Mercedes-Benz CLS Production Comes To An End Later This Year

While the demise of the Mercedes CLS has been on enthusiasts' radar since at least February, we now have official confirmation that production of the sporty sedan will cease on August 31. Originally introduced in 2003, the CLS is considered a trailblazer in the segment of four-door coupes — that is, a four-door vehicle with a sensual, sloping roofline that runs all the way to the trunk, mimicking a traditional two-door coupe.

Lately, sedans in general have been going extinct — a victim of both America's love affair with SUVs and trucks, as well as automakers shifting focus to the burgeoning EV market. In retrospect, the CLS' fate might have been predicted when Mercedes discontinued the rear-wheel drive version of the CLS450, followed by the powerful AMG-tuned CLS53.

The last man standing is the all-wheel drive (4Matic in Benz lingo) CLS450, which produces 329 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. With the aid of a 48-volt hybrid system, the CLS450 4Matic scoots from zero to 60 mph in only 4.6 seconds. 

Too much overlap in Mercedes' lineup?

In spite of the CLS450's coupe-like styling, the CLS shares its underpinning with Mercedes' E-class sedan, which is in the process of an all-new sixth-generation redesign. We now know that the CLS won't be along for that journey into 2024.

In the relentless push toward electrification, would-be CLS customers will have to be content with the brand's sleek new electric sedan, the EQS. According to a spokesperson for Mercedes speaking with The Drive, "In our opinion, our current product portfolio addresses emotionally appealing design more than ever. In this respect, models such as the EQE and EQS with their coupe-like lines offer attractive alternatives both in terms of design and price segment. Furthermore, the 4-door AMG GT will continue to be part of the model range as a 4-door coupe."

Indeed, the CLS may be considered a redundant speedbump in Mercedes' quest toward streamlining its lineup, but there's no denying that this car was an inspiration for so many to follow, including BMW's Gran Coupes, Audi's Sportbacks, and Porsche Panamera. And for that, we're grateful.