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Introduction to the CLS Launch Edition

So if you Google what the sexiest four door coupe in the world is or was, you will find the Mercedes Benz CLS. That is a fact. If you look deeper into it you will find that Mercedes designed the concept of the four door coupe at the beginning of the century and all the others, Audi, some Asian stuff, BMW and even my delicious Porsche mimicked the idea in their respective models. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery they say and well, my CLS friends should be flattered.


The W218, as this advertisement is all about, is the second series of the CLS and is the version most hyped at its release in 2012. Dubbed the ‘Launch Edition’ or ‘Edition 1’ in some circles, it was the car management threw everything at, everything except an AMG powertrain that is. Every option available at the time was gifted to the Launch Editions with only one caveat, it had to be Tenorite Steel Grey with a Porcelain white leather interior. From there you could decide on all wheel drive, 4MATIC in Mercedes speak or the more powerful rear wheel drive but you had better be quick.


There was only ever one release of this edition, as should be the case for everything special in my opinion, and although not even Mercedes Benz themselves could tell me exactly how many were made for the North American market, consensus among half a dozen dealers I have spoken to put the numbers at around 100. That’s it. One hundred and approximately a 60/40 split between drive train variants. Although not a numbered edition per se, this would put our car here at one of sixty. Pretty special indeed.


While the definition of ‘rare’ is so overused it barely has any meaning nowadays, and even if the numbers quoted are out by 1 or 200%, this is still a rare vehicle for any modern manufacturer and one that should be cherished by its next caretaker as it so clearly has been to date. 


Through the following pages I will endeavor to tell the story of this particular car and intersperse it with facts from the gurus of the world wide net and other readily available data.