Mercedes-Benz CLA set to shine at Auto China 2014

Updated: 2014-04-20 07:59

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

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Provocative, desirable, and exhilarating, the CLA is a Mercedes-Benz like no other.

Led by its sleek design and youthful personality, the CLA opens up a new segment as the industry's first premium compact sports sedan.

The vehicle has been touted as the perfect choice for China's modern trendsetters, and reflects Mercedes-Benz' growing commitment to New Generation Compact Cars in China.

Mercedes-Benz foresaw growth in China's NGCC segment as early as 2007, and continues to bring customers new and exciting compact options.

The CLA is now the automaker's third NGCC offering, and follows in the footsteps of both the popular A-Class and B-Class.

The CLA will hit the market tomorrow at Auto China, marking the next step in a development story that in many ways began in Beijing.

"The CLA was born from the Concept Style Coupe which we unveiled at Auto Beijing 2012," said Nicholas Speeks, president and CEO of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co.

"With its unique design, it's the industry's first premium compact sport sedan and is the perfect vehicle for China's modern trendsetters. We are confident it will greatly expand our family of customers here in China," he said.

On March 31, the CLA 260 4MATIC made its China debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week last October.

Shortly thereafter, it showed off its exciting features at the "CLA Galleria" in Beijing's Sanlitun neighborhood. Both brought the CLA's unique personality to life, and fans continue to rave about this new and younger side to the Mercedes-Benz brand.

"Hardly few other automotive brands are as closely tied to fashion as Mercedes-Benz. With the new CLA, we've shown how both fashion and automotive design can work together, creating a car that's bold, energetic, and untamed," explained Duan Jianjun, executive vice-president of Sales and Marketing at BMBS. "It is the latest in our exciting sports sedan lineup, and will turn heads as it turns every corner."

But as one might imagine, the CLA hasn't won over these customers without good reason. Instead, it continues to earn admiration thanks to its unique design and exciting features.

Inspired by the iconic CLS, the CLA features a muscular bonnet embedded with powerdomes, a radiator grille with 231 "diamonds" and bi-xenon LED headlamps with a "flare effect".

One is also immediately transfixed by its flowing body lines and frameless door design, an exclusive feature found nowhere else in four door sports sedan segment.

But this sleek design is not just for show. It also endows the CLA with unrivalled aerodynamics. Its record-setting drag coefficient value of 0.23 beats out all other series production models, and allows the CLA to ride the wind with ease.

On the road, the CLA is powered by an advanced BlueDIRECT 4-cylinder petrol engine and smooth 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. Together, these ensure outstanding power and efficiency, and allow the CLA to burn down the highway without burning a hole in your pocket.

Launching at Auto China will be the CLA 260 4MATIC. True to its name, it comes with the newest generation 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, a first in the premium compact segment.

As explained by the automaker, the system is led by a unique "torque on demand" principle. This allows the system to vary torque distribution between the front and rear wheels for additional stability, safety, and efficiency.

And for those seeking additional peace of mind, they should look no further than the CLA's many driver assistance systems and convenience features.

The CLA comes equipped with Collision Prevention assist, Attention Assist and Blind Spot Assist. CLA exclusives, these systems reduce the driver's workload and make the road a safer place for everyone.

These are in turn complemented by Mercedes-Benz CONNECT, a versatile in-vehicle telematics system tailor-made for Chinese consumers.

Since launching last October, the usage rates have grown astronomically as more and more customers utilize its concierge services, point-of-interest searches, parking space indication and roadside assistance features. Keeping drivers both relaxed and informed, Mercedes-Benz CONNECT opens the door to a world of convenience found nowhere else in the premium compact segment.

With so much to offer, the CLA is now ready to blaze a new trail as the industry's first premium compact sports sedan. Untamed but never unruly, it is ready to show customers a new side of the three-pointed star.

 Mercedes-Benz CLA set to shine at Auto China 2014

The 'CLA Galleria' in Beijing's Sanlitun neighborhood. The galleria brought the CLA's unique personality to life, and fans continue to rave about this new and younger side to the Mercedes-Benz brand. Photos Provided to China Daily

 Mercedes-Benz CLA set to shine at Auto China 2014

Mercedes-Benz CLA 260 comes with the newest generation 4MATIC all-wheel-drive.

(China Daily 04/20/2014 page17)