Detroit-bound Mercedes CLA Revealed


Mercedes' radical Concept Style Coupé concept, revealed at this year's Beijing Motor Show, is due to be launched in full production guise early next year at the Detroit Motor Show (free tickets here), and this is it.

Designated 'CLA', the four-door saloon will sit below the C-Class and, as you can see here, borrows heavily from the lastest A-Class (particularly the boisterous front graphic) as well as from concepts as far back as the F700 diesel hybrid. It's fair to say, though, that the CLA is impressively true to the CSC. 

Surface entertainment is indicative of Mercedes' current design language

The CLA shares the same organic aggression as the A-Class but borrows styling cues from the outgoing C-Class AMG models, including the hard bonnet ridges and muscular haunches. Whether Head of Design Gorden Wagener and his team have perhaps indulged too extravagantly in the 'interplay of convex and concave surfaces' is a matter of personal taste, but the CLA - as it is pictured here at least - is certainly a bold design.

In profile, the CLA is clearly based on the C-Class

The front light signature will be familiar to those who have seen the new A-Class at night and the rear light signature exaggerates the car's width, with the help of sporty vents that swoop down and around the rear bumper. Inside, again, the CLA is almost identical to the A-Class, and appears to feature the same infortainment system. The rear seats are similar to those in Porsche's Panamera - clearly distinct from one another and almost entirely separate.

Interior is almost identical to the new A-Class, and is more youthful than we would expect

There are no plans for electric or even hybrid variants, but Mercedes have evidenced their grasp of biofuel and pure electric drivetrain technology in the last twelve months, so more environmentally-friendly CLA variants, coming further into production, would not be surprising. They may, after all, want to consider the threat posed by BMW's i cars.

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