The high-performance variant is dead in the United States, but Euro folks can still get it.
In Europe the updated CLS soldiers on as the AMG 53 4MATIC+ variant gets a Limited Edition capped at 300 examples. Buyers get to pick from either selenite grey magno or cashmere white magno paint jobs, with body stripes above the side sills. The fancy version sits on 20-inch AMG wheels with a twin-spoke design and a high-sheen rim flange.
Gone are the rear-wheel-drive CLS 450 base model and the AMG CLS 53 flagship, leaving the CLS 350 as the base petrol version of the E-Class' sleeker cousin.
Gallery: Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 (2021)
Go for the Limited Edition and Mercedes will throw in the Night Package and Night Package II as standard equipment. These bring an assortment of black design details along with dark-tinted glass to give the CLS 53 a classier look. The AMG Dynamic Plus Package is also included, adding red brake calipers, and a Race driving mode with a Drift option. Open the front doors and LEDs will project the AMG logo onto the floor.
Once you're inside, there's a sportier steering wheel clad in Nappa leather along with two-tone leather upholstery and a carbon fiber trim. Rounding off the changes are AMG-branded steering wheel buttons and red contrasting stitching.
The discreet facelift applied to the CLS is not bringing any changes underneath the bonnet of the "53" model, which continues to offer 429 bhp (320 kilowatts) and 384 pound-feet (520 Newton-metres) of torque. The integrated starter-generator (ISG) adds a temporary boost of 21 bhp (16 kW) of power and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm).
The mild-hybrid CLS 53 is not quite the full-fat "63" model that had to die so that the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe could live, but it’s no slouch either. It needs only four and a half seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill and will top out at an electronically governed 155 mph (250 km/h). When equipped with the optional AMG Driver's Package, the maximum velocity increases to 168 mph (270 km/h).
Mercedes will have the lightly updated CLS on sale in Europe this month whereas UK deliveries are slated for July.