After a few teasers and some leaked images of a particularly aggressive looking variant, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class finally makes its world premiere at the Detroit 2013 show happening this month. The CLA-Class (codenamed C117) is Mercedes-Benz’s new four door coupe, what Mercedes-Benz calls a ‘style rebel’. It’s based on the same front wheel drive platform as the A-Class and B-Class.
5 variants were announced at debut time, excluding the CLA 45 AMG that was teased before this. The baseline is the CLA 180, which also has a more economical CLA 180 BlueEfficiency Edition counterpart that features fuel-saving features such as longer gear ratios. These are powered by a 1.6 litre turbo four cylinder engine doing 122 horsepower and 200Nm of torque, both mated to a 6-speed manual.
Go one step up the rung and you have the CLA 200, powered by a 1.6 litre turbo as well, but making 156 horsepower and 250Nm. This is also available with a 6-speed manual, and the CLA 200 does the 100km/h sprint in 8.6 seconds. The most powerful petrol version as of now is the CLA 250, with a 2.0L turbocharged direct injection four cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower and 350Nm of torque mated to a 7G-DCT 7-speed dual clutch transmission. It has a sports suspension and the option for 4MATIC all wheel drive. It hits 100km/h in 6.7 seconds.
The sole diesel engine at launch time is the CLA 220 CDI, with a 2.2 litre diesel engine mated to a 7G-DCT transmision, Peak power is 170 horses, while torque is 350Nm.
The aerodynamic four-door coupe body has a Cd figure of 0.23. Mercedes-Benz also claims that the frontal surface area, Cd x A – which is crucial to aerodynamic resistance – also leads the field at 5.49 sq. ft.
Features that contribute to good aerodynamics are a low A-pillar shoulder with adapted A-pillar geometry, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, low-drag wheel trims and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches. Extensive underbody cladding, additional cladding at the center of the rear axle, an aerodynamically optimized muffler and a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.
The CLA-Class has an advanced electromechanical power steering system which uses ESP control unit data to facilitate various steering assistance functions such as counter-steering in the event of oversteer, corrective steering when braking on road surfaces with differing levels of grip (split-friction braking), minimization of torque steer and compensation for crosswinds and road gradients.
Other safety features include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which offers collision protection in the CLA from speeds of just 6.5km/h. The optional Driver Assistance package also offers DISTRONIC, as well as familiar safety systems including Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. Optional is PARKTRONIC with Advance Parking Assist, enabling autonomous parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spots
Look after the jump for a gallery of the CLA-Class.