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2014 Mercedes CLA revealed prior to Detroit debut [video]

U.S. launch slated for September

Mercedes has officially unveiled the 2014 CLA, ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show.

Previewed by the Concept Style Coupe, the production model is an elegant sedan that features a prominent grille, a sloping roofline and a sporty rear end with a dual exhaust system. Overall, the car measures 182.3 inches long, 80.0 inches wide and 56.6 inches tall.

The swoopy styling - as well as underbody cladding and an aerodynamically-optimized muffler - enables the model to have an impressive drag coefficient of 0.23.  The company claims this sets "a new benchmark among not only Mercedes models, but also all series-production vehicles."

The cabin is heavily influenced by the A-Class and comes nicely equipped with piano black trim, silver accents and a 5.8-inch display. The model also features the mbrace2 connectivity system which enables users to access an extensive range of online concierge services and apps.

If that's not impressive enough, Mercedes offers an optional panorama sunroof as well as a Multimedia package that adds the COMMAND infotainment system and GPS navigation. Customers can also order the Premium package which features heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and a harman/kardon audio system.

In the United States, the model will be offered with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 208 bhp (155 kW) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. It will be connected to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission which can be paired to an optional all-wheel drive system.

As expected, the model rides on the MFA platform which has a McPherson strut front suspension and a multilink independent rear suspension. The CLA also has an electromechanical power steering system as well as a "flexible decoupling of the rear axle sub-frame for improved ride characteristics."

The Mercedes CLA will go on sale in the United States this September and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Check out the press release for additional information

Source: Mercedes-Benz USA

The Style Rebel

MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-Benz is expanding its lineup with the all-new 2014 CLA-Class. The new four-door coupe is a style rebel that takes its design cues from the CLS, whose design concept has inspired more than its fair share of imitators since its debut in Detroit in 2003. This brand new vehicle features world-leading aerodynamics, avant-garde coupe design and with 4MATIC all-wheel drive (available Spring 2014). With its frameless doors, the four-door coupe seamlessly carries the design of the Concept Style Coupe into series production. The new model features COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST as a standard feature. At speeds above 4 mph, this radar-based braking system is able to warn the driver of obstacles and to anticipate braking force when the driver steps on the brake pedal. The all-new 2014 CLA250 arrives in U.S. dealerships Fall 2013.

"The response to the Concept Style Coupe was overwhelming. The most frequent comment by far was 'Please put this car into series production.' That's precisely what we are doing now," notes Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management for Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The CLA is a car that does not confuse 'mid-size' with 'mid-quality'. Its sporty design underscores the sporty side of the Mercedes-Benz brand."

The sporty CLA comes with a powerful turbocharged engine generating 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, as well as sport suspension and available 4MATIC all- wheel drive. The technical highlights of this new design icon include a new world record in aerodynamics for series production automobiles (Cd value: 0.23) and a wide range of driver assistance systems, including advanced COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST.

This radar-based assistance system provides the driver with visual and acoustic warnings of identified obstacles and primes Brake Assist for adaptive braking. Brake Assist is initiated as soon as the driver steps hard on the brake pedal. When the system identifies a risk of collision, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST calculates the precise braking force ideally needed to avoid an accident and makes the best possible use of any distance remaining. Adaptive Braking Assist activates at speeds of just 4 mph and gives trailing vehicles as much time as possible to also react accordingly and avoid another accident.

There are four special equipment packages and a series of standalone options for individualizing the striking compact four-door coupe (length/width/height: 182.3/80.0/56.6 inches). In keeping with the digital lifestyle of the CLA's social media-savvy target group, smartphones can also be fully integrated into the vehicle's display and operating system via mbrace2, which is standard equipment.

Following a brief appearance on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the CLA will celebrate its official world premiere at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin (January 15 to 18, 2013). The new CLA will arrive at U.S. dealerships in September 2013.

The style rebel - exterior design

Its sporty proportions and powerfully dynamic design language featuring the interaction of concave and convex surfaces give this four-door coupe its distinctive look. The CLA carries the avant-garde design of the Concept Style Coupe into series production almost 1:1.

Striking features include the hood with its power domes and the diamond-look grille. The arrangement of the headlights and LEDs behind the headlamp lens evokes the characteristic "flame effect" for the optional daytime running lights and indicators. This light signature is a key aspect of the car's energetic look and shapes a new, youthful Mercedes face.

A number of details indicate that the design of the CLA represents a further development of the modern classic Mercedes-Benz CLS. Three prominent lines give structure to the vehicle when viewed from the side - the front structural edge above the fenders flows toward the rear in a characteristic dropping line. Another, more sinewy line spans the shoulder muscle above the rear axle, while the third feature line extends in a sweeping curve from the front wheel toward the rear. Together, these lines lend depth and dynamism to the side profile.

