The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has always stood as a flashier alternative to the E-Class sedan that shares its platform.     

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While the CLS may not be as visually over the top as in generations past, it remains more than a bit flamboyant.

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Despite Mercedes-Benz's determination to call this a four-door coupe, it's just a sedan with a more steeply raked rear roofline.    

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While it certainly makes the car look more aggressive, it impugns upon rear-seat headroom and door space.   

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All three variants of the CLS available at launch -- the rear-wheel-drive CLS450, the all-wheel-drive CLS450 4Matic and the sporty AMG CLS53 -- carry Benz's new straight-six gas engine.     

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Both CLS450 variants are rated at 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.     

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The CLS also wields an electric motor nestled between the engine and transmission, connected to a 48-volt mild hybrid system with a 1-kWh lithium-ion battery.    

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It provides up to 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet -- enough to scoot the AWD CLS450 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.   

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I never really noticed the electricity at work. Everything feels smooth at all times.    

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Keep on scrolling to check out even more pictures of the new CLS-Class!

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