As expected, the design of the production version of the CLA draws heavily on Mercedes’ Concept Style Coupe, which was shown at the Beijing Motor Show last year. However, the show car’s 21-inch alloys and dramatic headlights - which glowed red when the car was in standby mode - have been toned down.
However, the CLA does get a bonnet with a pair of bulges running front to back, and the lower crease which runs up the car’s flank doesn’t kick up as it does on the A-Class.
On th inside, the iPad mini-alike central screen and SLS-inspired air vents are all carried over from the A-Class, too.
The CLA pictured is in AMG Sport spec, which adds a more aggressive front bumper with wide air intakes, a bejewelled front grille and a single bar which runs from the enlarged Mercedes logo, just as it does on the SLS supercar.
Full details will be revealed on the run-up to the Detroit Motor Show, which starts on 14 January. We expect Mercedes to confirm that the engine line-up will include three petrol and three diesel engines, a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch gearboxes, and either front- or four-wheel drive.
Like the A-Class, the CLA will also spawn a four-wheel-drive CLA 45 AMG model. The regular CLA range is expected to go on sale in the UK in the summer, with prices starting from around £23,500, making it competitive with the forthcoming BMW 2 Series Coupe.