5 minute read
6 Nov 2013
7:00 am

Sizzling style for baby Merc

Mercedes has introduced the CLA as what they refer to as a four-door coupé which, despite being a misnomer, appears to be that term that will stick for these sleek vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG, (C117), 2012.

It started with the CLS in 2003 and the concept has been taken up by other manufacturers. In keeping with its sporty positioning, the CLA is available with high-torque turbo engines rated at up to 125 kW and sports suspension for the Urban and AMG Sport Line.

The technical highlights of this new design icon include what Mercedes are claiming as a new world record in aerodynamics for series production automobiles with a Cd value of 0.22. Numerous driving assistance systems, including advanced Collision Prevention Assist are standard.

This system is able to warn the driver of an obstacle from a speed of under 10 km/h and to initiate precision braking when the driver steps on the brake pedal. This radar-based assistance system provides the possibly distracted driver with visual and acoustic warnings of identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for precision braking.


GHGHGHGHGH. Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI, (C117), 2012, Lack: Patagonienrot metallic BRIGHT, Ausstattung: Leder Saharabeige. Pictures: ghghghgh

Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI, (C117), 2012


Braking is initiated as soon as the driver steps emphatically on the brake pedal. When an impending danger of collision is identified, Collision Prevention Assist calculates the precise braking force ideally needed to avoid an accident and makes the best possible use of any distance remaining.

The CLA almost entirely adopts the avant garde design of the Concept Style Coupé into series production. The vehicle’s striking features include the bonnet embedded in the front end with powerdomes and the diamond radiator grille. The light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp cover glass have been arranged in such a way as to create the characteristic “flare effect” for the daytime driving lights and indicators.

This light cluster defines the car’s energetic appearance and shapes a new, youthful Mercedes face.

Numerous details indicate that on a design level the CLA represents a further development of the modern classic Mercedes-Benz CLS. Three prominent lines give structure to the vehicle when viewed from the side, and the front structural edge over the wings flows towards the rear end in a characteristic dropping line.

Another, more sinewy line spans the shoulder muscle above the rear axle, while the third feature line extends in a sweeping curve from the front wheel towards the rear. Together, these lines lend depth and dynamism to the side profile.

The gently sloping roof contour and the pronounced, hallmark curvature of the rear window also provides the CLA with a coupé-style character from the rear. The athletic impression from the rear results from the drawn-in C-pillars in conjunction with the beefy shoulder over the rear wheel arch linings.




Inside all trim surfaces are galvanised, resulting in a metallic finish. The instrument panel incorporates five round vents.

The outer rings of the vents have a high-quality electroplated finish. The airflow direction is governed by a galvanised insert that reveals a meticulous attention to detail.

The free-standing display screen features a black piano-lacquer-look front panel and a flush-fitting silver frame.

The CLA is fitted with integral seats in the front and rear, underscoring its sporty character. The rear bench seat emphasizes the outer seats (2+1-seater).

Coloured contrasting stitching is available, according to the selected interior appointment options. A fibre-optic cable in the opening between head restraint and backrest is optionally available as part of the ambient lighting.

With a Cd value of 0.22, the CLA sets a new benchmark, and is undercut still further by the CLA 180 BlueEFFICIENCY ‘Edition’ which is not available for South Africa. In this case the Cd figure is 0.22.Numerous driving assistance systems offer support in the CLA and reduce the driver’s workload.


Mercedes-Benz CLA Attention Assistant 2013

Mercedes-Benz CLA Attention Assistant 2013


Standard-fit features for the coupé include Attention Assistdrowsiness detection and radar-based Collision Prevention Assist with adaptive Brake Assist, which now helps to protect the CLA from collisions from a speed of under 10 kim/h.

This feature combines with Distronic Plus to become Collision Prevention Assist Plus, incorporating an additional function. When a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h, reducing the severity of collisions with slow or stationary vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 30 km/h and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 20 km/h.

Established assistance systems, such as the Lane Tracking package with Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist or Adaptive Highbeam Assist, are also available for the CLA. Active Parking Assist (option) enables automatic parking in lengthways and crossways parking spaces.

The petrol engines with a displacement of 1.6 and 2.0 litres cover an output spectrum ranging from 90 kW in the CLA 180 through to 115 kW in the CLA 200. The 2.2-litre diesel engine in the CLA 220 CDI generates 125 kW, with maximum torque of 350 Nm and 109g carbon per kilometre.

All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The CLA 180 and CLA 20 engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission or optional with the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission.

The CLA 220 CDI comes standard with the 7G-DCT automatic transmission, which reconciles comfort and sportiness in inimitable fashion. The CLA 45 AMG sees Mercedes-AMG adding another model to its recently introduced four-cylinder engine range.

Following the successful A 45 AMG introduction, Mercedes-AMG now offers two high-performance cars powered by a four-cylinder engine.

With an output of 265 kW and a peak torque of 450 Newton metres, the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is said to be the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive allows for dynamic handling. The gearbox is an AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission to utilise the maximum output of 265 kW and up to 450 Nm of torque.

All Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, come standard with the PremiumDrive six-year/100 000 kilometre maintenance plan, with no customer contribution.