Image gallery: New-gen Mercedes-Benz CLA at CES 2019

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA debuts at CES

The new CLA is longer and wider, but the roof is lower.

For its initial launch in the USA, the all-new CLA only gets one engine option for the meantime. We're presuming it's only those packing the latest MBUX system, which includes just the 2020 CLA Coupe and 2019 A-Class, but we'll update this story when we find out more. This means a decoupled multi-link axle at the rear and the Direct-Steer system as standard.

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An active adaptive damping system will be optionally available, while wheel sizes will start at 16 inches and go up to 19 inches (with tyre sizes starting at 205/60 R16 and culminating in 225/40 R19). Mercedes said this, along with the car's lower centre of gravity, helps to ensure it has improved driving dynamics. If you've looked at the big CLS, you've pretty much seen the CLA. The only other sedan with a better drag coefficient is the A-Class sedan (0.22). The sloping coupé roofline is emphasised by frameless doors. The rear of the auto features narrow tail-lights created to make the vehicle appear even wider. Legroom, however, is broadly similar to the previous model's and the boot has shrunk by 10 litres to 460 litres. Yet the CLA Class is an important model for Mercedes-Benz nonetheless.

For the CLA, the revised version wears the name MBUX Interior Assist and comes with all the previous features, but also with the new voice control option and the possibility to recognize occupants' movements in advance to ready the touchscreen even before a finger touches it. This time around, this system packs in a lot of cool features like voice commands and interior assist that activates screens and control surfaces according to the hand's proximity. The cabin lighting is all gesture-controlled, which is quite nifty. Automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors will be spend-up extras, but Mercedes says that the CLA-Class will be able to drive itself "semi-autonomously in certain situations", though it didn't say for how long or what those situations may be. The systems fitted include active brake, lane keeping, and lane change assistance systems along with Pre-safe Plus, which can detect an imminent rear-end collision and prepare the vehicle for it.

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The CLA will be offered at launch as a limited-run Edition 1, featuring a number of visual tweaks. However, Mercedes-Benz promises there will be a "broad range" of diesel and petrol engines available featuring manual or dual-clutch transmissions and all-wheel drive at a later stage. A 300 hp AMG CLA35 and 400 hp AMG CLA45 will be on their way as well. The new model will be manufactured at the Kecskemét factory (Hungary) and is set to head to market in May 2019. The A-class sedan, in long-wheelbase guise, is expected to be brought to India instead and is expected to reach showrooms by the end of this year.

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