Mercedes-Benz resuscitated the “four-door coupe” designation in 2005 with the introduction of the CLS-Class. Now, it wants to downsize it with an entry-level sedan, er, coupe that’s bound for the U.S.Called the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, the small four-door is based on the new front-wheel-drive A-Class hatchback that is sold overseas. Here is our first look at the at the production-ready version of the small luxury sedan.
Instead of the thicker styling that the A-Class receives, the CLA gets restyled with a steeply raked roofline and curves that are just shy of being as attention-grabbing as Kate Upton’s. Over in Europe, it is expected to come with a long list of diesel and gas engines available, but we’re expecting it to have at least the 211-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine when it makes its introduction as part of its standard lineup. If that’s not enough, however, Mercedes-Benz will also have a hotter version of that engine in the wings in the CLA45 AMG that’s anticipated to make 350 horsepower.
All-wheel drive will be available in addition to front-wheel drive; all four wheels will be driven in the CLA45 AMG, paired to a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The car seen here has the AMG body kit, but is not an AMG model. It’s pretty much gussying up an already slick-looking little car.
We anticipate the CLA-Class to debut on U.S. shores at January’s Detroit Auto Show and expect it to be part of Mercedes-Benz’s massive Super Bowl ad campaign the automaker has promised. Coincidentally enough, Mercedes-Benz’s featured commercial will star Kate Upton herself. We’ll keep you updated on the U.S. specs for the sub-C-Class car when we find out more.