by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

REPORT: Mercedes-Benz readying new versions for the A-Class and CLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz is reportedly mulling over two new variants to expand its premium compact class portfolio. The attention is focused towards the flagships of the lineup, the A-Class (W 176) and the CLA-Class (C 117), which are said to receive new additions in about two years.

With striking visual elements and intelligent technologies, the A-Class and CLA are just the right models to build up on a consistent range of compact vehicles. First to come is the new A-Class 3-door hatchback (C 176), expected to debut in early 2014 - apart from the number of doors, the model will not be aesthetically different compared to its 5-door sibling.

Towards the end of 2014, Mercedes-Benz will add a new iteration in the CLA family - the Shooting Brake variant. Internally codenamed X 117, the future CLA Shooting Brake follows the trail of the bigger CLS Shooting Brake and proposes the same, stylish coupe form enclosed in a practical 5-door body. The new Merc will also be optionally available with the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system - the CLA 45 AMG SB boasting 354 hp will also be unveiled shortly after the launch of the standard-spec model.

During 2015, Mercedes-Benz will reveal the all new A-Class Cabriolet. The need for an open-top compact car is obvious given the competition already has similar models in the same segment. The so-dubbed A 176 model will feature an electrically retractable soft roof, to save important kilos, and a uniquely styled rear end to meet the new top-less architecture of the vehicle. Chances are an A 45 AMG Cabriolet version will also arrive as we approach 2016.

A last-minute report claims Mercedes-Benz will preview its upcoming GLA-Class urban crossover this year in April, at the Auto Shanghai motor show. Like the Concept A-Class and Concept Style Coupe, the presumed Concept GLA-Class will display an attractive progressive styling visibly close to the series production model.

Image Credits: / Theophilus Chin

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