Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off its new CLA four-door ‘coupe’ model in Detroit but it did not appear on the Daimler unit’s show stand.

An invite-only preview on the eve of the first Detroit show press day gave journalists a first view of the model which will not actually been unveiled to the public until the fashion show in Berlin at the end of this month.

The mid-size coupe follows in the tyre tracks of the CLS and Mercedes said the model would bring sportiness to a much more affordable level. It also introduces a new four-wheel-drive system which will be rolled out for all other Mercedes models in time.

The CLA also has a record-breaking 0.22cd drag co-efficient, beating the previous best 0.24 held by the B-class.

The CLA250 has a two-litre, 211hp, I4, turbocharged petrol engine with start stop and a seven-speed, dual clutch transmission. There is also an entry level 180 version with 1.6-litre, 122hp engine and six-speed manual while the 220 CDI has a 2.1-litre, 170hp, turbodiesel and seven-speed DCT.