Though we’ve been spying prototypes
for the upcoming CLA Class from Mercedes-Benz, the sedan version of the German automaker’s new compact range, for more than a year, so far all of these have been heavily camouflaged. Now the first official images of the new compact sedan have been revealed, showing off the car's design ahead of its debut next month.
The images confirm Mercedes’ design team has managed to retain the distinctive look of the Concept Style Coupe
unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, for the production version.
The front of the CLA Class is almost identical to the latest A Class hatchback
launched overseas, while the body gets four-door coupe styling that makes it resemble the CLS Class, albeit on a smaller scale.
Under its pretty sheet metal is a version of Mercedes' latest front-wheel drive platform, code-named MFA (Mercedes Frontwheel Architecture). This new platform is flexible enough to spawn a variety of models including hatchbacks, coupes and even a crossover
, and it will offer the option of 4MATIC all-wheel drive
. U.S.-delivered cars are likely to come with 4MATIC as standard.
The car’s overall length will stretch just over 15 feet, and inside there should be ample space for four adults. A fifth-seat option may be available. The interior design, as expected, is identical to that found in the A Class hatchback.
A performance-tuned 4MATIC system will be standard in the AMG version of the new CLA Class
, which is likely to be called the CLA45 AMG and come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at more than 330 horsepower.
Expect the base model in the U.S. to be called the CLA250 and come powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 211 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be standard across the range.
The new CLA Class is a crucial model for Mercedes-Benz as this will be the first of the automaker’s new compact range headed to the U.S., its most important market. It is expected to arrive in showrooms by the middle of next year, as a 2014 model.
Stay tuned for an update with all the official details.