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New engines for Merc CLS range

11 May 2006

Mercedes-Benz will change all four engines in its CLS in July – less than two years after the car's launch.

The CLS 350 receives a new direct-injection 3.5-litre V6 to become the 350 CGI; the 500 has the latest 5.5-litre V8 from the S-Class; the high-performance 55 AMG is replaced by an even more powerful 63 AMG; and the 320 CDI turbodiesel gains more pulling power.

Extra safety features become standard, too. All models now have Mercedes' Pre-Safe system that puts front occupants in the best position to survive a crash. Neck-Pro anti-whiplash head restraints and brake lights that flash in an emergency stop are also fitted.

Prices for the diesel and the 350 are unchanged, but the 500 goes up by £1095 to £53,240 and the AMG is £2400 more expensive at £72,995.

The 350 CGI is the first car with Mercedes' direct-injection V6. This is based on the current 3.5-litre engine, but fuel is now sprayed directly into the cylinders, as in a modern diesel. Maximum power increases by 20bhp and pulling power by around 10lb ft, and fuel economy is up to 15% better.

The new CLS 500 develops 382bhp and 365lb ft compared with the 306bhp and 339lb ft from the current 5.0-litre V8, yet is only fractionally more thirsty.

Meanwhile, the AMG has a new 6.2-litre V8, which does without the supercharger of the previous 5.4-litre V8 that has been in the CLS since launch. Power goes up from 486bhp to 514bhp, but, without the supercharger, pull drops from 516lb ft to 433lb ft and does not arrive until much higher in the rev range.

The diesel develops the same power as before but has an extra 21lb ft of pull. Fuel economy is unaffected.

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