Mercedes will launch a new AMG designation in its redesigned CLS going on sale next year.
The new Mercedes-AMG CLS53 is expected to be the first in a new line of AMG 53 models. It likely will be powered by a high-performance version of the company's new inline six-cylinder engine codenamed M256. The engine reportedly will produce 430 hp in the CLS53, but it also will be paired with an electric motor in a hybrid setup that boosts the car's overall power even higher while improving efficiency.
The redesigned CLS, a four-door styled like a coupe, will go on sale in summer 2018. Exact timing for the 53 version is unclear.
With the update, the CLS moves to a new platform — MRA or Modular Rear Architecture, the same platform used for the redesigned E class. The updated CLS will stretch in length, gain interior room and cut weight at the same time. It will get Mercedes-Benz's latest suite of semiautonomous driving features. The car's styling is expected to evolve but not in a major way.
The AMG 53 designation will follow in other vehicles. It is expected in the E class where the 53 is likely to become the only AMG variant for coupe and convertible models. The E-class sedan and wagon will continue to have AMG 63 models with V-8 engines.
All vehicles with the AMG 53 designation are expected to be powered by the same inline six-cylinder engine likely in the CLS53. The CLS plan may answer the question of when the new M256 engine, which has a 48-volt system, will make its debut in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz research chief Ola Kallaenius left that open last month when he said it won't be the S class. Mercedes has re-engineered the S-class sedan for the 2018 model year, adding new engines to the lineup. Some markets will get the updated S class with the new inline six, but not the U.S. The U.S. version is getting a new V-6 engine instead.