By: IOL Motoring Staff

There is more to this seemingly subtle Mercedes CLS upgrade than what meets the eye, although you might certainly be impressed by its new eyes. In addition to the subtle styling changes and snazzy illumination, the midlife-makeover team has brought the interior up to date and added new engines to the range along with a new nine-speed gearbox.

New all-LED headlights are standard on the CLS, yet the standout design feature is the optional set of Multibeam LED headlights, which can adjust the light distribution to suit any traffic situation instantly and automatically. The lighting system promises “far unrivalled” illumination of the road ahead in terms of both brightness and reach, all without dazzling oncoming motorists.

Other style enhancements to the CLS (four-door) Coupé and Shooting Brake include a restyled 'diamond' grille, bolder front bumper with large air intakes and new taillights that have been slightly darkened.

NEW MOTORS

The CLS 63 AMG continues to top the range with its 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 offering output levels of 410kW/720Nm in the 'standard' version and 430kW/800Nm in the 'S'.

Also unchanged is the 300kW/600Nm 4.7-litre V8 turbopetrol in the CLS 500, but the normally aspirated CLS 350 model makes way for the CLS 400, which comes with a new V6 turbopetrol with 245kW and 480Nm.

On the diesel front, an efficient new CLS 220 BlueTec four-cylinder oil burner joins the range. It features fourth-generation common rail direct injection and two-stage turbocharging for outputs of 125kW and 400Nm.

This model, along with its CLS 250 and CLS 350 BlueTec diesel counterparts and the CLS 500, will be fitted with a new 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Moving into the cabin, the CLS gains a new multimedia system featuring “elaborate animations and visual effects” through a 20.3cm free-standing colour display. The cabin's look and feel is enhanced by a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel and customers will be able to choose from five interior colour schemes and six trim finishes.

The new CLS is set to reach South African shores in September 2014.