Hot Mercedes-AMG CLA models, set to rival the Audi S3 and RS 3 saloon, spotted testing ahead of 2019 reveal
Mercedes-AMG is working on two hot versions of the CLA compact saloon that will be at dealers before the end of the year. These spy shots of two different test cars show that both a CLA 35 and full-fat CLA 45 will take the fight to the four-door versions of the Audi S3 and RS 3 when they go on sale in late 2019.
Essentially a booted version of the A-Class, the CLA sports styling that will bear a close resemblance to its hatchback relative, with the only major change coming at the rear. The new fastback shape is topped off with a large lip spoiler on the trailing edge of the boot lid, while additional downforce is generated through a large rear diffuser.
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Though both test mules wear a full body camouflage, there are subtle differences that separate the two. The CLA 45 – most obviously distinguishable in these shots through the bright yellow paint peeking out from beneath the camo – features more aggressive bumpers front and rear, wider wheel arches and four exhaust tips to the 35’s two.
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Mechanically, the pair will be identical to their A-Class counterparts. That means the CLA 35 will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine sending its 302bhp and 400Nm to all four wheels.
Power figures for the A 45 – and therefore its CLA 45 counterpart – were leaked via a German car insurance website. It’ll be offered in two power outputs: a standard version will offer 382bhp, while the most potent S version will offer 416bhp. It’ll likely achieve its performance with the help of hybrid assistance – the brand’s EQ Boost tech will be used to all but eliminate turbo lag.
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The outgoing CLA 45 accelerated from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds with ‘just’ 376bhp on tap, so expect the new version to get close to potentially dipping below the four second mark.
The Mercedes-AMG A 35 is priced from £35,580. The previous generation CLA carried roughly a £4,000 premium over the equivalent A-Class, so expect the CLA 35 to kick off from close to £40,000. The 45 will be pricier still, with a circa-£49,000 tag likely.
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