415bhp Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 prices and specs revealed

New Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S has more power than the Audi RS3 Saloon and starts from £52,145

Prices for the 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S will start at £52,145. The fastest-ever version of the CLA was launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year, with the most powerful of two variants of the car launched developing 415bhp. The CLA 45 is on sale now, with first deliveries scheduled to take place before the end of the year.

Unlike the Mercedes-AMG A45 (also shown for the first time at Goodwood), only one of the CLA 45 models is coming to the UK. We’ll only get the more powerful 415bhp CLA 45 S, and not the standard 382bhp CLA 45 model.

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The CLA 45 S produces 20bhp more than its main rival, the Audi RS3 Saloon. This helps it sprint from 0-62mph in just four seconds - two tenths faster than the Audi - and on to a limited top speed of 168mph. The car still uses a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, but it has been heavily upgraded for the new model.

Just as with the Mercedes-AMG A45, the engine block has been rotated to move the air intake closer to the front of the car. This is said to help both cooling and aerodynamic efficiency. Most of the engine’s power comes near the top of the rev range because Mercedes has tried to make the engine feel like a non-turbo engine. At the back of the car, the exhausts have a valve that can open under hard acceleration to make the car even louder. The CLA 45 S comes with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and 4MATIC four-wheel-drive as standard.

Powerful Mercedes-AMG models are known for their ability to drift and the new CLA 45 S follows suit with a new drift mode. The car’s computer can meter out varying amounts of power to each wheel, keeping you in a controlled slide around a corner if the mood takes you. It’s worth noting that this shouldn’t be attempted on public roads. The AMG CLA also comes with chassis refinements and extra strengthening over the standard model.

Showing its position at the top of the range, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S features aggressive new styling updates. A huge ‘Panamerica’ grille with vertical slats takes up plenty of the nose, and makes the car look like a mini Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door. The bonnet is bulged slightly to hint at the power underneath, and the 19-inch alloy wheels give glimpses of AMG brakes with red-painted calipers. Four exhaust pipe finishers are included and the boot lid has a small spoiler.

Inside, you’re treated to AMG-specific sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and yellow accents. Much of the interior is shared with the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, including the ‘MBUX’ infotainment system with two screens atop the dashboard. In this fast version, the car’s augmented navigation software can show the ideal racing line on a real-time view of the racing track you’re driving on - provided the circuit is pre-installed on the car’s computer. The screens can also show you the G-forces you’re experiencing and display lap times.

Read our review of the standard Mercedes CLA, and see where it features in our list of best large family cars.

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