We will now know the "baby CLS" – the small four-door "coupe" built on the MFA platform supporting the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (pictured above) and B-Class – as the CLA. It will debut at April's Beijing Motor Show, and it's just one of the five variants that Mercedes has planned for its MFA underpinnings.

When it hits the streets in 2013, advance reports indicate that both front- and all-wheel-drive versions will be available. Power will come from a range of gas and diesel engines with anywhere from 110 to 150 horsepower (there's even a potential AMG model with more than 300 hp on the way), mated to seven-speed dual-clutch and six-speed manual transmissions.

Of note, though, over its long gestation, the CLA has been referred to as the CLC, but the CLA and CLC are different cars. The CLC is the Concept Style Coupe, said to be based on the A-Class concept, which was a two-door hatchback, yet also said to be an evolution of the F800 concept, which was a sedan. The CLA will make its debut in China, but the CLC will be unveiled in Los Angeles at an Mercedes-sponsored art festival called "Transmission LA: AV Club." The Beijing show and the art festival overlap, so we'll find out which car is which and what they both look like soon enough.


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  • 28 Comments
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      the cla will be a mini cls...the clc will be the 3 door coupe style a-class like the concept was. clear as sauce.
      sstowes
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm confused between the CLA and CLC now. I'm assuming the CLC will take the "sedan-as-coupe" shape and the CLA will be a four-door hatchback essentially, correct? I really wouldn't mind an AWD small car a bit more upscale than the WRX/Lancer, but not quite full-on STI/Evo. I'm kinda outgrowing that whole demographic, so long as the car handles well.
        -hh
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sstowes
        Not quite sure either - - it does look like it may be two variants on the same basic car. My hopes are simply that the version that comes to the USA ... (a) actually DOES come to the USA, and (b) doesn't end up being yet another small sedan with a lousy back seat and worse trunk ... (shades of the BMW 1 Series) My preferences are for a small upscale stickshift hachback...I've not had to buy a "trunked" sedan (or worse yet, an SUV) for myself in 25+ years, and the USA market's looking pretty uninspiringly slim right now...from the EU, there's pretty much just the Audi A3 or Volvo C30 in this segment AFAIC, unless you want to grow it to include the A4 Avant & BMW 3 Series Touring... -hh
      Justin Campanale
      • 2 Years Ago
      MB really has it all wrong in alost every single category. Their cars are some of the least competitive in the entie market, their performance f in 2nd rate to BMW, Infiniti, and Audi, their interiors are simply awful, and they are overpriced. At least the lower end models. If anything, MB really needs to stop making cheaper models like this one and should move upmarket. The higher end models like the S, GL,G, SLS AMG G, CLS classes are where they do better. They need to improve their interiors and add more power to their engines, then move the prices north, EG, E cass comes w/ standard v8 engine and priced at Panamera level, S with standard V12 at Rapide level. Ditch everything below the E class. Maybe ressurect a deceased brand to take care of the lower end. Why not ressurect Saab once all issues are over. Now I can't wait until idiotic MB fanboys like Spellchecker come in and downvote me to hell. They can't accept the fact that their favorite automaker is one of the worst in the luxury segment.
      John S
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is no such thing as a "coupe" with 4-doors, whether it has a trunk or not. MB just come out of the closet and say these words "I am a hatchback". Embrace it!
      Molly
      • 2 Years Ago
      the driver is a female blonde.... fail...
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow that looks awful. Hyundai has better side-lines and sculpting. This looks like an incohesive mess.
        IBx27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        I think MB is getting back at hyundai by ripping their "design" off, as payback for hyundai ripping off MB's styling for so long.
      You guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Four Doors =/= Coupe. This is just a hatch.
      Patrick
      • 2 Years Ago
      So they named it the Mercedes-Benz Conjugated Linoleic Acid?
      Bobby_Sards
      • 2 Years Ago
      finally a good looking (and unique) compact car! Definitely looks nicer than a new 1 series
      brgtlm
      • 2 Years Ago
      The styling on this seems more cohesive than the latest MB's being sent our way in the US. The tortured E-Class - uck.
      Scott Cole
      • 2 Years Ago
      ugh....coupes are NOT four doors....it couldn't even count as a hardtop....
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      The side swoop is overdesigned, but I like the rest of it.
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