Suspension: selective damping as standard

The standard steel suspension of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is equipped with a selective damping system. The shock absorbers adapt to the given driving situation, reducing the damping forces automatically during normal driving with minimal actuation of the shock absorbers and increasing them as necessary up to maximum level during dynamic cornering or evasive manoeuvres.

The spring struts on the front axle consist of cylindrical, lateral force compensating coils springs, dual-pipe shock absorbers and newly-developed three-phase head bearings. The front axle stabiliser is connected to the spring strut, which also assists actively in controlling the front wheels.

AIRMATIC: air suspension with continuously variable damping system

The optionally available AIRMATIC air suspension (standard for the CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY) is combined with an electronically controlled continuously variable damping system which controls each wheel individually. A total of seven sensors monitor the driving situation and body status and relay information to an electronic control unit which additionally processes information on vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, braking torque and engine torque to determine the ideal shock absorber characteristic. The system adjusts the damping force for each wheel individually according to the given road or driving conditions. The extremely fast damping adjustment enables high driving dynamics without compromising on comfort. In evasive manoeuvres, for example, the damping forces are adapted immediately to the vehicle's driving dynamics. The driver is additionally able to alter the vehicle's characteristic by means of the damping programme switch in a broad range extending from comfortable to sporty handling.

Automatic ride-height control is a feature of the AIRMATIC system. The level of the vehicle does not alter as a result of loading, ensuring that outstanding ride comfort is maintained when the vehicle is loaded. Lowering of the ride height at higher speeds reduces fuel consumption and enhances driving safety. The driver is additionally able to increase ground clearance on rough roads or on difficult upward slopes by pressing the level adjustment button.

The aerodynamic lift has been reduced considerably in comparison to the predecessor model, further enhancing braking stability at high speeds. The front-axle lift coefficient, which is crucial to driving stability at high vehicle speeds, is on a par with that of the previous Mercedes CLS.

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