• Sleek, four-door coupe based on the A-Class hatch
• Aiming for a younger, more style-conscious audience
• Available to order from March 2013

Full details of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA four-door coupe have been announced ahead of its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show and is set to go up against the forthcoming BMW 2-series.

Following the success of the larger CLS four-door coupe, the CLA is the same idea based on the A-Class platform, as opposed to the CLS which uses the E-Class as its base. First seen as the Concept Style Coupe at last year’s Beijing Auto Show, it received such a positive response that Mercedes decided to put the car into production as soon as possible.

The CLA is a sleeker, sportier design than the A-Class hatch on which it is based and aims to appeal to a younger demographic than its more staid stable mate. It features an aggressive front-end, with a domineering grille and larger air-intakes which highlight the car’s sporting pretensions. There are also a plethora of lines and creases on the bonnet and two converging lines that run down the side of the car which give the car a taught, lean and athletic stance, while the lower, sharply raked roofline further illustrates its youthful, style-led character. The pronounced shoulder line, which runs the length of the vehicle also emphasises the CLA’s impression of width.

Inside, the sporting theme is continued. The centre console is dominated by three silver-shadow trimmed air-vents and a free-standing infotainment screen, which is also framed in silver. Mercedes says that this electroplated galvanisation gives the interior materials a “cool-touch” feel. Interior space is less than that in the A-Class hatch, thanks to the lower roof line and the “2+1” rear bench which is only really suitable for two adults or, at a stretch, three children. The new CLA will also feature Mercedes’ Distronic Plus braking assist system which uses radar and other sensors to help avoid accidents.

There will be three engines available at launch, all of which meet the strict Euro6 emissions regulations which are set to come into force in 2014. Two of these will be turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engines as well as a 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. The two petrols will be 1.6 and 2.0-litres in capacity and will produce 120 and 208bhp respectively, while returning 52.3 and 46.3 mpg each. The turbo-diesel will produce 167bhp and put out 258ft/lb of torque, while returning up to 67.3 mpg and emitting 109g/km of CO2.

The CLA will be available to order from March this year, with first deliveries expected in June. Pricing will be confirmed in March, just before it becomes available to order.

By James Richardson

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