Mercedes retools second-generation CLA with sportier design



On Tuesday, the group that owns Mercedes-Benz published its numbers for past year.

For the moment only one version will be offered; the CLA250 will be powered by 221-hp 4-cylinder engine delivering 258 lb-ft of torque, working in conjunction with a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission.

A decoupled multi-link rear axle will be offered, with active adaptive damping available as an option.

In terms of size, the new CLA measures 4688mm long, 1830mm wide, 1439mm tall and has a 2729mm wheelbase. Mercedes said this, along with the car's lower centre of gravity, helps to ensure it has improved driving dynamics. The Three Pointed Star will not only expand its retail network in newer markets, but also enhance the luxury experience across its dealership through innovative luxury elements. The side windows appear narrower this time and the rear looks cleaner with smaller rear tail lights.

Power is expected to come from the same engine line-up found lurking under the recently launched A-Class. Legroom, however, is broadly similar to the previous model's and the boot has shrunk by 10 litres to 460 litres.

The only model mentioned by Mercedes-Benz in their press release was the mid-range CLA 250. The dashboard features a centrally mounted touchscreen and no cowl, with a "trench" splitting out the lower section. The centerpiece for the cabin, and indeed the vehicle as a whole, is the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system that was unveiled first in the Mercedes A-Class.

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It has a large 4000mAh battery like previous Redmi phones and is compatible with 18 watts quick, wired charging. There's also a 7-day no questions asked return policy and a 15-day one to one swap policy for factory defects.

The optional Interior Assistant feature adds gesture controls, allowing the infotainment center to be operated by an occupant's motions alone, rather than by interaction with a control.

The redesigned CLA, which features a stretched hood and wide track with exposed wheel arches, has sportier, fastback styling to set it apart from other compact cars such as the Mercedes A class.

In Europe, Mercedes sold 933,697 passenger cars, 2.3% fewer than in 2017.

But as with the previous version of the CLA, a shooting brake option is likely to be offered and revealed 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.

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