Mercedes-Benz CLA debuts at CES

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Sharing the same front-wheel-drive configuration platform as the hatchback, the new CLA is 48mm longer, 53mm wider and 2mm lower than the model it replaces.

We were impressed by the refinement, chassis, powertrain, and tech found in the new A-class, and the second-gen CLA looks to improve further on all of the A's strong points.

By the market launch in May, there will be a broad range of diesel and petrol engines available featuring manual or dual-clutch transmissions and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. We're presuming it's only those packing the latest MBUX system, which includes just the 2020 CLA Coupe and 2019 A-Class, but we'll update this story when we find out more.

Pricing and full engine specifications will be revealed closer to launch, but expect an increase over the current retail cost of $49,400.

The new CLA also features a wider track, by 63 mm at the front and 55 mm at the rear compared to the first-gen.

Mercedes has unveiled a bolder, sleeker new CLA coupe - and it's chosen a big United States electronic gadget show to showcase the new model. The world's largest economy swallowed 652,996 Mercedes-Benz cars, a 7.8 percent increase over 2017 the main contributor to the region's 11 percent overall rise.

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The interior is a near-copy of what you find in the new A Class, set to debut imminently in North America. The cabin lighting is all gesture-controlled, which is quite nifty.

Thanks to a raft of driver assistance gadgets inherited from its bigger brothers, the little four-door is also able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations, with advanced camera and radar systems allowing it to see up to half a kilometre ahead.

"This is not the only new feature by which the CLA offers a great deal of automotive intelligence". A Shooting Brake estate is due to follow later this year.

The physical increase in size has meant the original CLA retains its title as the most aerodynamic passenger auto to date, but Mercedes-Benz says even more attention was paid to the new model in order to achieve its drag co-efficient figure of 0.23, with the auto featuring active shutters behind the grille, fine-tuned details within the air intakes and wheel arches, a flat bottom underneath the vehicle and an ultra-efficient rear bumper.

While the previous-gen CLA is now on sale in India (priced between Rs 34.38-36.99 lakh, ex-showroom, pan-India), this secxond-gen model is unlikely to launch in our market.

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