Currently reading: New York motor show: Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG
The wraps have officially come off the high-performance four-door in advance of its UK arrival in October

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.


Read our review

Car review

The CLS sold on its exclusivity. Can the Mercedes CLA pull the same trick - or do its A-Class underpinnings hold it back?

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In the US the CLA45 AMG will become the entry-level AMG model, with prices starting at $47,450.

Sales boss Joachim Schmidt said that the CLA45 AMG is designed to "Appeal to the young and young at heart"

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MikeSpencer 6 April 2013

A tale of two Mercs

Front styling is nice. Profile is nice. Rear styling is... ummm, challenging. In fact, I can't believe it got signed off for production in its current form. The boot's (trunk's) droopy trailing edge is the most to blame for this, I feel. Like many of us I fear, it could probably benefit from a bottom lift.

Bobstardeluxe 30 March 2013

Love I the squat hunkered

Love  the squat hunkered down look from the front .. right combination of wide arch look touring car look. But still can't get used to the rear end.. it's not awful but just doesn't look quiet right.. as with the new S3 saloon .. doesn't quiet work at the back! I hope it's an awesome car to drive though .. with 4 wheel drive and i am sure another amazing engine AMG have produced ! 

ahaus 29 March 2013

As a current fully spec'ed

As a current fully spec'ed and custom tuned V6 C-class owner I am surprised the amount of performance and style you can get for much less, granted from a 4-cylinder that is less refined feeling and sounding than a V6.

The CLA nomenclature would definitely confuse as it may make people think it is a C-class due to its similar exterior dimensions eventhough it is based on the A-class, especially in North America where the A-class is unknown. I hope this will build some excitement to what Mercedes has planned for the next redesign for the C-class, as I think the CLA-class will canibalize the sales of the C-class. I would definitely think of getting the CLA45 AMG for just a tad less for less than what I paid for my C-class eventhough for many a 4-cylinder AMG model would be considered sacrilege.