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Mercedes-Benz: CLA-Class News

 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:51 AM
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The interior is a little funky, but I like it.
Just wish MB would go back to the old naming conventions, by displacement. Where this would be a CLA20 AMG.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:43 AM
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It's a nice looking car but that proboscis ... Good lord.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:48 PM
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Wheels are a no go for me.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:46 AM
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Mercedes-Benz has AMG on an impressive growth curve these days, the official name of the effort being Performance 50. By the 50th anniversary of AMG in 2017, the Mercedes performance division will produce 30,000-plus units per year, up from today's 20,000 or so. In addition, AMG will boast a catalog of 30-plus models, and a greater dedication to making AMG cars truly nimble performers in every sense will be a priority. Within that very full agenda, this new CLA45 AMG is certain to be an important contributor on all accounts.

The thrill monitors at AMG have a long-established reputation for creating large, open-road rockets that err on the side of brute force and everyday comfort over zippy, tight-feeling sports car finesse and balance. The strategy has worked wonders for the company's sales ledger and created handsome levels of profit per unit, but entire developing sectors of the premium hot-car market have been knowingly left out of the AMG equation. While there are exceptions, AMG has never been considered a maker of truly agile machinery that's easily tossed around.

The very 1st thing that we notice while driving the CLA45 AMG – on schedule for North American deliveries beginning in November with a reported starting price of $47,450 – is exactly how lively its new 4Matic chassis can be. It's an entirely new feeling for an AMG, and it's entirely welcome by us. Some will complain about the price being asked for this super CLA-Class, but this little sedan is a true AMG of the new genre, and as such, it might just be something of a bargain.



Physically, we have a top-trim CLA with a handsome leather interior, very nice performance seats in front and some AMG aero extensions and trim bits to highlight the stance and darker side of the 45 AMG. The standard wheel is an 18-inch set, but our tester came dressed in 19-inchers, an option to be made available in a Driver's Package that will also extend the speed limiter to 167 miles per hour. Our 1st CLA45 tester was fitted with the Euro-standard lower and stiffer setup, and it was already very sharp. Combined with a 30:70 torque split on the 4Matic all-wheel drive and the sticky Dunlop Sportmaxx RT tires – 235/35 ZR19 91Y front and back – the CLA45 can be snapped around smartly between tight curves.

Yet the CLA45 only really pops all of your senses when fitted with the optional AMG performance suspension and exhaust system. In this fully optioned chassis, the front springs are 20-percent stiffer and rear units are 22-percent stiffer. So, if you get 1 of these, opt for both of those plus the 19-inch alloys. Thus prepped, you're bound to seriously enjoy yourself.



We were in on earlier ride-and-drives with the engineers of this little AMG. At that point, Benz reps admitted they wanted to improve the electro-mechanical steering's crispness and fidelity. Boy, do they seem to have worked out the bugs, because we felt very sure behind the wheel. Our time with the CLA45 stretched over some hilly north-central German country roads and lots of no-limit Autobahn. (Track time at the new and very hilly 2.6-mile Bilster Berg Drive Resort was in an Edition 1 trimmed A45 AMG.) The AMG-specific front axle treatment and re-engineered elasto-kinematics of the multi-link rear axle make this CLA45 unrecognizable to the AMG family we thought we knew all these years.

Certainly, the 147 additional horsepower (peaking at 6,000 rpm) and 74 greater pound-feet of torque (between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm) supplied by the new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine helps things a bit. This sweet-feeling 355-horsepower, 332-pound-feet-of-torque powerplant (internally called "M133") has been gifted with a wild maximum turbo-boost pressure of 26.1 psi from its big twin-scroll Honeywell unit, which is clearly visible when the hood is lifted. The mood button on the center console that corrals the drivetrain includes modes for Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual, and in either of the latter 2 settings, your optional exhaust will flap open and make you smile throughout the rev range and the 7 shift points of the dual-clutch AMG gearbox.



