04/24/2013 (press release: CambridgePRGroup) // Haverhill, Mass. // Smith Motor Sales

Mercedes-Benz may have earned its best-ever first quarter of sales in the United States this year, but the automaker will not be satisfied until it is once again the global leader of luxury auto sales. In a push to achieve that goal, the company will be targeting younger buyers with an affordable and sporty new compact car called the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

Arriving at U.S. dealerships this September, the new CLA-Class will sport much of the sculpted, coupe-like styling of the larger Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class while incorporating some edgier design lines. With a starting price of less than $30,000, the CLA-Class will act as Mercedes-Benz’s new gateway vehicle, costing less than other high-volume offerings like the Audi A4 and BMW’s 1 Series and 3 Series. The luxury brand’s current gateway model, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, remained the lineup’s best-seller in March, moving 8,396 units for an increase of 32 percent year-over-year. That strong performance helped Mercedes-Benz post a record March overall, with its sales totaling 24,646 units across the lineup.

“The C-Class is and will continue to be extremely popular with new luxury buyers, but Mercedes-Benz has developed the smaller CLA-Class to appeal to even younger buyers that may never have considered the brand before,” said James Buckley, general manager of Smith Motor Sales, a Haverhill, Massachusetts Mercedes-Benz dealership. “The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class meets buyers’ growing preferences for smaller, more efficient rides, but it doesn’t sacrifice anything in the way of performance, style or technology to do so.”

Featuring a 208-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an industry-leading drag coefficient of just 0.23, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class will offer swift acceleration, while a sport-tuned suspension will allow for responsive handling. Inside, tech-savvy drivers will be pleased with the abundance of standard in-car connectivity, including a 5.8-inch center display screen, Bluetooth compatibility and the next-gen mbrace2 telematics system, which boasts features like concierge services and remote vehicle access via smartphones.

For car buyers who want the most performance possible in a smaller package, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a high-powered AMG version of the CLA-Class at the New York International Auto Show in late March. Housing the most powerful four-cylinder engine in production, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG will produce 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, enabling the car to sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. That impressive output will be matched on the outside by aggressive AMG body styling, including a large front apron, oversized air inlets, 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome-plated tailpipes.

“Most luxury automakers wouldn’t bother to create a high-performance version of their entry-level models because they aren’t really designed for performance to begin with,” noted Buckley. “The CLA45 AMG shows just how serious Mercedes-Benz is about bringing its signature engineering to a broader audience with the CLA-Class lineup.”

About Smith Motor Sales:

For more than 75 years, Smith Motor Sales has brought Mercedes-Benz ownership to customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Smith Motor Sales has remained an elite Mercedes-Benz dealer throughout the years through its commitment to customer service and its wide selection of new and used Mercedes-Benz vehicles, as well as its expert service and parts staff. Browse their inventory online at www.smithmercedesdealer.com, stop by their showroom at 420 River Street in Haverhill, Massachusetts, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmithMercedes, or reach them by phone at 978-372-2552.

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