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Detroit show: Mercedes-Benz CLA sprung

Straight As: The new Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan is conceptually similar to the larger CLS four-door ‘coupe’, and is based on the same modular platform as the new A-Class hatch.

Swooping A-Class-based Mercedes CLA breaks cover ahead of official reveal tonight

Mercedes-Benz logo14 Jan 2013

ANOTHER image of Mercedes’ long-awaited new small sedan – the CLA – has leaked online hours before the car’s scheduled reveal at an event on the eve of this week’s Detroit motor show.

The leak comes hours after Benz officially released an obscured teaser image shot for a television commercial.

The latest image shows a full side-profile of what appears to be a higher-end CLA variant, likely the CLA45 AMG.

As expected, the final production version will retain the swooping, coupe-like profile of the Concept Style Coupe revealed in Beijing last April, and features stylistic similarities to the larger E-Class-based CLS.

As reported, the CLA is the first of several niche models to be spun off the new ‘MFA’ architecture that underpins the latest A- and B-Class ranges.

The connection to the A-Class is evident in the more angular front-end design and in the distinctive ‘slashes’ running down the side of the car, both of which are similar to those on its small hatchback sibling.

While similar in size to the more conventional C-Class sedan, the CLA is tipped to undercut it on price, with an expected starting price in Australia of about $50,000.

The CLA range will likely be available with a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines sourced from the A-Class and driving through the front wheels, with the headline act at launch likely to be the 155kW/350Nm CLA250 turbo.

However, Benz has previously confirmed it will add the hardcore CLA45 AMG a few months after the rest of the line-up, featuring 4Matic all-wheel-drive and a 2.0-litre turbo engine producing more than 400Nm of torque.

The production CLA will be shown at an exclusive media event tonight in Detroit ahead of its official launch at the Geneva motor show in March.

The pre-launch vehicle is also expected to feature on Mercedes’ stand at the Detroit motor show, which opens to the public on January 19.

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