The Mercedes CLS-Class undergoes a nip and a tuck for 2022, with the model’s updates extending to both the Benz-badged CLS450 and AMG-crested CLS53. Alas, the latter won’t find its way to the United States. Well, at least for 2022, per a Mercedes spokesperson.
It seems the performance-oriented CLS-Class variant may return to our shores at a later date. That said, we suspect Mercedes-AMG may abandon the current-generation CLS53 in the U.S. market given the car’s precarious position between the mechanically similar Mercedes-AMG E53 sedan and Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door, both of which pack the same 429-hp six-cylinder “mild-hybrid” powertrain as the CLS53.
While the swoopy styling of the CLS-Class arguably set it apart from the more traditional looks of the MotorTrend Car of the Year-winning E-Class, the low-slung sedan’s … erm four-door coupe … previously unique position in the Mercedes lineup is no more. Instead, it shares this space with the similarly slinky GT 4-Door. If an AMG-ified—midsize—four-door model with coupe-like styling is what a Mercedes consumer seeks, then the GT 4-Door ought to fit the bill. Want the same sort of vibe, sans AMG’s special sauce? Then the Mercedes-Benz CLS450 is sure to appease.
Mercedes may still decide there are enough buyers in the U.S. clamoring for a CLS53 and bring the model back to America at a later date. If this happens, then consumers can look forward to a CLS53 with revised exterior finishes, including the adoption of AMG’s now-ubiquitous Panamericana grille design. Mechanically, however, things ought to stay the same, with the car retaining the same powertrain as today, including its nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system.
Regardless, it seems American consumers thinking of nabbing a new CLS53 better pick up a 2021 model while it’s still available, as it may be a long time until Mercedes-AMG offers the model in the U.S. again—or at all.