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 |  Aug 23 2010, 7:12 AM

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Set to debut at the Paris Auto Show in a month’s time, Mercedes-Benz has just released the first official photos of the 2012 CLS. The CLS not only changed the automotive landscape with it’s coupe-styled sedan form and just four seats, it changed Mercedes. The popularity of the CLS led the German luxury automaker to design all its future models taking cues from the CLS.

Debuting back in 2004, the original CLS still looks ahead of its time and so we’re not surprised to see that the second-generation car is slightly more evolutionary. Still, it seems to be setting yet another new design direction for the three pointed star, with a bold new grille adapted from the SLS supercar. It also appears to have an even more coupe-like profile with an elongated hood and shorter trunk section. Also of note is the full use of LEDs on the front of the car with 71 bulbs used for the headlights, running lights, turn signals and side market.

The interior is more familiar to the rest of the Mercedes, although we love the 3-spoke steering wheel.

No official details have been released regarding engines but we expect the 2012 CLS to use the latest powertrains from Mercedes, including an entry-level direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 with 306-hp. The CLS550 model will then work with the new twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 with 429-hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque.

Topping off the range will be a CLS63 with a new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 instead of the current 6.2-liter. Power will be an impressive 536-hp and an incredible 590 ft-lbs of torque. And as exciting as that is, we expect that like the 2011 Mercedes CL, Mercededs will offer an AMG Performance Package bumping power to 563-hp and 664 ft-lbs of torque.

And along with big power increases, expect fuel economy to improve by as much as 20 percent.

We’ll bring you more details and photos in the lead up to the 2010 Paris Auto Show, plus full coverage from the show floor.

GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS

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Official release after the jump:

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