Mercedes CLA gets sportier design, gesture control

Mercedes CLA gets sportier design, gesture control

The second-generation four-door Mercedes-Benz CLA will arrive with a sportier design than its predecessor.

The new CLA, which debuted Tuesday at CES, will be launched in May. Pricing was not disclosed.

The new CLA is based on Mercedes’ next-generation Modular Front Architecture platform, or MFA2. At the Las Vegas show, Mercedes presented the CLA 250, which has a gasoline engine producing 225 hp together with a 7-gear dual-clutch transmission. At the time of market launch, the automaker said it will offer a broad range of diesel and gasoline engines paired with manual or dual-clutch transmissions and all-wheel drive

The current CLA, whose competitors include the BMW 2 series and Acura ILX, was launched in both Europe and the U.S. in 2013.

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.

With the car market shrinking in favor of crossovers and other light trucks, targeted niche products such as the luxury four-door coupe help draw new buyers for Mercedes-Benz in the U.S., said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions. “Since sales of traditional two-door coupes have almost vanished, the four-door coupe design combines the practicality of a sedan with the faster back light of a two-door,” Fiorani said.

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