The Mercedes-Benz CLS500 is the first production model of the first generation CLS-Class of executive sedans, codenamed C219.
The C219 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is the first generation of the CLS-Class range of four-door coupe features a fastback body style by Mercedes-Benz, and was produced between 2004 and 2010.
The CLS-Class has only four seats and is marketed by Mercedes as a four-door coupé. For this reason, in Germany and in whole Europe the model code name is C219 while in US the CLS is more commonly named as W219 model. It was the first model globally to introduce this four-door coupe style and VW followed with the Volkswagen CC model in 2008.
The car is less practical than the W211 E-Class that it is based on, with less legroom, headroom, and boot space. The CLS-Class is priced above the E-Class, but below the S-Class in the Mercedes model range. It was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class (W218) in 2011.
The C219 CLS-Class is based on the Vision CLS concept that was unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The design combined the roof-line of a coupé onto the body of a four-door chassis leading to a fastback vehicle. It featured new technologies such as cornering lights, an electrohydraulic braking system (Sensotronic Brake Control), a seven-speed (7G-Tronic) automatic transmission, and a turbo-diesel engine rated at 197 kW (264 hp) and 560 N⋅m (413 lb⋅ft).
The production version of the C219 CLS-Class was based on the W211 E-Class platform, and shares major components including the engines, transmissions and an identical wheelbase of 2,854 mm (112 in). The car is 95 mm (4 in) longer, 51 mm (2 in) wider, and 27 mm (1 in) lower in comparison, and features, according to Mercedes, a 30% stiffer suspension setup and faster steering.
Design patents were filed on July 24, 2002. The production version CLS500 debuted at the 2004 New York International Auto Show.
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