Mercedes Benz CLA 45 AMG
The AMG CLA 45 has aggressive styling and athletic driving dynamics while still displaying MB polish,… this is a car that came to play.
Outfitted with a transverse inline-four engine producing a eye-popping 188 horsepower per liter, it makes for one helluva daily drive. A host of recent updates have made the CLA45 4Matic (already a serious performer when it debuted for 2014) even stouter today. All told this makes this power unit the MOST POWERFUL FOUR-CYLINDER IN THE WORLD, sporting 375 horsepower and 350ft-lp of torque.
With its scrappy attitude and raucous four-cylinder blat, the all-wheel-drive CLA45 has always traded some polish for boost pressure. A twin-scroll turbocharger still pumps a hefty 26.1 psi into AMG’s hand-assembled 2.0-liter M133 mill. But the addition of a new exhaust camshaft and a retuned computer for 2016 have upped its output by 20 horsepower and 18 lb-ft of torque for heady totals of 375 and 350. Amplified by AMG Performance exhaust system, the CLA45 buzzes through its rev range like a chainsaw—at up to 88 decibels under full duress—and emits a sharp brrapp on upshifts at anything more than half throttle.
A snappy, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic harnesses the engine’s output with deft control, readily serving up rev-matched downshifts in its more aggressive settings and offering precise actuation via shift paddles on the CLA’s steering wheel. The AMG-tuned transmission’s quickness on the move does help counter the lag from the big turbo.
The big trade-off for the 45’s sports-car-like performance is that you cannot turn off its rambunctiousness. The whole car thrums to the feisty four-banger’s pulse, and the AMG suspension is stiff and short in travel, feeling rigid even in the softer of its two damper settings.
All in all, this is a solid vehicle for all trades…. the ultimate urban assault, or all the way to the track!
November 1, 2021