After few leaked photos, Mercedes-Benz officially unveiled the 2014 CLA a.k.a. its entry-level four-door coupe that will debut later this year. As you can see from the photos the CLA is little changed visually from the Concept Style Coupe, which was shown last year. Codenamed C117, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA uses company’s new modular front-wheel-drive platform.
Moreover, the new CLA doesn’t use longitudinally mounted engines and rear-wheel drive, instead the new car comes with a transverse engine and front-wheel-drive. Selected models will be offered with the optional 4Matic four-wheel-drive.
Measuring 4630mm in length, 1777mm in width and 1437mm in height, the CLA is 40mm longer, 7mm wider and 43mm lower than the current C-Class. Under the hood, we will find a four-cylinder 1.6-liter engine developed in cooperation with Renault, delivering 120 hp.
This engine will power the CLA 180 model. A more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine delivering 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque will be found on the CLA 250.
Mercedes-Benz will only offer one diesel engine for the moment, a 2.1-liter 170 hp, which will be found on the CLA 220 CDI. Other engines will follow and we are talking about a 2.0-liter engine developed by AMG, which will deliver 348 hp. This engine will power the upcoming four-wheel-drive CLA 45 AMG.
All the engines are mounted transversely on initial models and will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission as standard or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox as an option.
The bad news is that the CLA will not be available from the start of sales with the 4Matic four-wheel drive option. In terms of safety, the CLA features the Attention Assist and radar-based Collision Prevention Assist as standard and according to the official press release it will achieve a five-star rating at the EuroNCAP safety tests. Optional safety systems include the Distronic Plus, Adaptove Highbeam Assist and a Tracking Package that brings blind-spot and lane-keeping assistance.
Mercedes-Benz CLA’s exterior sports a progressive and sporty appearance, which is also reflected in the interior. Inside, the car derives a special quality feel from its use of high-quality materials and the available combinations of these materials, as well as its design language. All of the car’s trim surfaces are galvanized, giving them a metallic finish.
There are five round vents on the instrument panel. The round vents’ outer rings have high-quality electroplated finish. Meanwhile, the direction of the airflow is controlled by a galvanized insert revealing meticulous attention to detail. It also has a free-standing display screen that features a front panel with black piano-lacquer-look and a flush-fitting silver frame, together with COMAND Online.
Moreover, the CLA boasts integral seats in both front and rear, highlighting its sporty character. Its bench seat at the rear emphasizes the outer seats. Contrasting colored stitching is available, depending on the interior appointment options. Also optionally available is a fiber-optic cable in between the head restraint and the backrest, as part of ambient lighting.
With a drag coefficient value of 0.23, the Benz CLA has set a new benchmark within the Benz model range as well as among all production vehicles. What’s more, its crucial drag area (Cd x A) of 0.51 m² also leads the field. The Benz CLA 180 BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, set to hit the market in June, also manages to beat these top values with a 0.22 Cd value. As for the drag area, the 4-door coupé crosses a line with 0.49 m2.