The teaser campaign for the next-generation CLA has officially kicked off with this darkened side shot, posted on Facebook by Mercedes-Benz ahead of the new model’s January 8 unveiling.

With the A-Class now having a conventional sedan variant, the CLA has the breathing space it needs to become more radical and coupe-like and although the teaser doesn’t give too much away, it does appear to have a more sloping, fastback roofline.

Beneath the skin, CLA will share much of its content with the A-Class hatch, including 1.33-litre and 2-litre turbocharged petrol engines, while CLA 35 and CLA 45 AMG versions are distinct possibilities further down the line.

Expect much of the cabin to be inherited from the A too, including the ‘artificial intelligence’ MBUX infotainment system, but our guess is that it will have an additional technological surprise or two up its sleeve.

Why do we think this? The CLA is making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, rather than a conventional motor show - and it’s surely not rocking up as ‘just a car’.

IOL Motoring