The CLA is the much-anticipated A-Class derivative that is coming Stateside, first announced in Beijing. Word is that the small Mercedes is a front-wheel drive, and likely powered by either a 170-horsepower 2.2-liter four or a 208-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged mill. This new FWD architecture is called MFA, and is also shared with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
The design of the CLA-Class is heavily rooted in the Concept Style Coupe showcar, first seen at an art show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The most notable feature is the car's silhouette, which appears to echo that of the larger CLS-Class. The front end of the CLA is similar to that of the A-Class, albeit as a somewhat bolder interpretation of that design. Perhaps the one puzzling element to the design is the grille – utilizing a unique pattern has been reserved for Benz concept cars thus far. Either Mercedes-Benz is using the CLA as the first implementation of the pinpoint grille design in a production car, or the vehicle you see before you is a "production ready concept." We will know for certain when the showroom-ready version arrives next year as a 2014 model.