Mercedes is axing an AMG model from its lineup next year (in the US)
It looks like the CLS 53 is going out the window
Mercedes-Benz have always built their line-up of cars with a very clear vision to create a new car for everyone and anyone. Their line-up now comprises a plethora of sedans and SUVs and they're building so many that, as somebody once said, they're probably going to run out of alphabet letters before they run out of ideas.
The problem is that all these 'XYZ Classes' sometimes overlap with one another. The CLS 63 AMG, for example, was discontinued in 2017 after the introduction of the AMG GT 63 4-door and now it looks like the slightly less powerful 53 AMG is going to go, too. The plan is to phase out the 53 AMG in the US with the face-lifted model (pictured), and subsequently retire it altogether with the next generation in a couple of years.
A Mercedes spokesperson said that "at facelift, the 2022 CLS will be available in the US exclusively as the CLS 450 4MATIC". The 450 is powered by a turbocharged mild-hybrid inline-six engine, putting out 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, whereas other markets will also get the 53, which is powered by a slightly different version of the same inline-six, with a power output of 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque.
The CLS was first unveiled in 2004 as a fastback-style four-door coupe while while the AMG GT 4-door coupe was introduced as a spin-off variant for the 2-door GT and the brand markets it as an executive car.
I'm gonna be honest, unless you're into cars, it's very hard to tell the difference. The GT is larger and the grille is different but other than they look similar and I believe the main reason why they're axing this particular model in the US is that North American buyers statistically and traditionally buy the more powerful models whereas European buyers often opt for the base model and/or models with smaller engines. Which one would you rather have, the CLS or the GT? Money no object, I'd have... neither. I'd buy an S-Class and a GT Coupe. But that's just me.