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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Matchbox 2005 Mercedes CLS500

For 2017 the Mercedes-Benz name finally returns to the Matchbox and Hot Wheels line after nearly a decade's absence.  The reason for the absence: Mattel's refusal to put those chrome Daimler copyright decals on the packaging.  Well I guess M-B has relaxed the sticker requirement as the brand is now back at Mattel.  One of the sleekest Mercedes in the lineup is the one that started the four-door coupe sedan craze the CLS.

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With the new 2017 Best of World edition I brought out the first release in 2006 in burgundy.  The CLS was based on the E-class platform that it shared engine and drivetrain components with.  However, instead of the typical two-box look of a sedan the CLS goes for a streamline look of a coupe with a sloping roofline.  The front-end has L-shaped headlights that are detailed with a three bar grille and three point star in the middle, along with an aggressive lower front bumper with foglights.  The sides show off the sleek low roofline that is a hallmark to the CLS line.  The beltline also raises upward to give the car strong character.  Out back the taillights are slim triangles with a sloped trunk lid and dual exhausts.  The interior is just like any Mercedes with supportive front seats, tan leather, 4-spoke steering wheel, and nicely laid out dashboard with controls though the dashboard is slightly different for the CLS.  Matchbox did a great job with the interior even though the dashboard does look a bit out of shape.

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The biggest difference is the rear seats where a center console replaces the middle seat with headroom reduced and entry and exit a challenge due to the low roofline.  Powertrain and models are plenty, with this CLS500 sporting a 5.0L DOHC V8 that produces 306 horsepower and 301 Ib-ft of torque to the rear wheels by a five-speed automatic.  The CLS500 does 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, so not a downright exotic sports car but very quick for a sedan.  The CLS has some good handling characteristics even though it still feels like a typical four-door sedan.  Now the car has gone through several recolors (some colors were rather odd for a Mercedes), but now it returns in style for the new Best of World line for 2017.  A gorgeous metallic green with tan interior, much more crisper details than the 2006 version, and rubber tires on six-spoke wheels that will look familiar to you: they are borrowed from Hot Wheels and look excellent on this car.

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Lets hope Matchbox gets to use this casting more and while we're at it lets bring out a few more new Mercedes models as well.

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