2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA ClassPosted by: Shelton Kwan onJanuary 14th, 2013
Mercedes-Benz offered a sneak peek of the all new CLA class for the North American market ahead of the Detroit North American International Auto Show today at a special event. This will be the first front wheel drive offering from Mercedes-Benz in the US market (Canadians got the FWD B-Class in 2005). The FWD model will be the only model available at launch this fall, with AWD variants of the CLA 250 as well as the CLA 45 AMG coming at a later date.
The CLA will be priced below the C Class, and above the B Class in Canada. Rumor suggests that the CLA will replace the C Class as the entry level Mercedes, while the next generation C Class, due out in late 2014, will be moved slightly upscale in both target market as well as pricing. The goal of the CLA class will be to attract a younger crowd to the marque, as Mercedes-Benz is targeting the 30-40 year old customers.
The CLA 250 will be powered by a 2.0L 4 cylinder turbo making 208hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a 7 speed dual clutch transmission, a first for Mercedes-Benz. It is the same drivetrain found in the Europe only A-Class as well as the Canadian B250. The 4matic version will be available in the spring of 2014. One of the key features of the new 7 speed dual clutch transmission is the inclusion of the PTU (power take-off unit), which powers the driveshaft to the rear wheels, eliminating the need of a center differential.
All CLA models will feature start/stop functionality to improve on fuel economy. Coupled with bodywork that Mercedes says has the lowest drag coefficient of any production car, the CLA will definitely be easier on the wallet when it comes to filling up. Other standard equipment includes a 5.8″ screen, AMG sport tuned suspension, Bluetooth connectivity, and run flat tires. Safety features include Collision Prevention Assist, which warns drivers of an impending collision and adjust brake pressure to stop the car before an accident. Rounding out the features are LED daytime running lights.
Prices for the new CLA 250 will start at $30,000. The CLA will not be unveiled in Detroit as expected but instead will make its worldwide debut in Geneva later this year.