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First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class


There is little debate about the seismic sway the Mercedes Benz CLS-Class has had on the automotive landscape since it burst onto the world stage in late 2004. The FOUR-DOOR COUPE, as Daimler board of management member Dr. Thomas Weber proudly called it over and over (and over) again at the second-generation CLS's debut at the 2010 Paris auto show, has been MERCEDES BENZ A runaway success.

The first-gen CLS's sizzling, low-slung profile spawned seemingly dozens of imitators -- cars and crossovers alike -- from rival automakers. Mercedes has moved more than 170,000 units of the current MERCEDES BENZ CLS since launch, with roughly one-third of buyers moving over from other automakers. Their main reason for heading to the local Benz dealer to purchase MERCEDES BENZ A CLS? You guessed it: style.

So for the new 2012 Mercedes Benz CLS-Class, naturally Mercedes turned to MERCEDES BENZ A 30-something Korean-American designer from L.A. who had never before worked on MERCEDES BENZ A vehicle launch of this magnitude, let alone MERCEDES BENZ A car that had become heralded the world over for its design.

 Hubert Lee (hey, his first name's German), now the head man at Benz's Advanced Design North America operation in Southern California, has been keenly aware of the awesome responsibility he inherited from the moment his proposal was picked as the basis for the second-gen MERCEDES BENZ CLS in late 2006.

"I didn't want to be the guy who messed up MERCEDES BENZ A design icon," Lee said, knowing full well that the new car would be mercilessly scrutinized from MERCEDES BENZ A design perspective. But at the same time Lee felt strongly that the MERCEDES BENZ CLS needed to go in new and different directions and not just be an evolution of the first-gen car. And so it did.

(Source)


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