After many teasers and its engine being revealed earlier, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 sports sedan has finally been unveiled in full. Besides having a more aggressive look than the CLA 35, it packs at minimum 382 horsepower and a trick all-wheel-drive system.
Starting from the outside, the CLA 45 picks up the dog bone-shaped lower grilles and signature main grille with vertical bars shared with other AMG products. It gets a deep front spoiler and side skirts, plus a lip spoiler and diffuser at the rear. It can look even meaner with the AMG Aerodynamics Package shown on the above CLA 45 S. The package adds a deeper front splitter and diffuser, plus front canards.
The real excitement is under the hood, of course. Here lurks a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque in standard trim. While Mercedes made no mention about the higher-powered model in its official information, earlier reports said that model will offer 416 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. From what Mercedes said about the engine’s construction, it should be a strong little unit. You can read more about it here. All this power allows the base CLA 45 to hit 60 mph in an estimated 4 seconds on the way to a standard 155 mph top speed. The optional Driver’s Package allows the car to hit 168 mph.
The CLA 45’s copious power is sent to all four wheels through a unique drivetrain. It gets an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission not shared with less-powerful cars on this platform. It also has a unique all-wheel-drive system that uses two clutches for each rear axle. This allows for carefully controlled left and right torque vectoring on the rear wheels. Like other Mercedes all-wheel-drive systems, it can vary the amount of torque sent to the front or rear. All this variability allows Mercedes to have a Drift mode available, something demonstrated in an earlier teaser.
In addition to the fancy all-wheel-drive, the CLA 45 relies on McPherson struts at the front and a four-link independent rear suspension to help the sedan corner. Adjustable damping is optional. Braking power comes from 4-piston calipers and 13.8-inch rotors up front, and 1-piston calipers with 13-inch rotors at the back. These rotors are ventilated and drilled, too. The chassis further benefits from much more chassis bracing than lesser models. Tires are 235-mm wide and are fitted to standard 19-inch wheels.
The interior is a sportier version of that found in the CLA-Class models. It gets an AMG steering wheel, more aggressive seats, red seat belts, aluminum pedals, and red accent stitching. It can also be equipped with flashy dash trim. The instrument panel can display extra readouts such as engine and transmission oil temperature, selected gear, vehicle configuration, lap and sector times and track information. The available Track Pace option will keep track of driving telemetry such as throttle position, brake application, g forces and more. It also has several track layouts built to help put that data to good use.
The CLA 45 will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year. Pricing has not yet been announced. We expect the pricing, as well as more details on the more powerful S model, to be announced closer to the on-sale date.