New Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Shooting Brake revealed

The Mercedes CLA 35 arrives with 302bhp and £40k price tag

Mercedes has launched the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, a high-performance version of its CLA Shooting Brake estate. The car uses the same underpinnings as the Mercedes-AMG A35 hatchback and will sit at the top of the CLA Shooting Brake range, with a price of around £40,000.

The CLA Shooting Brake is effectively an estate version of the Mercedes A-Class, and the AMG 35 models of both cars use the same 302bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Four-wheel drive is standard, as is a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The CLA is slightly heavier than the A-Class, so it’s not quite as quick from 0-62mph, but it will still manage it in under five seconds.

The best fast estates you can buy

Unlike the A35 hatchback, however, the CLA 35’s four-wheel-drive system isn’t switched on all the time. To save fuel, the CLA can switch between front- and four-wheel-drive, and Mercedes claims it will do up to 37.6mpg as a result.

Under the bodywork, the CLA Shooting Brake has been enhanced to deal with the power on offer. The front disc brakes are much larger than the standard car, and Mercedes has rejigged the traction control system to include a sport mode, which will make the electronic stability programme (ESP) intervene less often than normal. Adaptive suspension is an optional extra.

There are five driving modes to choose from, ranging from Comfort (front-wheel drive only for better fuel economy) to Sport +, the most aggressive setting. Select this mode and the response from the accelerator is improved and the gearshifts get quicker. The CLA 35’s interior features sports seats, an AMG steering wheel and new trim finishers. Mercedes’ latest infotainment system is fitted, and you can choose extras including leather upholstery, even more supportive seats, and illuminated steel door plates.

Despite the standard CLA only coming in sporty AMG Line trims, the full AMG version adds to the aggressive styling with new 18-inch wheels, a redesigned front grille, and new front and rear bumpers. The back end also features a restyled diffuser with large exhaust tips. Raid the options list and your CLA can have 19-inch alloys and an Aerodynamic Package, consisting of a front splitter, rear spoiler and black canards on the front bumper. These are supposed to shape the airflow and help cool the brakes.

Read our review of the Mercedes CLA, or see where the AMG A35 features on our list of the fastest hot hatchbacks.

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