Mercedes-Benz Modular Front Architecture (MFA) platform has yielded two cars so far; the A and B-Class, both of which have gotten off to a good start. With an SUV and compact coupe also in the pipeline, the third car, the sedan is now out. Badged the CLA, the shortest Mercedes-Benz saloon may also soon boast of the tag of the 'nicest looking one'.
Deriving its coupe-like roofline from the larger CLS four-door coupe, the CLA measures in at little over 4.6 metres and has a drag co-efficient of just 0.23 for practically all its variants and 0.22 for the BlueEfficiency C180 variant. Mercedes-Benz has managed this by making the A-pillar more raked, through smaller wing mirrors, new aerodynamically friendly wheel arches and serated wheel spoilers. An optional panoramic sliding sun-roof has also been offered, despite the coupe-like roofline. Mercedes-Benz is calling the CLA a four-door coupe.
On the inside, the car pretty much is borrowed from the A-Class, with metal surrounds for the vents and one-piece seats front and rear. The rear seats are a 2+1 format while the door headlining gets optional LED lights as part of the ambient lighting package.
For now, Mercedes-Benz is offering four petrol and one diesel engine option. While the car is available with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT, dual-clutch transmission, it's the latter that will be offered in India. Europe will get the CLA 180 producing 122 bhp, CLA 180 Blue Efficiency with 122 bhp and CLA 200 with 156 bhp (all 1.6-litre petrol), and the CLA 250 (1991cc) and 220 CDI (2143cc), producing 211 bhp and 170 bhp respectively. Currently only the CLA 250 and 220 CDI come with a 7-speed DCT box, though it may eventually come to the 1.6-litre petrol version as well, given that the A-Class is offered too.
India is expected to get the CLA by end-2013 or early-2014 and is likely to start from Rs 24 lakh and upwards. Possible versions could be the CLA 200 and 220 CDI that would be launched initially. The CLA 45 AMG with 349 bhp from its turbocharged petrol unit is expected sometime later this year in Europe, but there's no news if it will arrive in India or not.