Photo Comparison: BMW Gran Coupe vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Concepts, Featured Posts | September 15th, 2010 by 38
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With the official unveiling of the new generation Mercedes CLS, we wanted to revisit our original comparison that placed the BMW Gran Coupe Concept against the previous generation CLS.

The new Gran Coupe has been greenlighted for production and will join the BMW fleet in 2013. The 6 Series Gran Coupe joins an already well established and competitive premium segment where currently, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche have the reign.

BMW Gran Coupe will go head-to-head with the Audi Sportback Concept (the future Audi A7), the Mercedes Benz CLS and the controversial Porsche Panamera.

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According to BMW, the Gran Coupe is an emotional concept. It is labeled as a 4-door coupe type of vehicle with a distinctive sporty character and emphasizes the new design language into a single product: a sleek, dynamic and “good looking” automobile.

Engine wise, the BMW Gran Coupe is rumored to be offered in a wide range of powerplants. As an entry-level model, the 635i powered by the 3.0 liter turbocharged unit with 306 hp. Next, the 650i using the same engine as the new 550i, a 4.4-liter V8 turbo with 407 hp.

The popular Mercedes Benz CLS introduced in 2004 went through a major redesign. The nose is reshaped with a larger grille, more sculpting to the front bumper, and bigger headlights. The grille has to grow to match up with the taller hood, raised to provide more space between sheetmetal and hard bits in accordance with stringent new European pedestrian-protection standards. Up front Mercedes-Benz opted for full LED headlamps.

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More aggressive both front and rear, the CLS is considerably more styled than its predecessor as Mercedes-Benz continues to hone the modern four-door coupe segment it essentially invented.

Like the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the 2012 CLS gets a more muscular, sharp corners look.

The second generation Mercedes-Benz CLS is expected to be available in four engine variants, split equally between petrol and diesel. The two petrol models could be the CLS350 CGI and the CLS550 CGI. The first will feature the new direct-injection 3.5 liter V6 engine with an output of 301 hp and 368 Nm (272 lb-ft) of torque, while the 550 CGI will feature a new 4.6 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that delivers 429 hp and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque.


The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is expected to be revealed next year, while the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS will make its debut in October at Paris Motor Show.

Along with the photo comparison, we decided to include the usual poll, so feel free to objectively cast your vote.


[poll id=”64″]

38 responses to “Photo Comparison: BMW Gran Coupe vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS”

  1. Bryce says:

    I’m amazed at how similar they look from the front and rear. Fortunately they look very different from the side and quarters, which make the Gran Coupe look much better!

  2. XC says:

    The BMW, even in this concept form, looks a much more finished product. Mercedes’ lines make just to much visual noise. BMW’s design flows a lot better.

  3. Laszlo says:

    the biggest difference is the CLS is an already existing car came to the market several years ago while the BMW exist on paper only. So there is no point comparing them. The CLS will be almost 10 years old when (IF) the Gran Coupe rolls off the production line.
    Compare the Gran Coupe to a 2012 CLS… which we have no clue how will it look so it can be anything… I’m just not sure the Gran Coupe will ever be a production car and that it will look similar to this rendering.

    • Alex says:

      The Gran Coupe isn’t a “rendering”, it’s already a made concept that I think has been approved for production

      • Laszlo says:

        its a concept. not a real car yet. usually concept and real car differs ! if they change a few things it could turn into a mildly boring car. I agree that the Gran Coupe looks good, but also loved the CLS when came out. Heck I still love the style of the original one. I don’t care about the facelifted version but the original still looks stunning.
        So seeing the latest Mercedes cars such as CLK GL C SLS E class, I bet the new CLS will be stunning. They haven’t really screwed up a lot of their cars lately. Once they moved away from the ugly 96+ E-class most of their design was pretty nice.
        If the E class is an indication of how where are they heading , BMW better get their acts together. The E class is not only pretty it goes well and corners well. It still trails the new 5 in handling but the gap is closer then it was ever.
        MB has a different purpose so it might never be as sporty as BMW but close. The AMG version is awesome but we haven’t seen the M5 yet.

        • viper says:

          lazslo I agree with you , but do have in mind that is a bmwblog!! , the most ridiculous place on the net , but still I visit this place for no reason at all and cant really resist to say something ”proper”.
          so that says it.
          also I think that TODAY there is No point of comparing MB to munich , anymore.

          • XC says:

            ‘….but still I visit this place for no reason at all and cant really resist to say something ”stupid”….’

          • viper says:

            stupid=( in bmw dictionary ) means ”things you Dont want to hear” meaning Im saying stupid things here that somehow offend you AKA I say things you dont want to hear which are so proper and so in place.( things you dont want to hear although you know that your wrong and you live in a fantasy world called endless concepts coming when I get much older and my kids will kids by then.
            so in other words comparing something that doesn’t exists (which is a regular on this blog) to a car that is simply stunning and its real it exists just like panamera and a7 exist is just nonsense.
            rubbish , Clarkson would say.

