The sleek Mercedes-Benz CLS is getting a nip-and-tuck at the end of next year.
The update is separate to one that’ll lob in March, which adds Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX infotainment system plus an optional Innovation Package with augmented reality navigation and the MBUX Interior Assistant.
Spy shots have shown what appears to be an early prototype in testing, with only the front bumper bearing camouflage.
We expect a mid-cycle update to also include an updated rear bumper at the very least, along with new headlights and revised tail light graphics.
The current CLS was only introduced in late 2018, the third generation of a line that dates back to 2004.
The first generation CLS introduced the concept of an E-Class based model with a higher price but a dramatically sleeker silhouette.
The four-door coupe appellation earned some ire from enthusiasts but Mercedes-Benz wasn’t the first automaker to refer to a four-door model as a coupe, a definition which typically refers to a vehicle with, at the very least, a sleeker roofline from a sedan model.
Though four-door coupes have historically been less common than four- or even two-door sedans, there’s some precedent. Rover marketed a second four-door version of its P5 as a coupe (above), distinguishing it from its sedan counterpart with a lower roofline and thinner pillars.
Mind you, the Americans at the same time were offering both pillared sedan and pillarless hardtop versions of many of their model lines and didn’t use the coupe name.
The CLS inspired other brands to develop four-door coupes of its own, including BMW with the 6 Series Gran Coupe and Volkswagen with the CC. Later four-door coupes include the Mercedes-Benz CLA and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Audi didn’t follow its fellow Germans, with its A6-based A7 instead taking the form of a five-door liftback. That format was subsequently adopted by the CC’s successor, the Arteon, plus the Porsche Panamera.
While rival BMW’s invention of the coupe SUV has inspired imitators as far and wide as Changan and Renault, the four-door coupe format hasn’t been as widely adopted. And Mercedes-Benz’s regular sedans like the E-Class have gotten sleeker in recent years, while upcoming models like the EQS will also adopt the five-door liftback format.