The forthcoming Mercedes CLA saloon will be available with four-wheel drive, when it arrives in UK showrooms next summer.

The new entry-level saloon, which will sit below the C-class in the Mercedes model line-up, will use a new version of Mercedes’ 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, which has been developed for use in front-wheel drive cars with a transversely mounted engine.

Aesthetically, Mercedes claims that the CLA will be almost identical to the Concept Style Coupé that was unveiled at the Beijing motor show in April.

Alongside the 4MATIC system, the CLA will feature sports suspension and a range of turbo engines with power up to 208bhp. Mercedes advanced safety features such as Collision Prevention Assist, will also be fitted.

An AMG version, named CLA45, will also use 4MATIC system, and is expected to use the high-power 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the A45 AMG, which is due for release early in 2013.

Daljinder Nagra