Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the U.S. will start to receive the all-new 2014 CLA-Class later this year. It had recently made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Its starting price has been set at under $30,000. Last Wednesday, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its full-length Super Bowl ad, with the commercial indicating the price for the all-new CLA sedan.
The CLA will arrive at dealerships in September. It will be priced from $29,900, undercutting the C-Class by over $5,000. The CLA’s styling is heavily based on the newest iteration of the original “four-door coupe,” the CLS-Class. It comes with a gently sloping roofline, swept-back taillights and flowing character lines on its sides. Mercedes said that the sleek appearance has a drag coefficient of only 0.23 Cd. In addition, the CLA is the most aerodynamic series production car ever built.
CLA is built on Mercedes’ modular MFA front-wheel-drive architecture, which is also used to underpin the European-market A-Class hatchback and B-Class MPV. With regards to dimensions, the CLA is very similar to the C-Class sedan. Meanwhile, the C-Class’ wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer. The CLA is also longer by about 1.5 inches overall. These two are very identical when it comes to height and width. When the CLA arrives at the market this fall, it will only be offered in one form, the CLA250.
It is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four engine that was taken from Mercedes’ European engine lineup. This engine has an output of 208hp and 258 lb-ft, sending power to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
In the spring of 2014, Mercedes will put in an optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. It features an efficient new design particularly meant for the car company’s smaller, transversely-engined vehicles. It distributes 100% of torque to front wheels under the usual driving situations. Meanwhile, as much as 90% could be shunted to the rear wheels when additional traction is required.
Characterized by striking features including breathtaking sporty proportions, powerful dynamic design idiom, and an interplay of concave and convex surfaces, the four-door Mercedes-Benz CLA has an unmistakable look. Its front end features a powerdome-embedded bonnet and a diamond radiator grille making it even more eye-catching. It also has light modules and LEDs located behind the headlamp cover glass and are arranged in a way that it creates a characteristic “flare effect” for both the daytime driving lights and indicators; this so-called “light signet” ultimately gives the car a hint of enthusiasm as well as contours its new Mercedes face.
On a design level, we can observe that numerous details on the CLA are quite advanced compared to the modern classic look of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Three prominent lines are noticeable from the side – one of the three runs from the front structural edge over the wings, and flows towards the rear end of the vehicle in a characteristic dropping line; the other, more sinewy line runs across the shoulder muscle above the rear axle; and the third line sweeps through the front wheel towards its rear. All three gives structure to the CLA, adding depth and dynamism to its side profile.
Further emphasizing the power and athleticism within the Mercedes-Benz CLA is its width-emphasizing rear end which features an interplay of convex and concave surfaces and edges. From the rear, the CLA exudes a coupe-style character all due to its gently sloping roof contour and the pronounced, hallmark curvature of its rear window. The drawn-in C-pillars alongside its shoulder muscle on the rear wheel arch linings contribute to the athleticism of its rear. The muscular lines of its shoulders which extend to the rear end frame the CLA’s tail lights whose horizontal orientation emphasizes power and aesthetic breadth at the rear; arranged like an arrow are its light functions.