Fancy a Mercedes-Benz CLS but find it too big and costly? If so, we have great news for you: the German luxury manufacturer is putting the finishing touches on its second-generation CLA four-door coupe.
It should be interesting to see how Mercedes will differentiate the CLA II from the eerily similar A-Class sedan that was introduced in China earlier this year and which will be sold in several Western markets, including North America.
What do we know about the styling, technical details and what engines will power the sportier CLA? Well, let’s take an illustrated preview based on the latest spy-shots.
Mini-me CLS Design
Like the previous CLA, the styling can be aptly described as a shrunken CLS with A-Class design details. Only a trainspotter will notice the changes in the side window area, with a slightly larger rear quarter window and tapered C-pillar.
More apparent differences are found with teardrop Multibeam LED headlights (which mimic the rear lighting clusters), A-Class-style “predator” grille and smooth sheetmetal surfacing. Gone are the creases of old, with Mercedes-Benz moving to more ‘organic’ styling.
A Dash Of A-Class And Improved Space Inside
One area that really let down the outgoing CLA was the relatively cheap (for a product with the Mercedes-Benz star) interior. Whilst not horrible, it never really exuded the same quality that you’d find in a C- or E-Class.
Thankfully, things have improved for 2019, with the CLA adopting the new A-Class’ slick twin-digital displays, an S-Class steering wheel, higher quality materials and an improvement in occupant space thanks to the car being slightly wider and longer than before.
Technophiles will enjoy the MBUX infotainment system’s customization with 64 different ambient lighting options, digital voice assistant and an augmented-reality SatNav that uses a camera to show the road ahead, whilst overlaying directions over the image so you never miss a turn.
Under The Hood
Don’t expect any major surprises here. Based on Mercedes’ MFA2 platform architecture, the CLA II will borrow all of its powertrains from the A-Class hatchback. These include a 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder with 161 hp (120kW) and 184 b-ft (250 Newton-meters) of torque, an 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel producing 114 hp (85 kW) and 192 lb-ft (260 Nm), plus a 2.0-litre turbo four pumping out 221 hp (165 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque.
Power will be fed to the front wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Those wanting or needing extra traction can specify a 4Matic all-wheel drive system as an optional extra on higher end models.
Not One, But Two AMGs: The CLA 35 And CLA 45/50
Are the above powertrains not hot enough for you? Mercedes-AMG is readying a CLA45 (although reports suggest it may actually be named CLA50) with a new turbocharged 2.0-litre pumping out more than 400 hp (300kW).
The top CLA will feature a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an new all-wheel-drive system, although whether it’ll have drift mode like its larger E63 sibling is yet to be confirmed.
Since Mercedes is currently working on a softer A35 AMG with a 2.0-liter turbo pushing out around 300 horses for the hatchback, we will likely see this variant being offered in the CLA as well, bridging the gap between the CLA250 and the CLA 45/50.
Rivals and Release Date
The CLA is bit of a niche product with that coupe-like profile, with its closest rival being the upcoming BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe pictured here.
The cynic might also point out the newly-introduced A-Class sedan as another obvious rival in the markets they will be sold together, despite a (supposedly, but not very obvious from what we’ve until now), subtly more conventional and less sporty silhouette.
Expect a reveal later this year, possibly at the Paris Motor Show in October – that’s if Mercedes-Benz doesn’t follow the hordes of other manufacturers pulling out of the event.
So, what do you think of the second-generation CLA? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes