User Experience) and the most enhanced driver assistance systems.

As standard, the CLS includes two large 12.3-inch screens, which are arranged side by side to give a widescreen effect. The information in the instrument cluster and on the media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. Superb graphics in high visual quality are used to provide appealing displays that help to reinforce the intuitive nature of the control structure, which is now also accessible via the touchscreen media display.

A unique feature of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is its learning capability, thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX is able to anticipate what the user would like next. For instance, anyone who often calls a specific person on Tuesdays during the drive home will receive their telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Another highlight is the use of optional augmented reality technology for the navigation display when the navigation function is active. When this feature is in use, a video image of the surroundings is enhanced with helpful navigation information—for example, arrows or house numbers are automatically superimposed directly onto the image in the media display. The system also assists the driver at traffic lights: if the vehicle is in appropriate proximity, the current traffic light status is superimposed. In this way, this new function is a particular help when there is an unfavorable line of sight to the traffic lights. The optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition.

The CLS also receives the latest driver assistance systems to provide cooperative support for the driver. This results in an especially high level of active safety: the car is able to react, even if the driver is unable to do so. The CLS comes as standard with Active Brake Assist, which in many situations is able to use autonomous braking to prevent a collision or mitigate its severity. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds and even to prevent collisions, depending on the situation. With the Cross-Traffic function, this is now also possible when turning across the oncoming lane. Additional Intelligent Drive functions include Active Speed Limit Assist, which uses map data and information from Traffic Sign Assist to respond to changes in the speed limit and route-based speed adaptation ahead of bends, roundabouts, toll stations and T-junctions, as well prior to exiting highways and expressways. When the driver switches on Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation, the CLS is now even able to respond to data from Live Traffic Information. When driving in traffic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is largely able to perform the tasks of keeping in lane and maintaining the safety distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 37 mph. The vehicle can also restart automatically up to one minute after coming to a stop.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG CLS will arrive in U.S. dealers by late 2020.

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