Right back to the first-generation model, the CLS has been - we’d argue - Mercedes‘ prettiest car. It’s a travesty that there’s no full-fat AMG version of the current one, with Merc electing instead to make the porky-looking AMG GT63 4 Door to fill that void.
The CLS 53, lovely car though it may be, just isn’t quite exciting enough. But, it’s set to get a little livelier post-facelift. Following in the footsteps of the refreshed E53, it’s now available with the ‘AMG Dynamic Plus Package’, something which used to be reserved for the 45 and 63 models.
This adds all sorts of sportified extras. Option it, and you get red-painted brake calipers, an AMG Performance steering wheel, and most importantly, a ‘Race’ driving mode. With that selected, it’s possible to select Drift mode. Mercedes hasn’t detailed the system, but if it’s anything like what the E63 S uses, it’ll ditch power to the front wheels to make the CLS much more willing to engage in sideways shenanigans.
To go with all that clobber, there’s are some reasonably significant styling changes at the front. The bumper is new, featuring the vertical grille vanes once used only on top-of-the-line AMG models. The rear is, as far as we can see, unchanged.
300 of these are offered in Limited Edition trim, with Cashmere White or Selentine Grey paint, racing stripes on the side sills and 20-inch alloys wheels. All LE cars get the AMG Night Package and AMG Night Package II fitted as standard.
As for what’s under the bonnet, that’s all the same as before. There’s a 3.0-litre inline-six turbo engine developing 429bhp and 384lb ft of torque, supplemented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system providing a short 21bhp and 184lb ft boost at full throttle. 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds, and the top speed is - of course - electronically limited to 155mph.
Want one? The last CLS 53 was £76,600, so it’s safe to expect a modest increase on that figure. The refresh CLS range as a whole should start at around the £60,000 mark.