German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz launched the CLA 45 AMG in India in July 2014. The Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG is the newest member of the AMG Performance Brand and became the seventh member of the performance brand’s India portfolio.
Wearing the distinction of being India’s first ‘compact performance sedan’, Mercedes-Benz has marketed the CLA 45 AMG as a combination of compact proportions and an AMG engine blended together, aiming to deliver sporty performance and attract the young AMG enthusiasts.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG is also an important car from Mercedes-Benz India’s perspective for two reasons. Firstly, it introduces us to the CLA-Class compact sedan which will be making its India debut by the end of this calendar year, and secondly, the CLA 45 AMG is now the entry point to the iconic performance brand.
The talking point of the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG is its engine. Having won two international awards at the Engine of the Year Awards 2014 for the categories: ‘New engine 2014’ and ‘1.8-litre to 2-litre’, the engine wears the mantle of being the most powerful 4-cylinder series production engine in the world.
The 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder twin turbo engine produces 360 PS at 6,000 rpm and churns out 450 Nm of peak torque between 2,250 – 5,000 rpm. It is mated to an AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission and can sprint from 0 to 100 kmph in 4.6 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 270 kmph. It is also a highly efficient engine that meets the EU6 emissions standard. Returning 40.9 mpg on the combined cycle, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG meets even the most exacting requirements.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG comes equipped with the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. The system also comes with the 3-stage ESP and the ESP Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the CLA 45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button.
Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the CLA 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50:50 per cent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.
But does the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG really live up to its promise? Team autojunction.in got behind the wheel of the CLA 45 AMG and drove it for a couple of laps around the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) to decode the mystery.
For starters, the engine is silk smooth. Right from the word go, power is available at the slightest push of the accelerator and is linearly delivered throughout rev range. While you are attacking the corners of the track or just blasting off on the straight, there is plenty of power available anywhere in the rev band. As a result, it is easy to lose track of how fast you’re going if you don’t periodically check the speedometer.
The AMG suspension superbly tuned. For enhanced driving dynamics, the three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. The four-link rear axle of the CLA 45 AMG is also a totally new development aimed at proving maximum driving dynamics and control. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends.
The steering felt very light even at high speed and doesn’t feed you much information from the road. Although this characteristic might feel great on traffic-stricken roads, however, one would have liked more feedback on a rack track.
The biggest let down in the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG comes in the form of the growl. Think AMG and the first thing that crosses your mind is the ferocious growl from the AMG engine. Sadly enough, this engine sounds very refined. Apart from a small gurgle between gears, this engine doesn’t have much drama to offer. We completely understand that it is unfair to compare this 4-cylinder pot to the big V8s and V12s, but powerful as this motor is, the AMG DNA is missing.
By Joydip Sur
Mercedes-Benz Car Features
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