Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the second in a trio of new price-leading AMG performance models that will go on sale this year: the CLA45 AMG 4Matic.
Sister car to the recently unveiled A45 AMG 4Matic and upcoming GLA45 AMG 4Matic, the rapid 355bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-door saloon is inspired by the larger CLS63 AMG. The new CLA45 AMG is scheduled to go on sale in the UK in October at an estimated price of £40,000.
The transversely mounted engine is identical to the turbocharged four-cylinder unit used in the A45. Its 355bhp is produced at 6000rpm, and 332lb ft of torque is available between 2250rpm and 5000rpm.
Drive is channelled through a standard seven-speed dual-clutch AMG Speedshift gearbox and Haldex multi-plate-style clutch to all four wheels. The AMG Speedshift offers three driving modes - C (comfort), S (sport) and M (manual), as well as launch and double-declutching functions.
Official performance figures suggest that it will storm from a standstill to 62mph in 4.6sec — just 0.4sec slower than the 451bhp 6.2-litre V8-powered C63 AMG saloon. The top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. Combined fuel economy of 40.9mpg and average CO2 emissions of 161g/km are claimed.
The CLA45 is distinguished from less powerful CLA models by a series of exterior design changes, including new bumpers, alloy wheels, wider sills and larger air intakes. Mercedes-Benz admits that the changes were aimed at providing it with a clear resemblance to the significantly more powerful CLS63 AMG.
Inside, there’s an upgraded interior, with standard AMG instruments, part-leather sport seats up front, red seatbelts, AMG multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles, AMG sill panels and aluminium dashboard trim, among other unique styling touches.
Underpinning the CLA45 is a heavily reworked version of the CLA250 Sport’s MacPherson strut and multi-link suspension. It receives unique springs and dampers, additional camber and a reduction in ride height.
As with the A45, buyers will be able to choose between two states of tune: standard and Sport. The ESP (electronic stability program) has been recalibrated to take into account the CLA45’s added performance potential. The system provides three modes: On, Sport and Off.
Also included is an additional Curve Dynamic Assist function, which is aimed at providing added agility without any premature stability control intervention. Further chassis changes — including the adoption of stiffer steering knuckles and unique software mapping for the electro-mechanical steering — are aimed at sharpening responses.
The brakes feature 350mm front and 330mm rear steel ventilated and cross-drilled discs.
In the US the CLA45 AMG will become the entry-level AMG model, with prices starting at $47,450.