Sci-tech

New Mercedes-Benz CLA is a real beauty

New Mercedes-Benz CLA is a real beauty

Is now longer, wider and lower than before.

It also introduces Interior Assist, which recognises operational demands from gestures and equips the interior with intelligence, through augmented reality for navigation and understanding indirect voice commands.

Global launch in May 2019.

Other luxury vehicle makers have increased their launches in India in the lastyear, which reflects in their improved numbers.

The Consumer Electronics Show, held annually in Las Vegas in the month of January, is no longer just a showcase for new technologies; it's also where some manufacturers choose to reveal their latest tech-laden new models.

Following closely were the Mercedes-Benz SUVs with 2,613 units sold, particularly by the locally produced Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 and GLC 250.

Inside, the new CLA-Class is a dead-ringer for the A-Class on which it's based. The side windows appear narrower this time and the rear looks cleaner with smaller rear tail lights. Mercedes even claims that new CLA is one of the most engaging compact auto lineup till date. Drag coefficient is 0.23. The effect is of a more menacing auto.

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On the inside, the new CLA will feature the flagship S-Class's wide floating screen display integrated with Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. In US market versions initially, the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant can apparently handle more complex queries, even something like "Which child-friendly Asian restaurants are nearby which are neither Chinese nor Japanese?", as well as complex questions about sport, share prices and so on. The MBUX also features gesture controls as well via the freestanding widescreen display that stretches from the driver's information display to the centre of the dashboard for the infotainment controls.

"Best Never Rest" signifies the philosophy that Mercedes-Benz will carry forward the rich learnings and experiences of the past 25 years, as the brand embarks on a new journey towards reinventing itself for the future. For example it might change the air conditioning, ambiance lighting, new-type seat massages, fragrance or music to keep you chill. The Energizing services can also be synced to the occupant's Garmin health-tracking wearable device which track personal stats like stress levels or the quality of sleep.

At the trade show presentation in Las Vegas, the CLA on display was the CLA 250 with a four-cylinder petrol engine (165 kW/225 hp, 350 Nm) with 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (combined fuel consumption 6.3-6.1 l/100 km, combined Carbon dioxide emissions 143-140 g/km)[2].

However, there will eventually be a broad range of petrol and diesel engines, Mercedes promises, some featuring 4Matic all-wheel-drive. Active Lane Change Assist is available too, while enhanced Active Brake Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist are fitted as standard.

That's all for now, expect the CLA to arrive in SA later this year.

In its design, the new CLA has echoes of the A-class and other recent new Mercedes but gets an elongated bonnet featuring a sharply raked nose, uniquely designed flat headlights and a prominent "powerdome" on the bonnet. The engine is paired with seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Also worth noting on the CLA are its new set of taillights and redesigned rear bumper that further highlight the car's sporiter character.


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