Amid the seemingly unstoppable backdrop of automotive colossi crumbling amid shifting regulatory and market tectonics, the announcement last week from Mercedes-Benz that CLS production will cease entirely in August appears something of a sideshow. It certainly is not one to elicit a great deal of garment-rending, for the CLS has never been a car one could take all that seriously.
Perhaps one reason for this is that neither did its maker. This of course is a rather disingenuous statement to make, given that Mercedes-Benz by necessity has to take all of its model lines very seriously indeed, but it can be stated that the CLS model line did suggest a more casual visual approach from Sindelfingen — representing the somewhat unedifying sight of the otherwise po-faced Swabian carmaker loosening its shirt collar, shedding its suit jacket and metaphorically at least, Continue reading “Coupé de Grâce”
A commercial hit for Mercedes-Benz at launch, but Father Time has not been kind to the 1997 CLK.
We didn’t know it at the time, but when Mercedes-Benz ceased production of the C124 coupé line in 1996, its terminus would be more than a stylistic one. If not quite the final example of the legendary ‘Vertical Affinity, Horizontal Homogeneity’ design ethos overseen by Bruno Sacco, the C124 would prove to be the last mid-sized Mercedes coupe built upon its saloon counterpart’s platform for another two generations. Continue reading “Fleeting Star”
The part I want you to notice is not the front-end treatment which is intended to make one think of the E-class saloon (W210, for anoraks) which was on sale from 1995 to 2003, about eight years too long. Look at the A-post’s brutal truncation. A nicer but perhaps more costly way would have been to run the A-pillar into the header rail as per, for example, the Mazda MX-5, shown below. I sometimes think that Mercedes do things which aren’t so pleasing and imagine it’s okay because nobody will be looking so critically at their output. Continue reading “Micropost: 1997-2003 Mercedes CLK Cabriolet”