The all-new CLS has just gone on sale, reviving the concept of a large, four-door Mercedes-Benz coupe, and bringing with it a number of new styling features that the brand says will be reflected across its model range.
But while its looks are on everyone’s lips, it’s the in-car tech that’s perhaps the most breath-taking, as the CLS is one of the most technically advanced cars ever made.
Here are the sci-fi style highlights that make the new CLS the perfect car for tech geeks.
You can start it with your phone
If you have either a Samsung phone or an Apple iPhone, then you can use it in lieu of a car key. Simply sync the car with your phone (with the iPhone you’ll need a radio frequency add-on) and not only will you be able to unlock and start your car directly from your phone, but you’ll also be able to remotely steer it out of a roadside parking space before you’ve even got behind the wheel. As party tricks go, that takes some beating.
All the petrol engines are hybrids
Every petrol-powered CLS uses a mild-hybrid system, using technology developed on the back of Mercedes-Benz’s experience in Formula One, and similar to KERS.
Not only does the 48-volt mild hybrid battery system give the car extra power on demand, but as an electronic form of propulsion assistance, it helps reduce emissions and will make the car comply with future legislation that bans petrol-only powertrains.
You can configure your own dashboard
The CLS has not just one, but two 12.9-inch digital screens in place of a traditional instrument binnacle, with a myriad of display options. You can have analogue or digital-style dials, and you can choose where they’re positioned on the dash, so you can set the ergonomics up exactly how you like them, with your most frequently used controls the closest to hand.
The touchscreens offer ‘haptic’ feedback, meaning they buzz and vibrate to confirm selections, while other features include wireless charging for your smartphone, and an on-board system that automatically syncs with your diary and your emails, and will even dial you into conference calls you need to attend.
You can change the interior colour themes and atmosphere
The CLS has an ambient lighting package, with a total of 64 different interior colour themes to choose from. Depending on your mood, you can go for soothing cool colours, or something a bit more romantic or racy.
Meanwhile, the optional Energising Comfort Control system syncs the air-con, heating and ambient lighting, with modes known as Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and Training.
The air vents glow when you set the temperature
Sure, it’s a gimmick in many ways, but one of the CLS’s simplest features is also a great safety enhancement. As you adjust the climate control, the air vents briefly glow red or blue depending on whether or not you’re adjusting them warmer or colder. It’s a neat trick, but the colour change also means that the driver can clearly see which way he or she is adjusting the temperature without having to look away from the road.
It has autonomous safety kit
The CLS is one of a handful of cars to be stage 3 autonomous. In layman’s terms, that means it has a number of self-driving features that work as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. It’ll keep a set distance from the car in front, pull to a standstill in stop-start traffic without the driver having to touch the brakes and even slow to match the prevailing speed limit when the cruise control is switched on, thanks to its road sign recognition.