Mercedes Launches 302 hp CLA 35 AMG

Mercedes-Benz has just announced an all-new CLA 35 AMG. It's the medium-hot version of the four-door coupe offering more than 300 hp from the same driveline as the new A 35 AMG. But it comes with a sleeker style than the A-Class hatch and sedan.

The heart of the CLA 35 is that 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. It offers up 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, sliding in under the 375 hp CLA 45. Mercedes-AMG says it has "an exciting engine sound" and that it will deliver "supremely lively response." The twin-scroll turbo has two separate exhaust ducts which split exhaust flow and reduces back pressure. That exhaust vents from an AMG exhaust with a flap to allow for more noise on demand.

Backing the engine is a seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch box. It comes with a manual mode and Race-Start launch control. The CLA 35 will get 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard that can send all the power to the front wheels or as much as 50 percent to the rears. That rear axle has a multi-disc clutch with an electro-mechanical control which Mercedes-AMG says offers faster response from the center diff.

It will have an AMG Sports suspension at all four corners. That means a unique layout with aluminum wishbones and an AMG-specific steering knuckle. That reduces unsprung mass and Mercedes says it gets a more sensitive response from the springs. AMG Ride Control suspension is optional and offers three damping modes. The variable dampers can adapt to the road and the driver within milliseconds. Mercedes-AMG has also reinforced the bare chassis. Adding stiffness and strengthening the front of the body shell. There are new diagonal braces and an aluminum plate underneath.

Stopping the CLA are four-piston fixed calipers up front on 350 mm rotors. Single piston calipers bring up the rear. Helping turn the CLA 35 is a new steering rack with variable ratio and two assist curves to deliver tighter or more comfortable steering depending on drive mode.

Setting the CLA 35 apart visually, there are wider wheel arches and a pair of power domes on the hood. The AMG grille has two louvres and an AMG front apron with splitter. At the back, they've added a diffuser, a pair of exhaust tips, and a small spoiler.

Inside, the AMG model has faux leather seating with microfibre in black with red stitching or black on grey leather. It has an AMG-specific centre console with piano black trim and a touchpad to control AMG drive options like stability control and the Ride Control suspension.

The CLA 35 gets the MBUX infotainment system standard, with intelligent assistant voice commands. The system adds AMG content like a new drive mode with AMG-look digital gauges. It also has AMG Track Pace telemetry. MBUX interior assistant is optional and allows for gesture control.

The Mercedes-AMG will have its world premiere at the New York auto show next week and is set to arrive at dealers in Canada this winter.

Hotter four-door coupe. 4/9/2019 9:00:00 AM