by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: The 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (C 117) scooped in Hungary

The upcoming addition to the new premium compact class portfolio at Mercedes-Benz is the eagerly awaited CLA-Class. The so-called executive 4-door coupe, which takes most of its styling inspiration the elder brother, the CLS, and the Concept Style Coupe released in April this year, will celebrate the world premiere in 2013, at the Geneva Motor Show and not at NAIAS as previously programmed. The model will be assembled outside Germany, at the new Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét, Hungary, integrated in the production network as a competence center for compact cars alongside Rastatt.

However, the new CLA will be introduced to the press representatives gathered at Detroit on the eve of the show during a special presentation gala, but the car will skip the public show. Thus, first details on the model are to be issued around mid-January (14th to 15th), sources indicate. The C 117 (internal designation) is highly important for the German constructor, so the decision to first introduce it on the stage of an European motor show instead prior the release onto the American market is likely based on solid arguments.

Sales for the CLA-Class start during summer of 2013 in Europe, whereas North Americans have to wait till the end of the year to get the car, also the first flagship of the new generation of compact vehicles to be sold on the continent. The engines and equipment come from the A-Class. Apart from the usual MFA front-driven transmission, clients will also be able to opt for the 4MATIC platform for the high-end variants, while the new CLA 45 AMG performance model comes standard with a special 4x4 sports traction system developed by the engineers from Affalterbach. Available from fall 2013, the super-hot four-door coupe boasts an all new 2.0-litre, I4 turbocharged petrol powerplant (M133) cranking out no less than 354 hp and over 400 Nm of torque.

For the start of sales, the entry-level version is the CLA 180 BlueEFFICIENCY with 122 hp (worth near €28,000 basic price), followed by the CLA 200 BlueEFFICIENCY with 156 hp. The range-topper will be the CLA 250 BlueEFFICIENCY (engineered by AMG) with 211 hp, which also receives the 4MATIC option from September 2013. This high-end version is also available with the bespoke AMG SPORT styling package, which adds an extra dose of sexiness to the already beguiling design of the CLA-Class.

For the beginning, the diesel choice will comprise a single variant: the CLA 220 CDI with 170 hp (worth €36,000 basic price). The CLA 200 CDI with 136 hp will be added to the range in the course of next year. In 2014 comes the CLA 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY boasting a 1.5-litre straight-four diesel engine co-developed with Renault and rated at 109 hp. The same year, the 4MATIC lineup extends with two new models that get the all-wheel-drive platform - the CLA 200 CDI and the CLA 220 CDI.

Read more about the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class following the next links:

- On track of CLS and Co.: 2013 premiere for CLA and CLA 45 AMG

- Newly developed 4MATIC all-wheel drive for the new CLA: All-wheel drive for all

Also, take a look at the spy shots captured during a photo session for the new CLA-Class in Los Angeles, USA --> 2013 Mecedes CLA Spyshots

Image Credits: WorldCarFans / GermanCarForum

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