As much as we can rave about this machine, we noticed something that the AMG dudes will only halfway admit: The A45 AMG, which we won't get in North America, is a tick better at all of this performance driving stuff than the CLA45. It would have been outstanding to try an all-boxes-ticked CLA45 around the track against the A45 AMG Edition 1 cars we did have. The trouble is that the CLA45 launches in Europe this September, whereas the A45 starts selling right now, so there were no spiked CLA45s yet for us ham-fisted press mooks at the track.

Compared to the A45 AMG hot hatch, the CLA45 is more of an acutely warmed-up little grand tourer. This is not actually a criticism at all, and we sincerely dig the CLA45. But it just feels a tiny bit disingenuous to pull this punch from our trunked cars. AMG insists that the suspension calibrations are all identical between the 2 models, but every sophisticated yaw sensor on our bodies tells us that the whole story has yet to be shared. The weight difference between the A and the CLA is only 66 pounds trim for trim, so that doesn't account for it, either – perhaps it has something to do with distribution?


With the 3-stage ESP all the way off and our most aggressive driving packed with high lateral g-force maneuvers, we could feel the ESP Curve Dynamic Assist chiming in ever so slightly. Or to put that into plain English, we noticed the brake torque vectoring system while wringing the car out. On the ideal tarmac under the early summer sun, though, we didn't really need or want it to kick in, since the CLA45 was nailing every line through every single transition and weight shift. On these AMGs, when you've got the Speedshift dual-clutch transmission in manual mode, the gears are held at the rev limiter, unlike in the CLA 250 Sport. What's more, in Sport or Manual, shift times are exactly as quick as on the SLS AMG GT. Along with this true manual treat, the redline has been extended 200 rpm up to 6,700 rpm. Downshifting is still frequently forbidden, most annoyingly, right when you might need it heading into curves, and 2nd gear is too short to be of much use anyway, but the turbocharged torque rush helps out there.

Even though we'd like a Black Series CLA45 that collaborates in some clever way with the rear-biased 4Matic, we are definitely fans already of this 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG. The chassis sensations alone are happily unlike anything we've ever felt from Affalterbach. Sooner or later we won't hesitate to mention the AMG lineup in the same breath as M from BMW or even Porsche. AMG may arguably already be there in certain cases, but it takes time to break old perceptions that have been engraved over decades. The CLA45 is a fantastic start for a better, nimbler AMG.
Vital Stats
Engine:
2.0L Turbo I4
Power:
355 HP / 332 LB-FT
Transmission:
7-Speed DCT
0-60 Time:
4.5 Seconds (est.)
Top Speed:
155 MPH
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,494 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
16.6 CU-FT
MPG:
21 City / 31 HWY (est.)
Base Price:
$47,450
As-Tested Price:
$51,000 (est.)
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:05 AM
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That's S class size - I'm guessing a typo.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:10 AM
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this is a really weird looking car.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:57 PM
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nice. really gotta see this in person though, as it could be funky. one word: ILLUSIONAL

from the photos -- the palette is way too small for all of these antics. the small statured building block has been gently carved away here and there to give the illusion of muscle, while desperately sparing a usuable interior.

the big "ah-ha" moment is found in the profile of the front and rear shots -- guess what? the greenhouse isnt tapered, the fenders arent flared, and the beltline isnt ledged (as it should for this "look")...so the result is flat slabs from top to bottom (as you would find in an economy sized car, which it is). the curtain is lifted, the magicians trick is revealed and the show is over.

like i said, gotta do a 360 in person, as its very illusional.

Last edited by ThermonMermon; 06-19-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:22 AM
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$51k. GTFO Mercedes.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by srika View Post
this is a really weird looking car.
Initially, the design sorta wowed me. But the more I see it, the more it's looking a bit too overstyled.

I'm thinking the RS3 will stand the test of time a bit better.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:43 AM
  #90  
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I didn't know about it having the highest hp-per-liter until now. That is remarkable! Doesn't change my previous comment though.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

AMG's first four-cylinder is insane! The car, not so much.

