Mercedes CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake (2014) spy shots

Published: 26 March 2014

Mercedes will crown its range of small A-class based cars next year with this: the CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake. That’s right: just as the CLS ‘four-door coupe’ spawned a svelte ‘Shooting Brake’ Estate, the smaller CLA is to pull the same trick. Meet the 355bhp range-topper.

Why is Mercedes building a CLA Shooting Brake?

Soon after the current A-class launched in 2012, Mercedes CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche confirmed that five models would eventually be spun off the car’s ‘MFA’ platform, a scalable architecture capable of underpinning several different cars.

Since then, Mercedes has been true to its word, launching the taller, bluffer B-class MPV; sleeker, coupe-aping CLA; and recently, the GLA crossover. Now Mercedes is gearing up for MFA’s fifth and final act (notwithstanding the British-built Infiniti Q30 hatch it’ll also support): the estate-bodied CLA Shooting Brake.

Unlike the forthcoming C-class Estate, the CLA Shooting Brake displays a curvier, more ‘look-at-me’ profile. Underneath, it will stick with a range of four-cylinder engines with a choice of front-or all-wheel drive.

What gives this car away as AMG’s CLA Shooting Brake?

Up front, there’s dark plastic trim around the air intakes and front splitter. Upgraded four-piston brakes lurk behind AMG alloys, wrapped in low-profile rubber. AMG-spec ride height and side skirts can be seen in these images, while the rear shows us box-section tailpipe outlets, rear wheelarch ‘vents’ and a subtle diffuser-style rear bumper.

What’ll the engine specification be for the AMG version?

The MFA platform allows drivetrains to be copy-pasted wholesale between cars – hence the A-class, CLA and GLA all share engine and gearbox combinations. The CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake is almost certain to use a 355bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard.

As with the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG, the ‘4Matic’ drivetrain should allow the car to run around as a front-driver most of the time (cutting friction and saving fuel), before sending up to 50% of power to the rear axle when 332lb ft overcomes the fronts.

Should be quick, then?

Too right. The existing CLA45 AMG is a very fast little car, managing 0-62 mph in 4.6sec and 155mph flat out. Despite the pace, Mercedes claims the 2.0-litre engine can return up to 40.9mpg.

When can I buy this CLA Shooting Brake niche-buster?

Word is the CLA Shooting Brake will officially join the Mercedes range in early 2015. A small price premium will pitch the Shooting Brake above the CLA in the Mercedes hierarchy. Reckon on this ultimate AMG model costing from around £45,000.

>> Will the CLA Shooting Brake be the pick of Mercedes small car family? Tell us your thoughts by clicking ‘Add your comment’ below

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish

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