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Mercedes May Expand Compact Range With Arrival Of Next Generation

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Mercedes-Benz’s compact car range currently consists of three models, the A-Class hatchback sold overseas, the B-Class MPV, which launches here as an electric car next spring, and the stylish CLA sedan that’s just gone on sale. Next year, a GLA crossover will be launched along with a fifth model, a CLA Shooting Brake, though the latter won’t make it to the U.S.

Further down the track, Mercedes-Benz is considering even more compact cars, the automaker’s CEO has just revealed.

"We are considering the final portfolio of the next generation of our compact cars," Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche said to Automotive News (subscription required). "We have to define it and we may expand the portfolio."

Zetsche didn’t state what additional variants might be added but did reveal that the next generation of Mercedes compact cars was due from 2018 onwards.

Mercedes has long been rumored to be planning a convertible sports car based on its front-wheel-drive platform that underpins its compact car range. In fact, the automaker first previewed such a car as early as 2000 with its Vision SLA concept.

Another possibility, and one that looks more likely, is a convertible version of the CLA. Such a car would target the likes of the upcoming BMW 2-Series Convertible and Audi A3 Cabriolet.

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