Think of the Mercedes CLA as a smaller, cheaper Mercedes CLS – based on the new front-wheel drive A-Class platform and aimed at buyers of the Passat CC and BMW’s forthcoming 2 Series.
The CLA will premiere at the 2013 NAIAS in Detroit, but meanwhile the company’s ad agency is busy shooting a TV spot for Super Bowl XLVII. Mercedes opted out from this year’s Super Bowl ad war, which saw Volkswagen and Honda slog it out for top honours, but with more than 111 million TV viewers and at least half as many online views to compete for, they’ve decided to use the event to promote their new style-conscious four-door coupe.
The video above is a teaser, filmed by Mercedes, showing the CLA 45 AMG being put through its paces on a wet test track. The top AMG model will be powered by a 4-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing around 335bhp and 332lb-ft (450Nm) of torque. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, with power delivered to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic AWD system.
Bodywork on this AMG version will be more aggressive than the standard car, together with larger allow wheels and bigger brakes, but as you can see from the video the dynamic attitude of the car is noticeably front-end biased.
Steve Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said in a recent interview with Adage, “We have something big to say and we think this is a great vehicle to reach out to that mass affluent audience. There are a lot of people out there who just automatically put Mercedes-Benz in an out-of-reach category. The median age of consumers buying the C-Class is 50, but we think we’re going to get 30-something and 40-somethings in this car.”
Mercedes’ goal is to lower the price point for sporty models in its range, attracting younger buyers and turning them into customers of the brand for life.
The promotional spot itself is designed to appeal in a different way to Mercedes’ past Super Bowl ads – supermodel Kate Upton and singer Usher will featured in the 60-second piece, but they’ll need to be prepared to go big – last year’s Super Bowl hits were built around the theme of Hollywood’s best-known movies; Star Wars (Dog Strikes Back/The Bark Side) and Ferris Bueller (Matthew’s Day Off) and already Volkswagen, Hyundai and Kia have lined up again for 2013.
The CLA will be revealed in January at the Detroit Motor Show, while the AMG version (together with the A 45 AMG) is set to premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The hatchback A 45 AMG is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.