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Mercedes-Benz CLA images leaked

The front of the CLA Class is almost identical to the latest A Class hatchback.

Though we’ve been spying prototypes for the upcoming CLA Class from Mercedes-Benz, the sedan version of the German automaker’s new compact range, for more than a year, so far all of these have been heavily camouflaged.

Now the first official images of the new compact sedan have been revealed, showing off the car's design ahead of its debut next month.

The images confirm Mercedes’ design team has managed to retain the distinctive look of the Concept Style Coupe unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, for the production version.

The front of the CLA Class is almost identical to the latest A Class hatchback launched overseas, while the body gets four-door coupe styling that makes it resemble the CLS Class, albeit on a smaller scale.

Under its pretty sheet metal is a version of Mercedes' latest front-wheel drive platform, code-named MFA (Mercedes Frontwheel Architecture).

This new platform is flexible enough to spawn a variety of models including hatchbacks, coupes and even a crossover, and it will offer the option of 4MATIC all-wheel drive. U.S.-delivered cars are likely to come with 4MATIC as standard.

The car’s overall length will stretch just over 4.5 meters, and inside there should be ample space for four adults. A fifth-seat option may be available. The interior design, as expected, is identical to that found in the A Class hatchback.

A performance-tuned 4MATIC system will be standard in the AMG version of the new CLA Class, which is likely to be called the CLA45 AMG and come with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine rated at more than 245 kW.