New Mercedes-Benz CLA Finally Breaks Cover, Goes on Sale this Fall Priced at Around $30k

You’ve probably already seen it before on more than one occasion, but this time, it is Mercedes-Benz that has released images and specs on its brand new entry in the executive compact sedan segment named the CLA.

It is the less impressive- but still sexy-looking production version of last year’s Concept Style Coupé (CSC) sports sedan that transfers the four-door coupe styling of the CLS into a smaller package with a similar footprint as the C-Class.

The swoopy looking CLA will sit between the A-Class hatchback and the C-Class sedan, in terms of pricing, features and specifications, which means that it should start from around $30,000 in the States, with exact pricing to be announced closer to launch in September.

Mercedes describes the slippery-shaped CLA as a “styling rebel” adding that the car’s drag coefficient of just 0.23 sets a “new world record in aerodynamics for series production automobiles”.

The CLA is based on the A-Class hatchback’s new MFA (modular front architecture) platform, so it won’t come as a surprise to learn that it shares the same engine range, suspension and interior design with the compact model.

Despite costing less than the C-Class, at 182.3 inches (4,630mm) long, 80.0 inches wide (2,032mm / with mirrors) and 56.6 inches (1,438mm) tall, the CLA is actually 1.5 inches (38mm) longer. However, it rides on a shorter wheelbase of 106.3 inches (2,700mm) compared to the C-Class’ 108.7 inches (2,761mm).

In the U.S., the new model will launch with a single 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine option in the CLA 250 with an output of 208 hp and 258 lb-ft (350Nm) of torque. A standard 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission drives the front wheels on the base model, and all-four wheels in the 4MATIC variant. A fuel-saving ECO stop/start system will come as standard on all versions.

In Europe and other markets, Mercedes will offer a wider variety of both diesel and petrol engines. The flagship model of the range will be the all-wheel drive CLA 45 AMG powered by a heavily tuned 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 350-horsepower and 332 lb-ft (450Nm) shared with the A 45 AMG hatchback.

Among other standard and optionally available features will be a large panorama roof, ‘ATTENTION ASSIST’ drowsiness detection and radar-based ‘COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST’ with adaptive Brake Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, an AMG styling package and a choice of multimedia systems.

While Mercedes brought the new CLA to Detroit for a special presentation, the sedan won’t be displayed to the public at the North American International Auto Show. Instead, it will celebrate its official world premiere at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin (January 15 to 18, 2013), where we will find out more about the European market version, while it will also make an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

PHOTO GALLERY

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