It was just a matter of time before an AMG version of the second generation CLA joined the entry-level offerings from Affalterbach. Its now here finished in Sun Yellow, all set to make its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show.
Speaking of the visual differences, there aren’t many. However, you do get a twin slat grille typical of AMG models, flics on the air inlets, a subtle, integrated bootlid spoiler, a diffuser insert with round tail pipes, and 18-inch twin-spoke light-alloy wheels. Buyers can go for 19-inch option.
On the inside, the MBUX’s fully digital instrument cluster comes with three AMG display styles – “Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport”. Options list includes 64 color ambient lighting, Artico man-made leather with Dinamica microfibre in black with red contrasting stitching and red seat belts or in Artico leather in black/digital grey, MBUX interior assistant that enables select infotainment functions to be operated touchlessly, head-up display, and AMG Track Pace.
While the AMG flat bottom steering wheel is standard, the rotary knob with integrated display on the right, plus two configurable display buttons on the left are optional. The AMG drive programs can be actuated directly via the controller.
Speaking of the drive programs, there are “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport +” and “Individual” modes on offer. As long as ESP is activated, the 4Matic system stays in “Comfort” mode. As soon as the driver presses the “ESP Sport Handling” or “ESP Off” button, the 4Matic system switches to “Sport” mode – for even more agile handling and even higher stability limits, apparently.
Depending on the selected drive program, the variable ratio steering provides taut and sporty or more comfortable feedback, Mercedes said.
Which then brings us to the business end of the story. The 2.0-litre (1,991 cc) in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine develops 225 kW (306 hp) at 5,800 rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 3,000 – 4,000 rpm. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to the all four wheels via fully variable 4Matic AWD system. The CLA 35 4Matic is claimed to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
Also included is an AMG exhaust system that features an automatically controlled exhaust flap. Depending on the selected drive program, it can modulate the sound from balanced to powerful.
More options include Adaptive Damping System that enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. As for braking, the front axle is fitted with new 4-piston monoblock fixed calipers and 350 mm discs, the rear axle with 1-piston sliding calipers and 330 mm discs. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated to better dissipate heat and prevent brake fading, even with extreme use, the company said.
Last but not the least, Mercedes said that specific measures have been taken to strengthen the front section of the bodyshell for a precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis components, even when driving at speed. A “shear panel”, a bolted aluminum plate under the engine, increases the torsional stiffness of the front section of the CLA 35. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase the stiffness.