Mercedes' New CLA Coupe Loaded With High-Tech Extras In Clear Pitch to Millennial Luxury Buyers

In a clear pitch to millennials, Mercedes has loaded its second-generation CLA coupe unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week with new digital technology, including the its first semi autonomous driving system.

With a starting price tag at under $30,000, the CLA's launch in 2013 brought in a wave of young, first-time luxury buyers Mercedes hopes will move up to more expensive models in the years to come. A visually striking coupe-like sedan, the CLA quickly became the fastest-growing model in the Daimler subsidiary's history.

The 2020 CLA is slightly bigger than the original coupe and will have the ability to operate hands-free under specific conditions, primarily on divided highways. It even can make a pass automatically; the driver simply tapping on the turn signal when operating in semi autonomous mode.

"The new edition of the CLA has been developed further in an intelligent way and is even more emotional and sportier than its predecessor," said Britta Seeger, global head of Mercedes-Benz cars marketing and sales.

The coupe-like sedan also becomes just the second Mercedes model to offer the automaker's new voice-control system, MBUX, short for the Mercedes-Benz User Experience. Unveiled at the 2018 CES, it works much like the Amazon  Alexa voice assistant — which can also be accessed from inside the cabin. Speak the system's wake words, "Hey, Mercedes," and it comes to life. It can be used to set a destination, play music and do a variety of other functions that go well beyond the more basic voice-control technology found in most of today's new cars.

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Linda J