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Report: Mercedes-Benz looking to cut at least seven models from lineup

The Mercedes-AMG CLS is one of the models that is likely on the chopping block

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz CL

New reporting indicates that Mercedes-Benz is looking to slim its lineup. The move hardly comes as a surprise given that the Mercedes stable is increasingly packed these days. Automotive News was the first to report the move.

A quick glance at the company's U.S. website reveals listings for eight SUVs, six sedans and wagons, seven coupes, six convertibles, one hybrid/electric model, and nine models In various stages of preparing to enter production. Then, there's traditionally two or more powertrain options for every model.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class The Mercedes-Benz E-Class may lose its coupe and convertible option in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

According to sources within the dealership community, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Nicholas Speeks spoke of the changes during a webinar a month ago though he did not identify which models are on the chopping block nor a timeline for their removal from the lineup.

Insiders told Automotive News that coupe and convertible versions of the S-, C-, and E-Class nameplates are up for extinction, as well as the CLS coupe and one of the GTs.

On the surface, this moves make sense for four different reasons. Americans are buying less sedans than they were even half a decade ago. Practical sedans, let alone more impractical coupes and convertibles aren't on many shoppers lists these days as buyers turn toward SUVs and trucks.

The worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means that all car sales will be down even further than already predicted when 2020 kicked off. Less sales means less expenditures, but is also means less money is coming in.

Innovation is expensive. The cost of developing autonomous technology, even when entering into partnerships to do so, is a cost measured in the tens of billions of dollars range. The company's profits were already down by two-thirds in 2019. Daimler AG recently pulled out of its automated driving alliance with BMW.

As the push toward electrification intensifies, costs are not yet coming down. Many automakers lose money on each electric vehicle they sell. Minimizing the expenditures related to multiple car variants, and their development, helps keep costs down, which allows those funds to be reallocated to investing in cutting-edge product.

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The final versions of the McLaren 620R have been delivered to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive
McLaren recently shipped its last Sports Series cars to the U.S., marking the end of production of the popular models that have been staples of the luxury carmaker's lineup for the last half-decade. Over 8,500 cars were sold globally.

The Sports Series debuted in 2015 with the 570S, and also included the 540C, 570S Spider, 570GT, 600LT coupe, 600LT Spider, and 620R. The final examples of the series were built at the company's Woking, U.K. headquarters at the end of 2020. The 620R was the last off the line.

The McLaren 620R is a road legal version of a race car. It's based on the McLaren 570S GT4 and uses motorsport technology without the restriction of racing regulations. It is the most powerful Sports Series model ever, with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 producing 611 brake horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque.

Final examples of the McLaren 620R

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

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The 620R shares aerodynamic hardware with the 570S GT4, creating 408-pounds of downforce at 155 mph. It can handle the road (and you can hear it coming) thanks to its wider track, carbon ceramic brakes and center locking wheels, and low-exit stainless steel sports exhaust.

"As the McLaren range has matured, we've tailored our North American model line-up to closely match customers' requirements, with a car suitable for every personality," explained Tony Joseph, President, McLaren, the Americas. "Limited-numbers models with the highest levels of performance – cars like the 620R, which feels like a race car on the street or at a track day - are in demand not only because of the driving experience they offer but because they have even greater exclusivity. You can see how this has played out with the 765LT as well, with all of the available volume sold."

Of the 225 examples of the 620R produced, only 70 were slated for the North American market. All North American 620R models come with a special MSO upgrade package that features a gloss finish Visual Carbon Fibre roof with a roof scoop to maximize engine intake and exhaust sound, MSO Defined gloss finish carbon fibre roof cantrails and the McLaren Track Telemetry system with lap time function and three cameras to record on-track performance.

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The Mercedes-Benz CLS has gotten a design refresh for the new model year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS will feature the fresh looks and tech that is making its way through the rest of the German automaker's lineup. The four-door car also gets updated interior appointments and the next-gen Mercedes steering wheel.

At its front, the new CLS features a fresh grille that includes a three-dimensional star pattern with chrome-gloss surfaces, a louver in high-gloss black with chrome inlay, and the integrated Mercedes star. It comes standard with the AMG Line appearance package, which includes an AMG-specific front bumper with A-wing in black, AMG sill trim on the side, a front splitter in silver chrome, sporty, distinctive air intakes with vertical bars and aerodynamically shaped flics in high-gloss black.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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Two new designs are available for the 19-inch light-alloy wheel: 5-twin-spoke or multi-spoke rims. Buyers can also get Two new 20-inch, high-gloss AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in a bi-color look in their choices of Tremolite Grey or High-Gloss Black. The CLS is now available in a new Starling Blue Metallic paint color along with the rest of its color palette.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4Match comes standard with a mild-hybrid powertrain. The 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine is united with a 48-volt electrical system to generate 369 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque under traditional driving conditions. An additional 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque are available as part of an on-demand boost.

The CLS will be offered with two new trim finishes: Open Pore Brown Walnut and High-Gloss Grey Wood. The range of leather seat upholstery has also been expanded with two new color combinations: Neva Grey/Magma Grey and Sienna Brown/Black.

The car's new multifunction steering wheel is wrapped Nappa leather and its spokes are finished in high-gloss black with silver chrome edging and paddle shifters.

Buyers can add on the Driver Assistance Package, which includes adaptive cruise control and active steering assist technologies.

For customers with the means to demand more customization, Mercedes-Benz Manufaktur is willing, ready, and able to transform the car into a bespoke creation, for a price.

The car is slated to arrive at dealerships in early 2022

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