Alongside the Mercedes-AMG A 45 and Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 four-door saloon spearheads a new family of dynamic compact vehicles powered by Mercedes-AMG’s first four-cylinder engine. This 1,991 cc turbocharged petrol motor develops 360 hp at 6,000 rpm, making it the most powerful of its kind in the world. The chassis, steering, suspension and brakes of the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 have all been engineered by Mercedes-AMG to deliver a truly engaging driving experience, and the car features a raft of bespoke Mercedes-AMG design and style details that instantly distinguish it from other models in the CLA-Class range.
With a specific output of 181 hp per litre, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine offers the highest specific output of any production engine in the world. The advanced powerplant develops 360 hp at 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm at 2,250 - 5,000 rpm, enough to power the 1,585 kg CLA 45 AMG to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds and a 155 mph limited top speed. Combined average fuel economy and CO2 emission figures are 39.8 mpg and 161 g/km.
The engine is closely linked to the mighty 462 hp 3,982 cc biturbo V8 engine that powers the new Mercedes-AMG GT. Like every Mercedes-AMG engine, it is hand-assembled by a single Mercedes-AMG engineer, and it features a bespoke cooling system that borrows technology from the Mercedes-AMG GT by employing a secondary intercooler which supplements the one found in the front airdam. This second unit is placed in the wheel arch to take advantage of the increased air force generated by wheel turbulence.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 also features strengthened steering knuckles, and uprated anti-roll bars, springs and dampers. The rear axle of the car is unique to the car, featuring new rear strut bearings subframe to improve rigidity and responses. Additionally, a bespoke electromechanical steering setup is used. It features a constant rack ratio 14.5:1 with the electric motor reduced in size to aid packaging. There is an uprated Mercedes-AMG braking system too, measuring 350 mm at the front and 330 mm at the rear.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 intelligent all-wheel drive system uses a lightweight 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, controlled by an electro-hydraulically operated multi-disc clutch, integrated into the rear axle differential for ideal weight distribution. The split is up to 50:50, defaulting to front-wheel-drive when all-wheel drive is not required.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 features a unique front bumper, with a new grille, three airdams with extended flared sections either side feeding the intercooler and a gloss or carbon black front splitter. Additional aero flicks can be added (along with a substantial rear wing) as an option. Sill extensions in black run up the side of the car and, as with the front splitter, can be finished in either gloss black or carbon. At the rear, vents are set into the bumper while two large exhaust outlets frame a small diffuser.
Inside, a set of Mercedes-AMG Performance Seats complete with red, contrast stitching are fitted as standard. The dashboard features a carbon-look textured weave finish with red highlights for the vents – at night the interior is lit by subtle ambient lighting and the door sills are fitted with illuminated Mercedes-AMG logos. The Mercedes-AMG Drive Unit, a gear selector unique to Mercedes-AMG models, is joined by metal paddle shifters set behind the part-suede steering wheel. Ahead of the driver, a set of unique, recalibrated Mercedes-AMG dials are joined by a special Mercedes-AMG menu offering additional information on vehicle systems and temperatures. The seven-inch central screen is standard along with DAB and iPod connectivity and can be linked to the optional COMAND navigation system.
The CLA 45 AMG also introduces safety features previously unattainable in the compact family car sector to the market. Attention Assist and the unique Collision Prevention Assist are just two of the advanced safety features fitted as standard to every model, joined by seven airbags, Mercedes-AMG-tuned Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP®), as well as Brake Assist and latest generation ABS anti-lock braking system. Optional safety features include Pre-Safe®, Distronic Plus, Lane-Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Light System.
With a length x width x height of 4,630 x 2,032 x 1,432 mm, 470 litres of cargo space and an extended wheelbase of 2,699 mm, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 offers plenty of room for five and their luggage.