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Upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA to take on BMW 2 series and Audi A3 sedan

Upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA to take on BMW 2 series and Audi A3 sedan
CarTrade Editorial Team CarTrade Editorial Team Tuesday 26 March 2013, 12:19 PM

The rivalry between top luxury car manufacturers just got better with the upcoming launch of new coupes in the Indian auto market. Mercedes-Benz would soon be launching CLA, to compete with the likes of Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series. Interestingly, coupe and convertible versions of the old 1 Series will be badged as models of 2 series. There will also be a Gran Coupe version of the 2 Series, which would probably be the best competitor to the other two luxury vehicles.

Let us start the comparison with the Bavarian auto manufacturer first. BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is expected to be available as a rear wheel drive version. It would have an elongated chassis from the BMW 1 Series and a sloping roofline. This car is expected to be a successor to the E30 generation 3 Series. It would have the option of two different engines, namely a 2.0 litre petrol engine with power of 150 bhp, 177 bhp or 218 bhp and a 2.0 litre turbo diesel with 214 bhp of power output. Transmission available would either be 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic. However, BMW is also a little wary of the Gran Coupe, since it might cannibalise the sales of its own 3 Series.

The next vehicle in the same category is the Mercedes-Benz CLA, which has been strategically positioned just below the C Class. It is a modern looking coupe with a characteristic aggressive front grille. A two pipe exhaust system with rectangular tailpipes has been provided in this car. Being a sporty coupe, it also comes with a lowered sports suspension. 210 bhp of power can be expected from a turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol engine, while European countries may also get a 2.2 litre diesel motor. Just like the BMW 2 Series, the Mercedes-Benz CLA also gets a sloping roofline. On the inside, this car gets a three spoke steering wheel with Nappa leather. The auto maker is also keen to showcase an AMG version of the CLA at the New York Auto Show.

German auto manufacturer Audi is also not to be left behind. Previously, the A3 was sold as a hatchback version. However, it has decided to convert the A3 into a sedan in 2013. Due to this, development time for the new sedan was greatly reduced. Technically, the A3 platform has been lengthened a bit for the sedan version. Many design elements have been taken from the current A6 version. Futuristic door handles have been observed on the A3 sedan concept shown at Geneva Motor Show, but they may not be visible on the production vehicle. Three transmission variants would be available, namely manual, S tronic and S tronic Quattro. As can be seen, the number of transmission variants are clearly more than either BMW or Mercedes-Benz. One can expect a power output of 208 bhp from this luxurious sedan.

One can clearly see that all three manufacturers are looking to target young buyers with futuristic designs and high power. Coupes are also smaller than full size sedans and thereby easier to manoeuvre in cities. Depending on the prices, it would be interesting to see that which among the three rules the roost on roads. India may still not be on the road map for these company vehicles as per industry experts, since coupes are not popular here.


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