2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA Will Offer 300- and 400-Horsepower Variants

The baby CLS AMG arrives in two forms: CLA 35 takes on the BMW M240i xDrive and the Audi S3, while the CLA 45 challenges the Audi RS3 and BMW M2.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 (Hero)
MBUSA

First, the Stuttgart-based automaker revealed the standard version of the all-new second-generation CLA-Class at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in January of this year. Now, the high-performance flagships are here and ready to take a bow. Please stand at attention as we introduce you to the new top-tier introductory hotness, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and CLA 45.

Similar to the AMG versions of the A-Class sedan, the more curvaceous and stylish CLA AMG comes in two forms. Both utilize the companies newest high-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, which is internally dubbed the “M139.” As for the CLA 35, the lower-tier, though nonetheless hot-hatch is tuned to churn out an impressive 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

But the true powerhouse is the CLA 45. Serving up 382 hp and 354 lb-ft of twist, though it might not be as powerful as the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, it still has plenty of oomph on tap. Both channel their power to all four wheels via an AMG Performance 4MATIC system through an AMG Speedshift DCT-8G dual-clutch eight-speed automatic. But that’s not all as the latest 4MATIC all-wheel drive system now has a “Drift” mode, where it configures the AMG Torque Control differentials for some good ‘ol sideways action. There, two multi-disc clutches manage the output for each real wheel and just like its big brother the E63, smokes the tires to your heart's content.

"We have completely redesigned our "45" models—from the engine and transmission through the chassis, the elaborately constructed drivetrain to the 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,” says Tobias Moers, AMG’s chairman, in the company’s official statement. “With the presentation of this, our most powerful and most dynamic compact sports car, we are also reinforcing the significance of this segment for our growth strategy.

MBUSA

Like its A-Class sibling, the CLA and its AMG variants come with similar amounts of tech and options. That, of course, means Mercedes-Benz’s innovative User Interface (MBUX) is an optional extra, offering dual 7-inch widescreen high-definition displays. Other options include Mercedes-Benz’s latest DISTRONIC radar-guided adaptive cruise control, Active Steering Assist, and a range of passive and active safety assistants.

Should neither the CLA 35 or the 45 models offer enough performance right from the get-go, buyers can spring for an adaptive suspension setup dubbed AMG Ride Control, an aerodynamic body kit package, and AMG sport seats for the 35. The 45, however, bundles that up in the AMG Dynamic Plus Package, which gives the AMG Ride Control two selectable modes, beefier brakes, and a boosted top speed of up to 167 mph versus the usual 155.

The new 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and CLA 45 are scheduled to hit dealerships sometime at the end of this year to take on the Audi S3 and the BMW M240i xDrive for the 35 models, as well as the Audi RS3 and BMW M2 for the 45. Pricing should be announced closer to that date.