By 2020, Mercedes-Benz aims to be again at the forefront of the global market for premium cars. One way to achieve this goal is to constantly innovate and open new segments within the premium segment. At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, the Stuttgart-based automaker introduces the Mercedes-Benz CLA, an in-house alternative to the C-Class on the market.

With a market launch set for 2013, the avant garde CLA concept car is build atop the design idea behind the more mature CLS model. Unlike the CLS, the CLA will be front- or all-wheel drive, based on the Mercedes Front Architecture (MFA) platform used for the A-Class and B-Class.

The four-door coupe design has a steep rear roofline and short overhangs along with 20-inch wheels that make the car look relatively squat. The CLA is  182.5 inches long and 74.4 inches wide. The windows are frameless and missing the B-pillar. From behind, the design resembles the CLS with  tapering taillights, twin exhaust pipes and the diffuser with an unique design.

At the front, the CLA brings out a bold and large grille filled with a pattern of concentric dots.

The concept car revealed is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four producing 208 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch and 4Matic all-wheel drive are the transmission choices.

BMW is also expected to  unveil a front-wheel drive vehicle in the near future and one of the models introduced is rumored to have a design that resembles a smaller, compact four-dour coupe. The first four-door coupe to come to market is the high-end 6 Series Gran Coupe which goes on sale this year.