June 2013
BY ERIC TINGWALL

In rural northern Germany, a €35-million investment has transformed a munitions depot into the Bilster Berg racetrack, a 19-turn, 2.5-mile playground. Four hours south in Affalterbach, Germany’s font of tire-slaying torque is facing a similar transition. At AMG’s headquarters, rear-drive brutes like the E63 AMG are being retrofitted with all-wheel drive, and the newest creation, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, suggests a more playful, less volatile future for Merc’s performance arm.

Putting the 911 Turbo in Its Place

At first glance, the CLA45 AMG’s basic attributes—huge power, a turbocharged four-cylinder, and all-wheel drive—draw parallels to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru WRX STI. In reality, these cars exist in a different kind of parallelism: The demographics of their buyers will never intersect. For one, the rally crowd wouldn’t know what to make of an interior this nice. More divisive, though, the Subaru and the Mitsubishi don’t posses the civility and docility of the Mercedes.

Don’t confuse those traits with banality. At 178 horsepower per liter, the CLA45 just knocked off the Porsche 911 Turbo in claiming the title of most power-dense production engine in the world. AMG’s secret sauce is a BorgWarner twin-scroll turbocharger custom-made for this application and capable of producing up to 26.1 psi of boost. Thus strapped, the CLA45’s four-cylinder makes 355 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 332 lb-ft of torque at 2250 rpm. Although dimensionally identical to the CLA250’s turbo four, AMG’s M133 engine uses a stronger sand-cast—rather than die-cast—aluminum block. There’s also a low-temperature cooling circuit that feeds a water-to-air intercooler.

A butterfly valve subtly alters the exhaust note in different driving modes and conditions by metering the amount of air that flows out the passenger side of the dual exhaust system. It helps produce a soundtrack that’s deeper and louder than that of the typical four-cylinder, but the timbre isn’t particularly notable. The CLA45 does, however, emit a fulfilling bbbrrraaappp with every full-throttle upshift at redline.

Unfortunately, those upshifts aren’t as quick or direct as we expect them to be. Mercedes’ new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic was the source of our largest gripe with the CLA250, and it remains so for the CLA45. The hardware is strengthened, but the engine interface still relies on a pair of dry-clutch packs. The Volkswagen Group’s wet dual-clutch transmissions shift faster and more crisply. The launch-control program, known as Race Start, is the CLA45’s one pleasantly unpolished edge. Peck the right buttons, pull the shift paddles, and push the pedals in the correct order, and the engine spins to almost 4000 rpm before the clutch hooks up. The all-wheel-drive system sends up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels via a final-drive ratio that’s been reduced from 4.13:1 in the CLA250 to a really tall 2.44:1. We predict the precisely managed traction control will send the CLA45 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

OMG! What Did You Do with My AMG?

AMG reworked the suspension with stiffer springs, dampers, bushings, and front knuckles. There are larger anti-roll bars, a solid-mounted rear subframe, and bigger vented and perforated brake discs. On the Bilster Berg racetrack, the CLA45 displayed excellent body control, following its Dunlop Sport Maxx RT tires obediently. The steering is as good as anything BMW turns out these days, and the suspension is compliant enough to be comfortable on the street, despite its limited travel.

Yet as competent as it is, the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG feels sterile when hustled on track or road. It lacks the punch of an Evo and the sensitivity of a BMW 1-series. More disturbing, the CLA45 doesn’t have the reckless streak of other AMG models. Mercedes has made 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in a car roughly the size of a VW Jetta feel downright civilized. The CLA45 doesn’t need to be any quicker, but we wish it would ignite its sensible, luxury-minded inhibitions in a cloud of tire smoke more often. View Photo Gallery
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:18 PM
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New Mercedes Benz CLA FWD

This could take a bite out of many manufacturers sales figures if it delivers MB's claims. Priced it out at Edmunds with every available option and it came in under $40M. FWD only. No 4Matic.

http://www.edmunds.com/mercedes-benz...983733&msite=w
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzmag View Post
This could take a bite out of many manufacturers sales figures if it delivers MB's claims. Priced it out at Edmunds with every available option and it came in under $40M. FWD only for now. 4Matic coming.

