The CLA-Class is said to be Mercedes-Benz’s most potent weapon in its arsenal to conquer the US market. “We did not come to a volume price point to do niche volume,” Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA said in an interview. “As we ramp up, we see the volume potential of at least 30,000 over the course of time.
With such lofty targets, one would expect Mercedes-Benz to play all its cards and bring in the entry level diesel with its phenomenal fuel efficiency figures. If reports from Car And Driver are to be believed it might turn out that the diesel variant of the CLA will never make it to the USA.
The additional cost of homologating the diesel variant and the addition of a tank for urea injection might not be justifiable enough for the numbers the diesel variant would do in a market dominated by gasoline engines. Urea Injection is the process where Diesel Exhaust Fluid ( a solution of urea and de-ionized water) is injected into the exhaust in order to lower Nitrous Oxides concentration in the diesel exhaust emissions in a process called selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
The engineering hurdle faced is the space required to mount a tank huge enough for the DEF so that the consumer does not have to replace the fluid every month.
Car and Driver further speculates that the same fate might fall the GLA compact crossover. While the GLA will have enough space for a large tank, the additional cost might make push the GLA out of the volumes price point.