This is it: Merecedes-Benz reveal advanced new CLA Coupé
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Mercedes-Benz's efforts to bolster their entry-level range are set to get a further injection, following the overnight unveiling of the 2020 CLA Coupé.
The compact four-door coupé (which the German marque describes as "the most emotional vehicle in its class") comes with revised styling and tech throughout — some of which trickles upwards from our 2018 AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year winner, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
The CLA isn't emotional in a teen angst, throws-dishes-at-the-wall-when-mad kind of way. Emotion is best represented by its design language, which features less creases and sharp edges than Mercs of old. Instead there's a focus on smoothness and subtle curves. The end product now looks more like a shrunken CLS than ever before, and that's not a bad thing.
Those who have seen our musings about the A-Class will have seen how impressed we were with the cabin. And ultimately it's here that the CLA — which is based on the same platform — has made its biggest leaps over the current model.
The CLA wears the manufacturer's new interior design lingo rather well. Things appear much more grown up than they did in the previous model, although the orange highlights of the launch edition pictured counter that balance somewhat.
With the A-Class cabin comes the same level of tech, and that includes a version of the same MBUX interior interface. So now CLA owners will also be able to make use of the same "Hey Mercedes" voice command system, which the brand claims has been improved to only 'respond' to commands made by the first user in each drive.
No longer will a joker in the back seat be able to open and close the sun-blind on command.
MBUX represents more than just a fancy voice-activation system, of course. It also contains artificial intelligence that tries to remember what commands and features you utilize most often. There's augmented reality elements when using satnav, and hand gesturing capabilities for those too cool to press buttons.
It even comes with a built-in 'Energizing Coach' that, in conjunction with the brand's new Vivoactive 3 smartwatch, provides recommendations to help battle fatigue on longer journeys. Neat.
“With the first CLA we created a totally new segment with a four-door coupé and celebrated a huge success by selling some 750,000 CLA and Shooting Brake,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.
“The new edition of the CLA has been developed further in an intelligent way and is even more emotional and sportier than its predecessor.
"Coupled with new operating systems, it sets new benchmarks for the entire class.”
The CLA should, on paper, be a better thing to drive than the outgoing model, too. An extended and widened wheelbase is good for interior space (rear headroom has apparently been improved as well), and places the wheels closer to each corner.
A lower centre of gravity and a beefed up stabiliser bar should improve cornering stability, while as usual adaptive dampers are on the CLA's options list for those wanting more adjustability.
So far, the three-pointed star have only confirmed one engine; a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine that produces an output of 165kW of power and 350Nm of torque. But, Mercedes-Benz have outlined that a flurry of other engine options are set to be detailed later in the year.