Following in the design footsteps of the CLS63 AMG, the all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG comes in at almost half the price. The CLA45 AMG is making its world debut at the 2013 New York auto show, and from the looks of it, the new AMG will be sure to turn some heads. The front end is distinctive, yet similar to the CLS63 with the AMG 'twin blade' radiator grille and cross member in the AMG front fascia (both painted matte titanium gray). Large air inlet ports are framed by black winglets designed to improve airflow, while bi-xenon headlights come standard (as well as two rear LED taillights).
The CLA45 AMG's light-alloy wheels are inlayed in titanium gray, which conceal the high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated front and rear disc brakes. The side of the AMG is accented with matte titanium sill panels, while TURBO AMG badging accents the fenders. Highlighting the rear are two chrome-plated exhaust pipes with butterfly valves that add style and sound.
The CLA45 AMG is powered by a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that puts out 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 is an impressive 4.5 seconds while top speed comes in at 155mph. The engine's twin-scroll turbocharger makes for a more efficient and exciting ride by making better use of the exhaust gas back pressure, temp, and momentum -- resulting in quicker torque from a lower rev point, according to AMG. Also improving fuel consumption is the combination of multiple injection and spark ignitions, lowering exhaust emissions.
The hand-built engine is mated to AMG's dual clutch Speedshift DCT 7-Speed sports transmission, and the power is put down to all four wheels via its all-wheel drive system. There are three driving programs, a rev-matching function, and a Race Start feature designed to optimize acceleration out of the gate. Another feature designed for driver safety and enjoyment is the 'Momentary M' program. In the C and S modes, the driver is able to activate Manual mode without moving a hand off the wheel by pressing the up or down shift paddle once. According to AMG, it also provides optimal performance where upshifts occur automatically when the rev limiter is reached. ECO Start/Stop technology is also active in the C mode.
The car's three-stage ESP system allows the driver to choose different handling feels. For a neutral driving experience, choose 'ESP ON.' 'SPORT Handling' can be achieved by briefly pressing the ESP button, while pressing and holding the button activates 'ESP OFF,' which is not for normal street use and should be reserved for experienced drivers on a closed track. For those of us who aren't experienced race drivers, pressing the brake pedal will initiate all safety functions for the duration of the brake application.
The 2014 CLA45 AMG starts at $47,450, well short of the CLS63 AMG's $95,900 base price and some ten grand less than the C63 AMG, with performance stats that aren't that far off from either of its AMG stablemates. Is it worth it? From what we can make of it thus far, the combination of AMG technology and performance should make the CLA45 AMG worth every penny.