Attractive, intelligent – and at the same time practical: The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will also be available as a Shooting Brake from September. Just like the four-door CLA Coupé, the Shooting Brake puts its own spin on the design idiom of sensual purity and turns the interior into a coolly designed user interface for intelligent digital technology. From the striking sharknose at the front of the vehicle to the clean edge with accented surfaces, the design displays elegant athletics right down to the gently muscular rear.
The latter on the CLA Shooting Brake ensures a decisive addition in terms of functionality. While just as much a designer piece as the CLA Coupé, it offers more space for spontaneity, be it on an extended shopping spree or for sports and outdoor activities where space is required.
The interior of the CLA Shooting Brake displays the modern, cool and high quality ambience of the Coupé. In addition, it offers passengers more space than the predecessor model in the shoulder, head and elbow areas. The digital environment of the CLA's technophile customers is integrated into the interior in a creatively and technically pioneering way. Thanks to MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience with intelligent interior assistants and refined voice recognition – operation of ever more functions is becoming more natural and much simpler.
Great emphasis is placed on individualisation in the new Shooting Brake with the Progressive and AMG Line equipment lines as well as an increasing and diverse range of apps and services, which can be downloaded from Mercedes me depending on your own preferences and called up via MBUX.
This CLA is thus aimed at customers for whom, just a few years ago, Mercedes‑Benz was not the first thing that came to mind when they were looking to buy a car. "We want to address young individualists with the particularly expressive design of the CLA Coupé and CLA Shooting Brake. Furthermore, the new CLA Shooting Brake offers more space than its predecessor – for sports equipment and much more", states Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars sales. Like the previous model, the new CLA Shooting Brake will be manufactured at the Kecskemét plant (Hungary) and comes onto the market in September 2019.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the first generation of the CLA Shooting Brake in 2015: a five-door, clearly a Coupé in terms of its proportions, and yet with considerable effective load space thanks to the roof which continues through to the rear and the rear door. The new CLA Shooting Brake is also a designer car, which in the first instance is emotionally appealing on account of its proportions: a long bonnet, compact greenhouse with coupé-like windowlines, muscular shoulders over the rear wheel arch and a supplely crouched rear, which clearly shows its sports car genes. The outline of the frameless windows is identical to the outline of the Coupés itself up to the B-pillar. Behind it, the windowline runs considerably higher, which makes entering for rear passengers easier. Elongated into the rear, it tapers off into an acute angle.
The distinctive front end tilted forward ("sharknose") and the elongated bonnet with striking powerdomes form dynamic style elements. The number of character lines has been reduced, for example, the shoulder line has been completely dispensed with. The surfaces are structured with soft sculptural curvatures.
These emphasise outlines and proportions and define the vehicle's character. It is 48 millimetres longer than before, 53 mm wider but 2 mm lower. The flat headlamps, the low-slung bonnet and the diamond radiator grille with central star mark the typical Mercedes-Benz sports car look. The narrow two-part rear lamps and the license plate positioned in the bumper are typical for the GT rear with a flush transition between the rear bumper and the tailgate. The CLA Shooting Brake strikes an impressive pose on the road and looks athletic from every angle. At 871 millimetres, the boot opening is significantly wider than in the previous model (635 mm). In addition, the tailgate can also be opened contactlessly with EASY-PACK and HANDS-FREE ACCESS.
The interior of the passenger compartment is identical to that of the Coupé. Both CLAs offer unique room architecture, especially on account of the avant-garde instrument panel: the widescreen display is completely free-standing with no hood on the wing-shaped main body of the instrument panel. This stretches continuously from one front door to the other. The lower section of the instrument panel is visually separated from the main body of the instrument cluster by a "trench". The ambient lighting amplifies this effect, offering a selection of 64 colours, ten colour worlds and various effects in three brightness zones. The three air vents are incorporated here, and their sporty turbine look appeals to the senses even without the lighting.
Digital home on wheels
Mercedes-Benz User Experience, MBUX for short, defines the experience in the interior of Mercedes-Benz models since the beginning of 2018 and develops from model to model in line with the digital world. A high-level computing capacity, bright screens and graphics, individualisable presentation, highlights available on request such as a full-colour head-up display and navigation with augmented reality; additionally software capable of learning and voice-operated control that goes beyond the conventional automotive standards and accepts passengers' instructions following the command "Hey Mercedes". MBUX is completely customised to the wishes of modern users.
The latest achievement is the MBUX interior assistant, which allows for intuitive and natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by recognising movement, among other things. It is even able to distinguish between the driver's and front passenger's wishes – and thus knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, for example. Voice control understands questions from an increasing number of fields of knowledge and searches for appropriate answers online while the driver concentrates on the road. Due to ongoing development of the system, it is also possible to take into consideration country-specific content providers.
"In addition, the voice assistant no longer gets confused by other passengers talking, rather it only answers the command of the person who last activated the system with 'Hey Mercedes'", Sajjad Khan emphasises, Deputy Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars for CASE and head of Digital Vehicle & Mobility.
Along with the CLA Coupé, the CLA Shooting Brake has the sportiest driving characteristics of all the models in the new compact car generation from Mercedes-Benz. This is down to the wider track, which makes the new CLA Shooting Brake look even more athletic, as well as the lower centre of gravity and the multi-link rear suspension generally fitted in these models. The wheel suspensions are not only precisely guided, but also designed for ride comfort and quiet-running with acoustic control arms that decouple vibrations at the rear and hydromounts at the front. A large-scale stabiliser bar reduces the roll angle.
An Adaptive Damping System is available on request, which allows the driver to switch between more comfort or particularly sporty tuning. There is a huge selection when it comes to the wheels. The rim diameters range from 16 to 19 inches, tyre size starts at 205/60 R 16 and finishes at 225/40 R 19 ex works. The ESP® tuning has been specially adapted to the CLA's potentially high cornering speeds and handling performance.
Aerodynamics was always one of the first CLA's strong points. Thanks to extensive flow simulation on the computer and fine tuning in the wind tunnel, the new model maintains the high level despite its wider track. The cd value of 0.26 is naturally above that the Coupé (0.23), whose tapering rear inherently create somewhat less flow. Apart from just aerodynamic resistance, development work also focussed on wind noise.
The CLA Shooting Brake has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, and thus provides the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class. Thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the CLA can look up to 500 m ahead and can drive partially autonomously in certain situations, for example by conveniently adapting the speed before corners, cross roads or roundabouts using the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with recourse to maps and navigation data. As a new function of the Active Steer Assist, among other things, there is also the intuitive Active Lange Change Assist. If the Active Park Assist with PARKTRONIC is additionally onboard, the CLA also has the function extended automatic restart on motorways.