The Mercedes CLA is intended to broaden the German carmaker’s customer base. At $29,900, one can own a Mercedes – a car associated with luxury, craftsmanship, and value. Similarly, with the introduction of the CLA45 AMG at the New York Auto Show Mercedes is making it more affordable to break into their performance sub-brand, AMG. For $47,450 or $12,350 less than the next cheapest AMG model, the CLA45 AMG allows customers to experience the excitement of owning a vehicle produced by Aufrecht Melcher Grossaspach.
Using a transverse mounted turbocharged 2.0-liter 4 cylinder engine, the sports sedan produces 355 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. This allows the CLA45 to reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, on to a top speed of an electronically limited 155 mph. Mercedes claims that their AMG produced 4 cylinder is the most powerful 4 banger in production. The engine is mated to a seven-speed DCT transmission. Like all other AMG engines, each one will be hand assembled by the same technician from start to finish in Kölleda, Germany. Each engine will features a plaque with the signature of the engine builder mounted prominently in the engine bay.
As we reported earlier, the CLA45 uses a performance oriented version of Mercedes’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system. When driving normally, the CLA45 will send power to the front wheels, however, when the conditions require all-wheel drive up to 50% of the power can be sent to the rear wheels. For optimized turn-in, the CLA45 will apply the front inner break to help the car pivot around a corner.
To set the CLA45 apart from the standard CLA, the AMG variant receives two-piece grey alloy wheels, larger front air intakes, side vents carved into the rear bumper, a rear diffuser and dual exhaust pipes. A carbon fiber trim package adds a front splitter, some different front fascia components and new mirror caps. The interior of the CLA45 sees sport seats wrapped in man-made leather, red accent stitching, and red seatbelts. Many options are available to spice up the interior of the CLA45, including an optional AMG steering wheel, carbon fiber trim, and performance seats.
For less than $50,000 one can get an AMG Mercedes, complete with a sub 5 second 60 time, and a hand built engine that will undoubtably sound awesome thanks to the car’s duel stage exhaust system. Unfortunately, a lot of the features AMG cars are known for don’t come as standard with the CLA45, things like performance tires are extra (it comes with 235 section run flat tires as standard), red painted break calipers are also extra. Still, the CLA45 AMG will likely be a good value for someone looking for a small stylish luxury car that can handle twisty roads and the occasional track day.