Mercedes-Benz is heading into a new segment, this time with a four-door coupe measuring 4630mm long, 1777mm wide and 1437mm high.
The German carmaker offered a sneak peek at its baby CLS at the Detroit motor show ahead of its world debut at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin starting January 15, 2013.
The CLA is based on the Concept Style Coupe first shown at Auto China in April 2012 where it, according to Merc’s chairman, proved very popular. Dieter Zetsche said: ‘The response to the Concept Style Coupé was overwhelming. The most frequent comment by far was “Please put this car into series production.” That’s precisely what we are doing now.’
Apart from ushering in a new niche for Merc, where the manufacturer aims to score a number of younger buyers, the CLA also comes with a range of standard equipment including the radar-based Collision Prevention Assist now in operation from 7kph (and no longer 30kph).
The CLA will occupy a particularly sporty slot in the Merc line-up and will, fittingly, come with features such as a 155kW turbo engine, sports suspension and 4matic all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution.
A range of petrol and diesel engines will be offered, ranging from a 90kW 1.6-litre petrol in the CLA 180 to the 155kW CLA 250. All the engines feature an Eco start/stop function as standard, combined with a six-speed manual transmission or a 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission.
The interior is said to be finished in high-quality materials with metallic finishes for the trim surfaces. In its quest to target the social media target group, smartphones can be integrated into the car’s display and operating system, too.
To appeal to the ‘multimedia generation’, as Merc calls is, the CLA is also kitted with new functions, apps and a customisable colour scheme.
Daimler’s Digital Drive Style app adds extra functionality to the carmaker’s iPhone app and allows, for instance, Siri voice control and real-time location sharing. Other functions include Facebook, Twitter, internet radio and 3D map displays integrated into the Comand Online multimedia system.
Merc’s CLA will be available in South Africa from November 2013.