Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Mercedes-Benz CLA revealed

Mercedes-Benz CLA revealed

As the world's largest auto market, China is continuing to dictate the future success and planning of new vehicles from almost all manufacturers, including the likes of Mercedes-Benz, which admits it has to cater to Chinese taste.

Mercedes-Benz has also equipped the new CLA with various safety technology and driver assist systems from the S-Class as part of an optional package including active distance assist, active emergency stop assist, and lane change assist.

Showcased at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the second generation Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is, according to our honest opinion, looking great. In US market versions initially, the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant can apparently handle more complex queries, even something like "Which child-friendly Asian restaurants are nearby which are neither Chinese nor Japanese?", as well as complex questions about sport, share prices and so on. MBUX is Mercedes-Benz's latest and greatest infotainment software, created to replace the old turn-dial menu-based system.

Mercedes says the system recognizes natural-language commands, such as selecting music or navigating home, and it can also be controlled through controls on the steering wheel, a touchpad, or the infotainment touch screen.

In terms of size, the new CLA measures 4688mm long, 1830mm wide, 1439mm tall and has a 2729mm wheelbase. We could also see a 4.0 liter bi-turbo V8 engine option.

Current indications are that the new CLA will arrive in South Africa either in late 2019 or early 2020.

No longer is it stumpy, dumpy, and weird; it has a mini-CLS look, albeit with front-wheel-drive proportions and more aggressive and angular design details.

The new CLA has coupe-like tail lamps and a short bootlid. The front end is more striking, strongly raked forwards and with a stretched, low-slung bonnet. Mercedes is making a big deal that the CLA's MBUX infotainment system, which debuted in the A-class in early 2018, has already been improved. At launch, a range of diesel and petrol engines will be available, as well as 4MATIC all-wheel drive versions and manual transmissions alongside the automatic gearbox. Active adaptive damping will also be on the options list to switch between various suspension modes.

There are more generous elbow and shoulder proportions, and while head room has also improved those in the back will find the 3mm improvement meagre below the swooping roofline.

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