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Mercedes-Benz CLS retiring in 2023 with no successor planned


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Unveiled in 2004 as a design icon, the Mercedes-Benz CLS nameplate has reached the end of the line. Autoblog learned that the current, third-generation model will retire before the end of 2023, and nothing suggests that a fourth-generation model is around the corner.

"In consideration of the global growth potential, and as part of our strategic product portfolio planning, we have decided to end the lifecycle of the CLS on August 31, 2023, with the changeover of the E-Class to the 214 model series," a company spokesperson told Autoblog.

The news hardly comes as a surprise. Mercedes-Benz began paring down its range of models in the early 2020s, and unverified rumors claimed that the CLS (pictured) was one of the cars living on borrowed time; the two-door S-Class was another, and it has since retired. The timing isn't as random as it might seem: the CLS has historically been built on E-Class bones, and — as Mercedes-Benz pointed out — the current-generation model is on its way out. It wouldn't make sense to keep the old E's underpinnings in production to keep the CLS around.

Many of the rivals that the CLS spawned remain available new, but buyers who want a Mercedes-Benz sedan with a fastback-like roof line (or, in marketing-speak, a four-door coupe) shouldn't rush to a competitor's showroom yet. The spokesperson clarified that the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé "will continue to be part of the model range," and the smaller, more affordable CLA remains in the lineup as well.

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Sending the CLS to the pantheon of automotive history shouldn't be interpreted as a sign that Mercedes-Benz is giving up on the coupe segment. The brand told Autoblog that "a new generation of coupes and convertibles will expand our model portfolio in the core segment." While nothing is official, the upcoming two-door models should replace the coupe and convertible variants of the C-Class and the E-Class.

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