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Staid Mercedes targets youth with small coupe

Published: 15 Jan 2013 06:45 GMT+01:00

Normally attracting the established over-50 set as customers, the carmaker is hoping to tap a younger demographic with the CLA's sleek silhouette, frameless doors, and its sporty, muscular looking grill.

"The CLA is a style rebel," Mercedes design chief Gordon Wagener said. "The dynamic design idiom is manifested in breath-taking proportions, muscular, flowing contours and sculptural surfaces."

The interior offers all the high-tech gadgets and luxurious features customers expect from a Mercedes, like a multimedia console that seamlessly integrates with the iPhone.

The powerful engine, smooth suspension and four-wheel drive also promise agility and gusto for younger drivers.

It will also be outfitted with the latest in collision prevention, including drowsiness detection, a radar that warns drivers of obstacles even at very slow speeds, and will initiate braking if the driver is distracted.

"With the new CLA-class, we will open a completely new gateway to the Mercedes brand," Mercedes sales chief Joachim Schmidt told reporters. "Our goal is to repeat the success story of the CLS in a new segment."

The CLA is aimed at both the youth market and the "young at heart" who value "trendy and high-class design, quality and refinement and personal expression through authentic brands," Schmidt said.

Set to hit US dealerships in April, Daimler will launch an advertising blitz — and announce the price — during the Superbowl on February 3, which is being held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The vehicle will be sold worldwide and Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche said it will be a "great car" for China and will also do well in other parts of Asia and Europe.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:49 January 15, 2013 by murka
Is it true that Daimler has two lines of design, one for emerging economies where the blown hippopotamus look is a matter of status, and another, more technocratic design line, for countries where people buy mobility?
15:49 January 20, 2013 by Vargaz
"The powerful engine, smooth suspension and four-wheel drive also promise agility and gusto...' sounds like a fairy tale. Where are the SPECS? Powerful engine? So is a Rolls Royce jet engine. Smooth suspension? Made by a mattress company? Get with it and give is das meat.
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