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2014 Mercedes CLA Revealed With Premium Style, Budget Price

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Mercedes-Benz revealed a brand-new compact car on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The CLA-Class is the company’s latest effort to attract younger buyers to the brand.

This car is a little smaller than the C-Class, a staple of the Mercedes lineup. With a projected starting price of around $30,000 it’s also expected to cost a little less than its stablemate — about five grand less.

The CLA-Class design borrows heavily from the CLS — as it should. The company is billing them both a four-door coupes. Mercedes representatives say the car’s styling is very emotional, and it truly makes a bold statement on stage. Its side glass, also known as the “daylight opening” or DLO for short looks like it was pulled directly from the CLS, at about three-fifths scale.

Interestingly, that design isn’t just for looks. The CLA-Class positively slices through the air. Its coefficient of drag is a claimed 0.22, which Mercedes says is the best for any production car.

As for the mechanicals, the only powertrain mentioned at the unveil was a 208 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 258 lb-ft of torque. It should be matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for lightening-fast shifts.

All-wheel drive will be offered. The company’s latest 4MATIC system was tailor made for front-wheel-drive applications and it supposedly tips the scales  at a featherweight 70 kilograms, about 155 pounds.

If you were hoping to get a glimpse of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Detroit, here’s a bit of bad news. The car will not be shown in COBO hall. Its official reveal will be at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

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Correction: The CLA-Class is actually fractionally larger than the C-Class in a few key exterior dimensions. The C-Class has a slightly longer wheelbase. Interior volume measurements of the CLA have not been determined at this time.