          • XC says:

            Stupid in my dictionary:
            ‘Stupid adj.- lacking the ability to learn quickly, slow-witted, dull; dazed, in a stupor; foolish, pointless, very dull; insensible; senseless; wanting in understanding; heavy; sluggish; — said of persons’.

            Resulting from, or evincing, stupidity; formed without skill or genius; dull; heavy; — said of things.

  4. Giom says:

    The BMW looks more timeless imo. The A7 is nice from certain angles except the rear where it looks like its rear suspension failed and it’s dragging its butt along.

    I like the Mercs’ design too… boring it aint, but it is going along with a lot of other trends – only in a far superior way. I’m sure that, in the flesh, it will look stunning.

    The Gran Coupe is a victim of past designs, so, this one plays it safe – wich isn’t a bad thing, but it does leave one hoping for something a little more daring.

    As always, just mho.

    • Alvin Wong says:

      I totally agree with you. The Gran Coupe is very BMW-like in that the design language plays it safe and goes more of a conventional and conservative route. It’s not a bad thing by any means, just doesn’t look as aggressive as the Mercedes CLS. That said, the Gran Coupe looks like it would age a lot better than the CLS would.

  5. I think both look pretty good – the only negative I have for the Benz is that the rear reminds me a little bit of a Passat CC with its lamps.

  6. viper says:

    Christ not again…….
    a bmw fiction vs a real car aka the best looking car ever …point?..No. never was.
    bmwblog why dont u compare the A7 and cls? makes sense? you bet! because the car exists .
    another BIG nonsense here is the voting pool…..gran coupe seems to be the best looking coupe bmw read sedan-ish. car?
    Christ. this place is amazing!

    • wazon8 says:

      Real car? The only real CLS is right now pretty aged car. Future CLS is in testing phase and test mules are never real cars. But similar thing can be said about BMW GC, since it extensively bases on 5-er and numbers of its parts have been already tested. GC is comfirmed to production and will be rival of CSL – they will be launched in similar time (2013 vs. 2012), so what’s pointless in comparing looks of both cars? As far as it’s not clear whether GC will look exactly like BMW prototype looks, the same goes for CSL, which can undergo some changes also. Taking your logic at board, we wouldn’t be able to talk about look of any car in test phase, especially when there few years to launch it.

  7. tweer says:

    The BMW is by far the most dramatic looking of the two cars where as the merc just looks like a saloon thats been given a half hearted sporty merc look, some people will like it though, no accounting for taste, I’m sure I’ll get a few taxi rides in one.

    As for the BMWblog not comparing the A7 and the CLS, well neither are made by BMW so that would be rather silly, this being a BMW blog, name sort of gives it away doesn’t it viper.

  8. Lariv says:

    I think both look good personally prefer the CLS because it has a more aggressive front end and because it looks less like a saloon. It is almost certain the Gran Coupe concept will be altered slightly and bits like the exhaust pipes and mirrors will be changed. The only problem I have with these cars is that both of these cars look like saloons albeit very nice and sporty ones and not like coupes. I think it is fair to say the original CLS had a more coupe like profile than the new one and Gran Coupe concept.

  9. Efoza says:

    Perfect use of the 5GT design. This car will sell very well and I can’t wait for the facelift 5 Gt in 2012 to compliment the release of the Gran Coupe

    • Lariv says:

      The Gran Coupe has very little to do with the 5 Series GT bar the largish grille and probably a lot of switchgear in the interior when the interior for the Gran Coupe is revealed. There is very little if no influence from the 5 Series GT. The Gran Coupe concept is a very nice looking saloon/coupe while the 5 Seires GT is a glorified hatchback with highish ground clearance.

  10. Jag says:

    the CLS looks confusing. it has a very aggressive front but the rear is too soft. and the shoulder lines seem messed up, they don’t have a focal point.

  11. Giom says:

    Oy…! I’ve seen some additional CSL pics on – and I really really like it. It’s got some very interesting ‘graphics’ on its flanks (will probably age quicker) that makes it look very interesting in an arty sort of way.

    The head-on view I don’t like tho. It’s a new face for a Merc.

  12. Lawrence Mokgalaka says:

    The Beemer is just killing these fake things— obviously Merc waited to see BMW model and then release later after spying

  13. X5SoB says:

    The 6 Gran Coupe is much nicer than the CLS redo. Period. Viper, you are an asshole.

  14. lubo says:

    obviously CLS looks much better than BMW Gran Coupe or at least on these pics

  15. alex says:

    I like the front of both cars, however the rear end of the Mercedes reminds me of a Hyundai and that’s… horrible.

  16. SANTIAGO-U says:


  17. SANTIAGO-U says:


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