Ahead of the upcoming New York Auto Show, here’s a taster of what we can expect at the ever absorbing Mercedes-Benz stand. A far cry from the days when Merc was know first and foremost for its powerful, luxurious, heavy-hitting saloon offerings, the German marque is know just as big a player in the premium compact sector. Arguably the flagship of the mini Merc range, the CLA has proved a major worldwide hit. It’s competitively-priced, alluringly-styled and, since 2015, has been offered in two distinct and widely appealing configurations; coupé and shooting break.
For the 2016 New York Auto Show, the CLA gets a short-back-and-sides as well as several extra power options in the engine room.
Although the CLA Coupé and its Shooting Break counterpart retain their curvaceous good looks, a number of subtle aesthetic tweaks bring the compact Merc up to date. These include a new diamond radiator grille, in black as standard, plus a new front bumper with a silver, black or chrome trim strip. The rear bumper can also be specified to the same spec if desired. LED High Performance headlamps come as standard, whilst a new metallic blue paintwork shade as well as an array of five 18-inch alloy wheels render the facelifted CLA more customisable than ever before.
Meanwhile, you’ll find a new assortment of seat covers and trim parts in the cabin, as well as a smattering of freshly chrome-plated controls. A redesigned, slim-line 8-inch media display is added to the already comprehensive interior package, featuring a new-style glass cover.
Perhaps the most significant draw of the revamped CLA comes in the form of its greatly extended powertrain line-up. Now bestowed with a choice of four diesel engines and six petrol, the 109bhp CLA 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY Edition becomes the most efficient of the range and is available with manual transmission.
Towards the other end of the power spectrum, the new CLA 220 4MATIC offers even more in the way of four-wheel drive fun. This four-cylinder, 2.0 litre petrol will muster 184bhp and is paired with Merc’s seven-speed dual clutch gearbox as standard.
For top of the shop performance, see the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC, now boasting an enhanced 381bhp and maximum 350lb/ft torque. This will see the 2.0 litre AMG-line CLA Coupé accelerate from 0-62 in just 4.2, whilst the Shooting Break takes just a tenth of a second longer to hit the same target. Both versions sport an AMG-prepared seven-speed sports gearbox as well as a sprinkling of visual refinements such as a redesigned spoiler lip on the boot lid, AMG front apron and front splitter inserts in matt titanium grey and high-gloss black.
The facelifted CLA Coupé will make its first public appearance at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, with the Shooting Break getting its own debut next month in Berlin. Both models will be available to order from April and will land in dealerships in July 2016.