• Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC

Grille Next Door: Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC+

The compact class, super-sportscar

Matthew Guy By: Matthew Guy July 9, 2019

Are you looking for a compact car with the grille of an AMG GT R Coupe and nearly four hundred horsepower? Good news! The company has been busy readying the new CLA 45, complete with power to all four wheels and a dual-clutch transmission.

“We have completely redesigned our CLA 45,” said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH and holder of the world’s longest business card on which to fit his official title. “All with one goal: to raise vehicle dynamics and the sporty driving experience to a level previously unimaginable in the compact class.”

Things are off to a great start with what lies under the hood. With an output of 382 horsepower, Merc claims this newly developed 2.0-litre engine is one of the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engines, one which shares turbo tech with the mighty AMG 4.0-litre V8 engine found in the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. That’s a bump of 7 horses over the old car, by the way. Maximum torque has also increased from 350lb.-ft  to 354lb.-ft of twist. This is a high-revving engine: max torque shows up between 4750-5000 rpm. Expect a 0-100km/h time of approximately four seconds.

Outside, the family relationship with other AMG products has never been clearer. It has an expressive appearance with its jet-like external air inlets, plus the appearance of That Grille. A front splitter transitions into the side air curtains ahead of the front wheels, which helps to sort out the airflow and improve aero-performance. Viewed from the side, those wider AMG skirts visually lowers the CLA 45 so that it appears to hug the road in a clever bit of visual chicanery. Twin round exhaust cannons and a wide rear apron finish off the rear fascia.

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC

The developers at AMG extensively reinforced the bodyshell of the CLA 45 4MATIC+, providing a solid basis for precise self-steering characteristics, track and camber stability, and high-speed driving dynamics. A lightweight aluminum plate bolted underneath the engine, a so-called “shearing plate”, is said to increase torsional rigidity. This’ll help with body roll, not that the old car had any problems in that particular department.

Like its bigger AMG brethren, The new engine of the CLA 45 4MATIC+ is entirely assembled by hand. On the first floor of the AMG engine factory in Affalterbach, a newly designed production line was installed to bring the Mercedes-AMG “One Man, One Engine” principle in line with Industry 4.0 methods. That’s marketing-speak for the company improving the engine builder’s workstations to make them more efficient and ergonomic.

Well-heeled buyers will want to pop for the AMG Track Pace package which serves as a virtual crew chief, able to record and analyze vehicle-specific data and times on closed routes. Many of these values can be displayed on the widescreen cockpit or on the optional head-up display in real-time.

But let’s be real – it’s all about that grille. The CLA 45 4MATIC+ goes on sale later this year.