Mercedes-Benz has just introduced three new models on to the Irish market.
The big news is the arrival of a 4-door CLA, derived from the new A-Class, but styled on the iconic CLS coupé. This is a very attractive car and it underlines the pace at which this German premium carmaker is working to establish a presence in all model segments.
But the CLA is designed to fill an even bigger role. It is not a secret that the average age profile of C-Class buyers is higher and they are more conservative than the average BMW 3-Series or Audi A4 buyers. Th CLA is designed to have a role in capturing new buyers with its more dynamic styling couple with affordability. Mercedes-Benz will launch a new C-Class next year and insiders say it features a more revolutionary design.
Last week Mercedes-Benz also launched a new E-Class coupé and cabriolet. They are derived from the recently introduced E-Class saloon.
The new CLA is seen as a little brother to the CLS, and it displays all of the characteristics likely to appeal to the younger generation. It has an elegantly sporty roofline and power domes embedded in the bonnet that give it an extra energetic look.
Flare-effect LED daytime driving lights, deep front/side air vents, dark patterned radiator grille, and inset Mercedes-Benz star motif enhance its coupé-like features. The interior has a high-quality finish, a prominent feature of which is a driver information screen finished in black with flush-fitting silver frame.
First versions of the CLA to arrive here are the entry-level 1.6-litre CLA 180 petrol model priced at €29,900 (ex works ) and a 2.2-litre CLA 220 CDI diesel automatic priced at €39,000.
However for diesel fans, arriving later in the summer will be a CLA 200 CDI diesel priced at €34,900, followed next year by the CLA 180CDI at €32,250 - all meeting new EURO 6 emission standards.
Boastfully claiming the position of aerodynamic world champion, the CLA has a drag coefficient of 0.22 in its CLA180 BE guise - fractionally lower than the 0.23 of other models in the range. Here, fuel economy figures from 4.2-litres/100km (67mpg ) can be expected along with CO2 emissions beginning in the low band A road tax band.
Other features include ECO start/stop, six-speed manual or 7G-automatic, depending on model choice. Five equipment and specification lines will be offered.
Suspension set in comfort mode is wisely the standard with sports setting available as an option. With apps and advancements that fulfill every social media requirement, the premium German carmaker expects that the CLA will also be a magnet for those who revel in the world of online communications.
Commenting to the Advertiser at the Irish launch, Mercedes-Benz sales manager in Ireland, Ciaran Allen, said; “The new CLA is part of a new generation of compact cars and just one of 10 new models - all without predecessors - that will arrive in Ireland over the next four years."
New E-Class coupé and cabriolet modes arrive
The new E-Class coupé and cabriolet have also just arrived here. Like their E-Class saloon and estate stable mates, both models have a redesigned front end, new all-LED headlamps, new front bumpers with large air intake vents, chrome body detailing, and sports grille.
The classically proportioned coupé has a long bonnet, an elongated side, flat roofline and powerful tail end. Like the cabriolet, it has fully retractable side windows free of B-pillars to interrupt the airflow. Inside, both models have been updated with a new instrument cluster and restyled centre console.
In the four-seater cabriolet, a beltline that ascends gently from the front to the boot lid gives it an elegantly sporty profile. Its acoustic fabric soft top with high-grade insulation ensures it has the lowest noise level in its class. Even at high speeds, very little wind noise is heard. Optional features include innovative airflow guidance and neck-level heating systems.
As in saloon and estate models, the new coupé and cabriolet are equipped with a comprehensive range of high-quality equipment as standard, including state-of-the-art infotainment and the full range of intelligent driver assistance systems, of which much has been written. These include proximity control systems and other features that use scanners and radar to monitor road and traffic conditions so that action can be taken to help prevent collisions.
A wide choice of petrol and diesel engines will be available in both models. Six petrol units incorporating BlueDirect lean burn technology and three diesel versions make up the complete model offering in four-cylinder, V6 and V8 formats with ECO start/stop function standard across the range.
However, in Ireland, attention will focus on the E-coupé and cabriolet 220 CDI models. The E-coupé is priced at €47,360 with band A4 annual road tax of €200 per annum. The E-cabriolet 220 CDI is priced at €55,940 with band B1 annual road tax of €270.
Commenting on these to the Advertiser, Mercedes-Benz sales manager in Ireland, Ciaran Allen, said: "The new coupé and cabriolet join with the recently introduced E-Class saloon and estate and the soon-to-arrive S-Class to form part of an unprecedented new product offensive by Mercedes-Benz aimed at securing its position as the world’s leading luxury car maker."