Mercedes-Benz today introduced an even more powerful and sportier version of its two entry-level cars. Slotting above the A 35 and CLA 35, the new 2020 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45 4MATIC+ are the pocket rockets we were waiting for.
With a newly developed 2.0-litre turbo engine a.k.a. the world's most powerful four-cylinder in series production, these models generate up to 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque in base trim or an amazing 421 horsepower and 369 pound-feet in S trim. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is completed in four seconds only, give or take a tenth of a second depending on the model.
- Also: After the Mercedes-AMG A 35, here's the 2020 CLA 35
- Also: 2020 Mercedes-AMG A 35 4MATIC to Land in Canada Early Next Year
In both cases, power goes through a new eight-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission that is said to offer considerably faster gearshifts.
For optimum traction, a fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system distributes torque at the rear axle on a wheel-selective basis using AMG TORQUE CONTROLS. This is made possible by a new rear-axle differential that features two multidisc clutches (one for each wheel). And if you deactivate stability control and use the paddle shifters, you’ll even have access to a Drift function!
Incidentally, drivers can choose between six AMG DYNAMIC SELECT modes. Toggling between "Slippery", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport+", "Individual" and "RACE" (included in the optional AMG Track Package) will change the response of the engine, the timing of the transmission, the sound of the exhaust system and the firmness of the suspension.
"We have completely redesigned our ‘45’ models—from the engine and transmission through to the chassis, the elaborately constructed drivetrain and body structure, and of course the design itself—all with one goal: to raise vehicle dynamics and the sporty driving experience to a level previously unimaginable in the compact class," said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
AMG-specific design features, such as a radiator grille with twelve vertical louvres, wider AMG side skirts and a chrome-accented front splitter clearly denote these two compact cars as members of the Mercedes-AMG family. The widened front fenders with flared wheel arches are notable, too. This muscular impression is even stronger with the A 45 4MATIC+ than with the CLA 45 4MATIC+ since the basic CLA already has a wider front track and the wings could be flared to a lesser extent.
Optional exterior features include an AMG Aerodynamic package, 19-inch forged wheels in a cross-spoke design, plus black chrome accents as part of the AMG Night Package.
Inside, you’ll find contoured sport seats with firm lateral support, an AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather and the MBUX infotainment system featuring AMG-specific content.
So far, only the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC+ has been confirmed for Canada. It will arrive by the end of this year (and be joined by the A 35 and CLA 35). Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the 421-horsepower variants!