If you liked the ballistic performance of Mercedes' 355bhp A45 AMG but couldn’t bring yourself to drive a hotted-up hatchback, then take a look at this: the new CLA 45 AMG. Using an identical 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive system, the CLA mixes the storming performance of its hatchback brother with mini-CLS four-door coupe looks. Read on for the full specification.
Does the CLA 45 AMG match the A45’s performance?
The two new AMG brothers are neck-and-neck for pace. The CLA 45 AMG will launch to 62mph in 4.6sec, and tops out at 155mph. The 332lb ft engine is the world’s most powerful production turbo four-pot, and is matched with a tweaked seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, mated to steering wheel-mounted paddles. It’s a supposedly frugal powertrain, too: Mercedes claims the car will achieve 40.9mpg and produce 161g/km of CO2.
As with the A45 AMG, the CLA 45 usually defaults to front-wheel drive to reduce friction on the drivetrain and increase efficiency. Only when the car’s ECU detects wheelspin is power sent to the rears, but only up to a 50:50 split: rear biased this ain't.
Other racey features include launch control, a sports exhaust, and upgraded brakes, behind lightweight 18-inch AMG alloy wheels.
Talk me through the CLA 45 AMG’s visual changes
Again, what’s new is similar to the A45 hatch. There is a sporty front splitter and black trim around the front air intakes. The rear gets the same vented bumper as AMG Sport-trim CLAs, but adds chromed quad tailpipes and a rear diffuser. On the sides, it sports ‘AMG Turbo’ badging and black side skirt trim.
Inside, you get sports seats and a contoured steering wheel. Brushed aluminium trim is standard, along with red stitching highlights. Mostly, it’s A45 AMG fayre (are you spotting a theme here?)
When, and how much?
The Mercedes CLA 45 AMG will go on UK sale in autumn 2013. With prices still to be confirmed, we’d expect a £40,000 tag – a £5k premium over the A45 AMG that mirrors the extra cost of regular CLAs over normal A-classes.
Read the CAR verdict on the regular Mercedes CLA in the April issue of CAR, on sale now. For a digital preview, click here.