Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the second-generation CLA Coupé at CES in Las Vegas, and it is sleek. In terms of lines, the new four-door coupé sets new standards in the design DNA of “sensual purity”.
Following in the footsteps of its larger CLS sibling in silhouette – that long smooth profile, shark nose, stretched bonnet, frameless windows, before ending with the narrow tail lamps is what makes the new CLA sporty, elegant and muscular.
For the brand, the CLA has been a huge success, with over 750,000 units sold to date. In fact, the new generation of compacts has been the key contribution and rejuvenation of the Mercedes-Benz brand, with the CLA playing an important role in winning and retaining new customers. For example, at peak sales in the USA, more than two thirds of CLA owners came from the competitors; with an average customer age around 10 years younger than the typical Mercedes-Benz customer.
So what has Mercedes done for the latest CLA? Quite a bit actually. The exterior dimensions have been increased on all areas – 1.9-inches in length, 2.1-inches in width and 1.1-inch wheelbase. This also translates to better cabin room as well, with elbow, shoulder and load compartments all up from before.
But just like the previous CLA, the aerodynamics for the new one defends the record set by the previous at 0.23 cd, however has been dethroned by the brand’s also upcoming A-Class sedan.
Just like that Mercedes has carried out with the interior of the latest A-Class, the CLA gets a similar treatment. With a clean, unified look, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. Of course this is accompanied by the free-standing display. Images seen here at introduction focus on the numbered Edition 1 model that will provide a sense of exclusivity for select customers.
The three-point star has also improved the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system since its introduction last year. Now with improvements to the voice control, the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant is now able to recognise and answer more complex queries, and would no longer get confused by other passengers conversing; only responding to the commands of the person who last activated the system.
Furthermore, with MBUX Interior Assist, the technology is able to recognise between the driver and front passenger’s massage function, for example, as a hand approaches the touchscreen. There are new gestures for personal favourites, and best of all, intuitive gestures such as extending a hand towards the unoccupied front passenger seat in the dark, the system will illuminate the area automatically and switches off when the hand moves away.
If you’re curious of the drive system, the CLA on display at the trade show in Las Vegas is a CLA 250 with 225 hp and 350 Nm of torque mated to a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission with a combined fuel consumption of 6.3 – 6.1l/100 km and CO2 emission of 143 – 140 g/km.
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