The design of the rear end emphasizes the width of the CLA, expressing power and athleticism with the interaction of convex and concave surfaces and edges. The gently sloping roof contour and pronounced curve of the rear window retain the CLA's coupe-style character. The athletic look of the rear end comes from the drawn-in C-pillars paired with the shoulder muscle above the rear wheel arches. The tail lights are framed by the muscular shoulder lines extending into the back while the horizontal light layout emphasizes the car's powerful and visually striking breadth.

A large panorama sunroof is available as a standalone option. It consists of a fixed polycarbonate cover at the front, a glass moving panel and side trim elements to match the glass look. The visual effect is of a glass surface that extends all the way from the front to the rear windshield.

Premium look-and-feel - the interior

The exterior's progressive, sporty appearance also carries through to the vehicle interior. Anthracite surface finish is available as the standard trim. Additional trim options include burl walnut wood, black ash wood and aluminum.

The instrument panel incorporates five air vents. The outer rings of the vents are done in a high-quality galvanized finish, while a galvanized insert controls the direction of airflow. The free-standing display is set in black piano-lacquer trim and edged with a flush-fitting silver frame.

(Wind) resistance is futile - a new record Cd figure

With a Cd figure of 0.23, the CLA sets a new benchmark among not only Mercedes models, but also all series-production vehicles. The frontal surface area, Cd x A - which is crucial to aerodynamic resistance – also leads the field at 5.49 sq. ft.

The good air flow characteristics, which have a major impact on fuel consumption under everyday driving conditions, are the result of extensive aerodynamic optimization. These include a low A-pillar shoulder with adapted A-pillar geometry, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, low-drag wheel trims and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches.

Extensive underbody cladding, additional cladding at the center of the rear axle, an aerodynamically optimized muffler and a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.

Smart safety - advanced assistance systems

An extensive array of standard and optional driver assistance systems in the CLA is available to the driver. Standard features include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which offers collision protection in the CLA from speeds of just 4 mph.

The optional Driver Assistance package also offers DISTRONIC, as well as familiar safety systems including Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. PARKTRONIC with Advance Parking Assist enables autonomous parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces and is available as a standalone option.

Precision handling - the chassis and suspension

The CLA's running gear features McPherson strut suspension at the front and independent multilink suspension at the rear. Three control arms and one trailing arm at each of the rear wheels enable longitudinal and transverse forces to be handled separately. Specific to the CLA is the flexible decoupling of the rear axle sub-frame for improved ride characteristics. The wheel mounts and spring guides are made from aluminum in order to reduce unsprung masses. Standard equipment includes the Mercedes-Benz Sport Suspension for sporty yet comfortable handling.

The CLA also comes as standard with electromechanical power steering. Compared with conventional systems, this power steering system offers improved driver feedback and makes an important contribution to overall efficiency, as the power steering function draws energy only under active steering. It also facilitates various steering assistance functions activated by the ESP® control unit. These include counter-steering in the event of oversteer, corrective steering when braking on road surfaces with differing levels of grip (split-friction braking), minimization of torque steer and compensation for crosswinds and road gradients.

Both the front wheel drive and 4MATIC variants of the CLA250 are delivered on 17-inch, 5-spoke, two-tone wheels clad in all-season, run-flat tires. The Sport Package offers 18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels and adds Sport body styling plus perforated front discs.

High levels of traction and outstanding agility - 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is also available with a new generation of the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system featuring fully variable torque distribution. Like the other 4MATIC variants, this completely new development boasts high levels of traction and outstanding agility combined with excellent safety and energy efficiency.

The components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, and the rear-axle gear set with an integrated electro-hydraulic, multi-disc clutch. This set-up enables fully variable distribution of drive between the front and rear axles. Additional benefits of this design are a lower system weight than that of competitor systems, as well as a high degree of efficiency.

All set for the future – a powerful and efficient drive

The CLA250 and CLA250 4MATIC both feature Mercedes-Benz's 2.0-liter four- cylinder gasoline engine with 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It comes with the ECO stop/start function as standard for added gas mileage and is mated to the 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission for an outstanding combination of sporty performance and comfort.
"Always on" - multimedia systems

The latest generation of multimedia systems in the CLA provides a wide array of functions, apps and graphics.

Like all models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the CLA comes with the brand's acclaimed connectivity service mbrace2, providing users with an extensive range of online and concierge services and apps all linking seamlessly to smartphones for use inside and outside the car. By using cloud technology, mbrace2 is always up to date and offers users wide-ranging and flexible access to content.

The CLA250 and CLA250 4MATIC both include the 5.8-inch display and Bluetooth as standard equipment. The central controller provides an all-access pass to an abundance of advanced technology. This can be upgraded to the 7- inch display with the Multimedia package featuring the COMAND system with hard-drive navigation, voice control, an SD card slot, an in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD changer, a 10GB music register, a rearview camera and SiriusXM Traffic & Weather.

