Even though Mercedes-Benz has plans to introduce the all-new A-Class sedan in the future, that doesn’t mean it has forgotten about its other compact sedan – the CLA. The next-generation CLA was sighted in prototype form for the first time recently, and there appears to be a number of visual differences.

Appearing more as a downsized CLS, the most noticeable detail here is the roofline, which slopes more gently towards the rear compared to the A-Class sedan. From this angle, it also appears to have a slightly longer rear overhang and boot to match. Furthermore, the nose appears to be quite high although that could be due to the camouflage and cladding applied to the test mule.

At the front, we see new designs for the bumper and headlights in order to further differentiate it from the new A-Class models. Moving to the rear, the taillights appear to be inspired by those on the CLS, albeit with revised graphics within them.

The new CLA will likely be underpinned by the same platform used for the upcoming A-Class hatchback and sedan – Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation front wheel drive platform, reportedly called Modular Front Architecture 2 (MFA2).

It should also share a similar interior, as well as engines that include a mix of petrol and diesel units. There should also be a high-performance version – the CLA 45 – along with the possibility of plug-in hybrid and even all-electric versions.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan spyshots