Introduced alongside the latest A 45 is the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4Matic+, which should appeal to those that want a little more boot space and coupe-ish styling than what the hot hatchback can offer.
Mechanically, it’s identical to the A 45, as there’s still a M139 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet that we’ve written about at length in the past.
On the base model, the mill makes 387 PS (382 hp) at 6,500 rpm and 480 Nm from 4,750 rpm, which is more than what the M133 could muster in the previous-generation car with its 381 PS (375 hp) at and 475 Nm.
Meanwhile, the top-of-the-hill CLA 45 S 4Matic+ offers a more substantial 421 PS (416 hp) at 6,750 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 5,000 rpm, partly thanks to a higher boost pressure for the single twin-scroll turbo of 2.1 bar against the base model’s 1.9 bar. Regardless of the variant chosen, rest assured you have more power than the “lesser” CLA 35.
The engine also benefits from an all-aluminium crankcase, forged steel crankshaft, forged aluminium pistons, Nanoslide-coated cylinders, larger exhaust valves, optimised-positioning of the injectors, two-stage fuel injection (direct and port), and baffle plates for the oil sump.
An electric water pump keeps things cool during spirited driving, and a second radiator behind the front wheel arch supplement the main one at the front on the S-model. There’s also a heat exchanger mounted directly on the transmission to maintain transmission oil temperature, and this is integrated into the engine’s coolant circuit.
The resulting performance from these measures is a zero to 100 km/h time of 4.1 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed (270 km/h with the AMG Driver’s Package) for the basic model, while the A 45 S completes the century sprint in 4.0 seconds, and will hit 270 km/h. Compared to the A 45, both models are slower by just a tenth of a second respectively.
An eight-speed AMG Speedshift DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully-variable all-wheel drive system are coupled to the engine. The latter comes with what the company calls AMG Torque Control, which is found in the rear axle differential. With it comes two electronically controlled multi-disc clutches, each connected to a rear axle drive shaft. This allows the engine power to be fully distributed between the front and rear wheels, as well as selectively between the left and right rear wheels.
To take advantage of this, the CLA 45 comes with a Drift mode , which makes “powersliding possible for even more driving pleasure.” This is called up in the Race drive mode, which is offered with the AMG Dynamic Plus package – standard on the S-model but optional for the base model. However, you’ll need to have ESP deactivated, and have the transmission in manual mode to have Drift mode engaged.
The powertrain and transmission, along with the electro-mechanical sports power steering, chasis and AMG exhaust system, are linked to the AMG Dynamic Select system, allowing users to adjust these parameters with preset drive modes. These include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual.
For even further configurability, there’s AMG Dynamics that also alters the all-wheel drive and ESP systems to match the desired level of dynamic driving required. It starts from Basic, and rises up to Advanced, Pro and Master – the last one is only for cars with the AMG Dynamic Plus package.
The chassis gets McPherson struts upfront and four-link rear suspension, with a choice of passive dampers or the optional AMG Ride Control adaptive damping system.
Efforts have also been made to reinforce the bodyshell, with an aluminium plate bolted underneath the engine to increase torsional rigidity at the vehicle’s front end. This is supplemented by a strut tower brace between the front suspension struts and additional reinforcing plates connecting the side members to the A-pillars to stabilise the front section. Diagonal struts at the front and rear of the underbody further improve rigidity.
To slow the car down, there are four-piston fixed calipers acting on 350 mm brake rotors at the front, while single-piston floating calipers handle 330 mm discs at back. The calipers here are painted grey, with accompanying white AMG lettering.
The aforementioned AMG Dynamic Plus package, which is standard on the S-model and optional for the base A 45, adds on 360 mm discs and six-piston calipers at the front, marked out by red paint and a black AMG logo.
The cabin comes upholstered with black Artico man-made leather and Dinamica microfibre as standard, but you can request for a a full Artico leather get-up in neva grey/black with mid-grey double topstitching, matched with light-longitudinal-grain aluminium trim.
To match the sporty persona the CLA 45 exemplifies, there are sport seats, red designo seat belts, red rings on the air vents, an AMG Performance steering wheel, yellow highlights (only for the S-model), and AMG-specific displays for the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system.
Three AMG display styles – Classic, Sport and “Supersport – are available, and you can have special displays brought up too, in case you need to know oil temperatures, use a lap timer, check engine data, or even use the AMG Track Pace data logger.
As for the exterior, the jet-wing in the apron helps to frame the large air intakes at the front, while the Panamericana grille adds to the car’s visual presence. Unlike the A 45, the CLA 45 doesn’t require flared wheel arches, as the basic, non-AMG CLA body already has a wider front track and Mercedes-Benz says the “wings could be flared to a lesser extent.”
Quad exhausts at the rear have different diameter pipes, with 82 mm units used for the basic car, while the S-model has larger 90 mm pipes. Four individual fins make up the diffuser, while a spoiler on the boot lid completes the overall look.
Of course, this can be enhanced further with the AMG Aerodynamic package, where the car gains a front splitter and additional flics, an additional diffuser blade, rear spoiler lips and an even larger rear spoiler lip. The AMG Night and Silver Chrome packages, plus 19-inch wheel designs are also available.
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