Premium comfort – additional equipment options

As well as the Multimedia package and Driver Assistance package, the CLA250 and CLA250 4MATIC are also available with the Premium package for an even higher level of comfort and convenience. Its features include an iPod/MP3 media interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, the harman/kardon LOGIC 7 surround sound system, heated front seats, auto dimming mirrors, integrated garage door opener, dual-zone climate control and a compass.

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Comments (25)

techie69
bland.
Jan 26, 2013 12:13 am
0 0
my550benz
At the end of the day, Mercedes is changing and we can't deny that..The days of the exclusivity of a Benz are over...You want a watered down Benz, there are alot to choose from....
Jan 16, 2013 7:57 pm
0 0
NYyanks
This turned into a complete mess, absolutely ugly. Promising attempt from the conceptual standpoint, but the production version couldn't make it a reality.
Jan 14, 2013 10:15 pm
0 0
schizo
For the segment this car is in it is very nice. The cost of manufacturing has to be kept in check. So taking that into consideration the CLA is pretty good. What it drives like...who knows... People that are going to buy this car probably doesn't care what it drives like either. They just want an inexpensive yet decent looking car with the three pointed star on it.
Jan 14, 2013 10:11 pm
1 0
Thunderbird
I think it looks very nice! The front is actually different from the A class. I like it!
Jan 14, 2013 2:30 pm
0 0
ovyd
I don't like the interior, it looks cheap and it reminds me of the US VW Jetta model for some reason. The exterior design is ok, but like others have said, a far cry from that stunning concept
Jan 14, 2013 1:17 pm
0 1
automobile007
Stunning car
Jan 14, 2013 9:28 am
1 1
GTurbo
At least there's no Elk-Test to worry about! It's a CLS junior with an A-Class badge; it will sell. Remember how we greeted the C-Class Sports Coupe when it was unveiled? It's still with us! It's all about the kerching baby!
Jan 14, 2013 8:00 am
0 2
Ratt
I thought it will be a lot better than this but I'll wait to see it in person, I mean its not bad in silver but I wouldn't buy it, and that disply looks aftermarket.
Jan 14, 2013 7:41 am
0 2
Prestige15
So this dosent tured out to be like the one from the concept but with looks like that theres no doubt it will sell like hot cakes.
Jan 14, 2013 6:48 am
0 4
CanOzcivelek
I pretty much like it. Don't understand why people are so disappointed. We already knew that this vehicle is produced on the A-Class platform. It's A-Class' bigger brother, it's supposed to look like it. Also some nice touches from the CLS (the roof line, trunk & shoulders and some other coupe characteristics). The proportions are of course not as sporty as CLS, remember, this is supposed to be a more affordable CLS ;)
Jan 14, 2013 6:01 am
2 2
GRAVE
It is an A class solon with CLS inspired rear lights. Overall looks nice
Jan 14, 2013 5:33 am
4 2
Bazemk
In one of the previous posts here there was a artist render of how this would've been. Looks like that guy designed the CLA better than Mercedes. A class front facia should be only for it, not for coupe like this. I hate to see what the next C class will look like since they announced it's front end will be inspired by the A class.
Jan 14, 2013 5:21 am
1 3
mickey_f1
Mercedes went the easy way of making a new model by taking bits from other cars they are currently building. And the result is this hypertrophied A-Class with the doors from a CLS. What used to be a great company in the past is now cutting the roots of its pedigree.
Jan 14, 2013 5:06 am
3 3
Cale24
Much was lost in translation from concept to production, real pity. Even that cool grille effect has been lost in the production version. And the small arches make the wheels look like 15s.
Jan 14, 2013 3:08 am
2 1
benz_man
There's a lot i like here, but then...there's a lot I don't...
Jan 14, 2013 2:10 am
4 3
Cohiba-lover06
Nice trend, this: Making their cars smaller, the production leaner, gleaning cheap(er) parts from another maufacturer, fwd, charing chassis, drivetrain, engines with DACIA(!)and selling ud this cr@ p as a Benz. Not amused.
Jan 14, 2013 2:04 am
4 4
Evo_2
Ok its sharing platforms and engines with a&b-class. But the engines for the the US have nothing to do with DACIA! So shut up and do your homework first before you tell other people bs! And btw. Audi A3 is nothing else like VW Golf, Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon...platform wise.
Jan 14, 2013 3:18 am
4 3
Cohiba-lover06
Its the Renault (C)lio (L)ong (A)ddition.
Jan 14, 2013 1:53 am
1 4
EdBacau
I like the hatchback more.
Jan 14, 2013 1:24 am
3 2
Sacto8780
I do think the CLA 250 will likely be complemented with a year by the CLA 250 BlueTec, powered by the same 193 bhp 2.1-liter I-4 turbodiesel engine found on the US-market GLK 250 BlueTec small SUV. I expect the CLA 250 BlueTec to get over 40 mpg on steady freeway driving.
Jan 14, 2013 12:18 am
1 1
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