AMG reveals the third member off 35-series family.
Mercedes-Benz has expanded its portfolio of compact performance cars with a new go-faster version of the CLA coupe.
Built by AMG, the CLA35 joins its hatchback and sedan stablemates in offering a strong performance without the completely over the top styling applied to 45-series cars built in Affalterbach. Individualizing the CLA35 from other CLAs are larger 18-inch alloy wheels (which optionally be inched-up to 19s), two large rear exhaust ends, which flank a functional aft diffuser, and an AMG specific front bumper moulding.
Inside the most notable AMG themed differences are those metal shift paddles, which reside behind a flat-bottom steering wheel. The cabin also features red trim stitching and if you start exploring the infotainment menus, you’ll discover a host of AMG vehicle information displays and functions not ordinarily found in any CLA.
Mechanically the CLA35 is powered by the same 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder first seen in the A35 hatchback, boosting 225 kW and 400 Nm. Those outputs are split between all four wheels, with AMG’s 4Matic system capable of biasing 50% of the CLA35’s torque delivery to its rear axle.
Performance is credibly rapid, with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission helping this sloping roofline compact AMG from 0-100 kph in 4.9 seconds and onto a governed top speed of 250 kph. For those interested in comparative statistics, the CLA35 is a tenth of a second slower than an A35 hatchback in the benchmark 0-100 kph sprint.
To ensure the CLA platform is not overwhelmed by its additional engine power, AMG’s engineers have added bracing to the front of the car in the form of an aluminium ‘shear panel’ plate under the engine and two diagonal braces. Balancing its performance are optional adaptive dampers and large brake discs, measuring 350 mm up front and 330 mm at the rear.
Mercedes-Benz will also be offering a variable-ratio steering rack for the CLA35 and customers who want some additional acoustic drama, can order a sports exhaust system with actuation valves. Global righthand drive markets are expected to receive their CLA35s by the fourth quarter of this year. South Africa, however will only see this model in early 2020.