Mercedes-Benz Vision CLS
Mercedes-Benz has long built lovely coupe derivatives of its mid-sized models, but considering today’s drivers’ desire for more utility and functionality for day-to-day life, the company is ready to introduce something very different.
Enter the Vision CLS concept car. A thinly disguised look at next year’s CLS-Class, this low-slung sedan is derived off current E-Class underpinnings. Rather than develop a coupe derived off the E-Class, Mercedes-Benz decided to create a very personal and emotionally styled sedan alternative to the regular E-Class. This strategy is a very interesting one – conventional wisdom has it that personal specialty cars are coupe derivatives of sedans, but in this case Mercedes-Benz has opted for a coupe-like sedan.
The Vision CLS does indeed have a very low roofline and much tighter interior package compared to the E-Class. But the concept does have four real doors – something coupes by definition do not have. The concept is much swoopier than any Mercedes-Benz sedan before it, and its graceful styling proves convincingly that the days of stodgy Benzes are long gone.
The concept shown here is much more representative of the final product that most of the previous Vision concept cars. Indeed, aside from some show car styling details, the car shown here is pretty much what we’ll all see on the roads next year. There’s no doubt that the car is pretty – the car has an almost Jaguar-like grace to it while remaining unmistakably Mercedes-Benz.
Still, it remains to be seen how buyers will interpret the car. It has a much tighter interior than the E-Class it’s based on, and it will undoubtedly be more expensive. The car really has no direct competitors, since most people aren’t looking for a sedan with a tight interior. And people will likely view it as a sedan,, rather than a four-door coupe. And viewing it as such, many will likely find it too small inside for their needs.
Still, kudos to Mercedes-Benz for coming up with something conceptually new and different. The car is undeniably attractive, and on that basis alone it will surely find an audience. How big that audience is remains to be seen, but as an image vehicle, it will surely serve its purpose.