The UK will only offer the more powerful iteration, the range-topping CLA 45 S 4Matic+ Shooting Brake. It develops 39bhp and 18lb ft more than its predecessor at a class-leading 415bhp and 369lb ft.
As with the A45 4Matic and CLA 45 4Matic, drive is channelled through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, with shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. A reconfigured Haldex-style multi-plate-clutch four-wheel-drive system features a Torque Control mechanism that uses two clutches to apportion power individually to each rear wheel.
The changes to the four-wheel-drive system have allowed AMG to give the new model a Drift mode function. It’s accessed through a revised Dynamic Select system that offers up to six driving modes, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race.
Mercedes-AMG claims a 0-62mph time of 4.1sec for the CLA 45 4Matic Shooting Brake and 4.0sec for the S version. The top speed is artificially limited to 155mph, although customers can choose to raise it to 168mph via an optional Driver’s Package.
The CLA 45 4Matic Shooting Brake adopts the same stylistic changes as the new CLA 45 4Matic saloon. Included is an AMG-specific Panamericana-style grille with vertical slats, a more heavily structured front bumper and wider front wings housing a broader front track than that used by standard CLA models.
At the rear, the new AMG model adopts a larger spoiler above its tailgate as well as a redesigned rear bumper that features an integral diffuser.
With a tailgate opening that’s 236mm wider, at 871mm, and 10 litres more boot capacity, at 505 litres, the new CLA 45 4Matic Shooting Brake is claimed to have not only improved performance potential but also a boost in practicality over the model it replaces.