The upcoming CLA Class is based on the same platform that the A-Class and B-Class is on but it will be featured with an all wheel drive system which Mercedes-Benz has never done before on their compact models. Therefore, a new system has to be developed for it.
This new system integrates the rear axle driveshaft with the transmission and in this case, a seven speed dual clutch gearbox. Another feature of the system is an electro-hydraulic controlled multi disc clutch at the rear which allows full variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles.
The company's 4Matic system based on rear wheel drive is different. There is a 45:55 torque split between the front and rear axles during normal driving conditions and seventy percent of that torque can be directed to either axle when required.
On the AMG versions, more torque is distributed to the rear axle to give the car a more rear-biased feel. The system is also linked to AMG's three stage electronically stability control system.
The CLA Class is said to debut in early 2013 and will go on sale in the middle of next year as a 2014 model.