Mercedes-Benz is putting the final touches to the updated CLA Coupé and Shooting Brake ahead of an official unveiling next summer.
New photographs of lightly disguised prototypes testing in Germany show a subtly refreshed front end that maintains the current car's aggressive air ducts and prominent grille. The upper segment of the LED daytime running lights has been sharpened up and split into two bars, while the lower portion has been shifted closer to the grille – divided into two parallelogram-shaped blocks.
Similar changes feature at the rear. The tail-lights have been redesigned with an L-shaped central light blade that spans the width of the lens, but the rest of the unit appears unchanged.
Non-AMG Line versions of both the Coupé and Shooting Brake also receive updated plastic trim adorning the lower bumper, although the camouflage means it is unclear how this has changed.
Both AMG Line cars pictured receive the same twin faux exhaust design and slotted diffuser, as is present on the existing CLA.
Every prototype CLA we spotted was equipped with Mercedes’ Night Pack, which replaces various chrome trim pieces – including around the windows and diffuser – with a piano black finish. This could indicate the brand is moving away from its previously extensive use of chrome, in line with French premium brand DS, which decided to reduce its use of chrome – starting with the DS 7 facelift – because its production emits a lot of CO2 and because mainstream brands were beginning to use it in abundance.
The CLA line-up – ranging from the 134bhp CLA 180 to the 415bhp Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S – is unlikely to change. The AMG model may get a slight power boost, while the CLA 250e plug-in hybrid could get a slight improvement to its official 44-mile electric-only range (for the Coupé).
When asked about the updated CLA, Mercedes-Benz declined to comment. The German marque is expected to confirm technical details closer to the car's official reveal.
Pricing is expected to increase across the board to reflect the limited supply of cars caused by the semiconductor chip shortage. The existing CLA 180 Coupé starts from £33,070, while a range-topping AMG CLA 45 S Shooting Brake costs £61,965.