The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 Has 382 HP and a Rear-Drive Drift Mode
The all-new CLA45 packs the world's most powerful series-production four-cylinder.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 has a 382-hp turbocharged engine and an all-wheel-drive system with a Drift mode.
AMG says it will hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, 0.6 second quicker than its claim for the 302-hp CLA35.
The CLA45 goes on sale in the U.S. late this year; so far, there are no plans to bring the 416-hp CLA45 S across the pond.
Mercedes-AMG recently showed off its newest engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that is the world's most powerful series-production four-cylinder. Now, AMG has revealed the first car that the new engine will be going into: The second-generation CLA45, a compact "four-door coupe" that packs a whole lot of power: 382 horsepower, to be exact, 7 hp more than the outgoing model.
But before we get into the details, a caveat. The car in these photos is a Euro-spec CLA45 S, which packs 416 horsepower and a number of other features not found on the "base" CLA45; so far, Mercedes says it has no plans to bring the S model to the United States, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.
The CLA45's 382-hp turbo four—more details on it here—is mated to a 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system and a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that delivers superfast shifts and strong acceleration no matter the gear. With its standard launch-control function, Mercedes says the CLA45 will hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, a tenth quicker than its claim for the 2019 model—which went from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds in our testing. Top speed is quoted at 155 mph. An AMG exhaust system is standard and has a flap that automatically opens or closes depending on the driving mode for better noise.
The new, variable 4Matic system packs what Mercedes calls AMG Torque Control on the rear axle differential. Essentially, there's an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch connected to a driveshaft for each rear wheel, which allows torque to be distributed between both the front and rear wheels and each rear wheel individually. That means the CLA45 can send 100 percent of its 354 lb-ft of torque to just the rear wheels, making it essentially rear-wheel drive, and when equipped with the available Drift mode, the CLA45 will be able to easily do just that: drift. Mercedes doesn't detail exactly what the mode does to achieve the "spectacular" powerslides it says the CLA45 can do, but it requires stability control to be deactivated and the car to be in manual mode.
Also part of the 45's range of enhancements are up to six different configurable driving modes, the AMG Dynamics stability-control system that debuted on the updated C63, model-specific steering tuning, and additional chassis bracing. The CLA45 has different suspension tuning and a number of new components, and three-mode adaptive dampers are optional. Up front are 13.8-inch brake discs with four-piston calipers, while the rears are 13.0-inch discs with single-piston calipers. An available Dynamic Plus package adds the adaptive dampers, an increased top speed of 167 mph, touch control buttons on the steering wheel, bigger brakes with red calipers, and the aforementioned Race and Drift modes.
Compared to its lesser CLA250 and AMG CLA35 brethren, the 45 is visually distinguished by AMG's vertically slatted Panamericana grille and large lower air intakes in the front bumper. The front fenders are wider, there are new side skirts, and a bigger rear diffuser houses quad round exhaust pipes. Multiple 19-inch wheel designs are available, and the CLA45 can be had with exterior styling packages that add more gloss-black trim pieces, more chrome trim pieces, or additional aerodynamic enhancements like front dive planes and a rear spoiler that increases downforce.
On the inside, there are new sport seats, an AMG steering wheel, gloss-black trim, stainless-steel pedals, a ton of special displays and functions for the MBUX infotainment system, and a whole bunch of AMG badges. Standard upholstery is a combination of black MB-Tex and microsuede, with a number of red accents covering bits including the seatbelts, the air vents, and the stitching. Leather upholstery in multiple two-tone color schemes will be available, along with AMG Performance bucket seats.
Mercedes hasn't announced pricing for the CLA45, but when it goes on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year it should be a bit more expensive than the current model's $54,095 base price. If the CLA45 S makes its way across the pond, it could arrive a few months later with a sticker price about $10,000 higher.
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2020 Mercedes Amg Cla 45 4Matic+ - The World's Most Powerful Series Production Four Cylinder