A niche-looking four-door luxury car has entered the realms of affordability with the new Mercedes-Benz CLA – a model that continues the three-pointed-star badge’s quest to lure younger buyers.
‘Younger’ is a relative term for a brand that has an average customer age that is one of the oldest in the industry, but the CLA has a visual dynamism that should perfectly complement the equally new A-Class hatchback.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA can be viewed as a downsized, ‘junior’ version of the German car maker’s much-heralded CLS that sparked a flurry of activity from rival product planners to copy the four-door ‘coupe’ concept.
The CLA, however, will cost less than a third than the CLS when it reaches Australia in late 2013 – a price tag that will start from about $ 50,000 and also position it below the C-Class (from $ 58,600).
Thank economies of scale. Where the CLS is based on the large E-Class sedan, the CLA skips the C-Class to share a modular platform with a new range of compact vehicles – including the new A-Class hatchback – that will eventually account for 400,000 units of production annually.
“BamBoo” – A Taste of this Summer!
Open Speedster for the Extroverted Communicator – Seamless High-Tech, Purism and Lifestyle
This car irritates. Could be that it’s the ingenious crafted creations of world-renowned New York pop artist James Rizzi. In any case, Frank M. Rinderknecht’s latest work “BamBoo” lets the sun rise over the over-engineered metal creatures at the Geneva Motor Show, whose single purpose is to never touch anything other than black asphalt. Yes, this is a taste of summer.
A taste of beach and sand, of the lightness and lightheartedness of southern latitudes. It is a reminiscence of the Seventies, of the south of France, of St. Tropez. Its colors range from salmon to lobster and yellow, shimmering in the sunlight, staged perfectly by color- and adhesive-repair-specialist (“StickerFix”) AkzoNobel. And one would expect to find Brigitte Bardot behind the wheel with playboy Gunther Sachs at her side heading towards Tahiti beach. But at the same time this car points to the future with clever innovations such as a communication display in place of a radiator grille and an inflatable roof that also serves as a beach blanket. Yes, this sun & fun car will blow the roof off!
Anyone who might think that this is simple retro design underestimates the boss of the Swiss
concept powerhouse. He reinterprets the automotive references of days gone by and evolves them into the future. He plays with man’s yearning to get back to the roots, often paired with the desire to be in harmony with creation. That makes electric drive, also for the onboard foldable two wheeler for the last “mile”, a must. More than just about anyone the Rinspeed boss knows how to play on strong emotions and dreams beyond the macho horsepower affectation. This is the fundamental reason why Rinderknecht is considered an automotive visionary by many.
The latest creation from Rinderknecht – jointly developed and built by Swiss engineering firms 4erC and Esoro – resembles a grown-up golf cart at first glance. But one that offers a firework of innovation and design. This successful combination is most evident in the canopy-like inflatable roof developed by Swiss company Tecnotex. It is covered with water-resistant „Skai Neptun Caleri” with nano coating supplied by the Hornschuch Company. It protects the interior against possible morning dew.
Nothing but air lends the two-piece waterproof design its rigidity. While the outside of the roof is decorated by a giant Rizzi beach scene, the inside is refined by visionary spinning mill Schoeller from Bregenz with thread made from genuine bamboo. No doubt, anyone going to the beach with this mattress will easily outshine any folding convertible roof, no matter how elegant and will instantly be in conversation with their beach chair neighbors.
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