http://www.edmunds.com/mercedes-benz...983733&msite=w
FWD only for now. 4Matic coming.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:10 PM
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I would like to see one in person, I suspect it will get people that want to say they drive a MB, but I am sure the price point will show in the interior materials.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
I would like to see one in person, I suspect it will get people that want to say they drive a MB, but I am sure the price point will show in the interior materials.
Not according to Edmunds' review. They liked almost everything about it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:45 PM
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Very interesting, I hope that the price reflected is K rather than M....
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:22 AM
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I like the exterior, but that nav screen looks like someone just took a Garmin/TomTom and stuck it on the dash.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:02 AM
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This has to do with RLX what exactly? Moving to Car Talk.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by victorber View Post
Very interesting, I hope that the price reflected is K rather than M....
Oooops. My bad.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:47 AM
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Saw the AMG version in some car mag and you are correct, they liked all the materials and handling, minus that screen. I thought it looked pretty nice too
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:14 AM
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Isn't the AMG model actually equipped with AWD?
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:30 AM
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Honestly, the CLA could be game changer when it comes to the A4/TSX/IS/ILX segment.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick_TL-S View Post
Isn't the AMG model actually equipped with AWD?
saw it in Car and Driver I think
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:48 PM
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Car looks cool, its actually treading into Acura's territory with the ILX/TSX, VW GTI, and Lexus IS, and AUDI's A3/a4.

Its a good price point, and from what I'm reading the drive is amazing for a FWD.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:29 AM
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I've had my eye on this since it was announced some time back. Keeping an eye on it for the AMG version. Would make a nice daily...
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:12 PM
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I was in love with this car until i heard they only coming in FWD and AWD, what about RWD
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:15 PM
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^lol.
what does that change?
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by juvi22003 View Post
I was in love with this car until i heard they only coming in FWD and AWD, what about RWD
Living in the northeast, I can live with FWD or preferably AWD.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by juvi22003 View Post
I was in love with this car until i heard they only coming in FWD and AWD, what about RWD
This... Thought it was going to be sedan competitor to the 1 Series.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:47 PM
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^right, the CLA with its small 4banger producing about 200hp..
fwd vs rwd means nothing with the base CLA.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
^right, the CLA with its small 4banger producing about 200hp..
fwd vs rwd means nothing with the base CLA.
What does that have to do with anything? You don't need 300 hp to prefer RWD.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:09 PM
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:56 AM
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Doesn't matter to me really. The AWD AMG version with over 350hp and 330 lb of torque will be pretty sweet. And I'm sure with a simple chip/tune... even sweeter.

The base CLA should give a base A4 good competition though (those too are FWD if they're not AWD). I think it will do well for Mercedes. It's the perfect way to introduce the brand to who don't want to pony up for a C-class to get into their first Mercedes.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by juniorbean View Post
Doesn't matter to me really. The AWD AMG version with over 350hp and 330 lb of torque will be pretty sweet. And I'm sure with a simple chip/tune... even sweeter.

The base CLA should give a base A4 good competition though (those too are FWD if they're not AWD). I think it will do well for Mercedes. It's the perfect way to introduce the brand to who don't want to pony up for a C-class to get into their first Mercedes.
And, IMO, the CLA looks a bit better than the C-Class, on the outside at least.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FastAcura View Post
What does that have to do with anything? You don't need 300 hp to prefer RWD.
its an entry level car, aimed at the a4/tsx/and others in that category.

sounds like you want the CLA AMG.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:27 AM
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I can tell you now the Lexus and Acura are in trouble with that CLA250 priced like that.
People are badge whores as well.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:25 PM
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Is the AMG CLA going to price itself invitingly though? Is this going to be a 20k package on a 30k car?
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by El Bastardo View Post
Is the AMG CLA going to price itself invitingly though? Is this going to be a 20k package on a 30k car?
Possible, it's about $20k over the base CLA.

C250: $35k
C63: $60k

S350: $93k
S63: $140k
S65: $210k

SLK250: $44k
SLK55: $$69k

I don't think it'd be unreasonable for the CLA AMG to start around $45-50k.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:05 AM
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I think Chris Harris drove the AMG version and said it had AWD 360 Hp and goes like stink.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by El Bastardo View Post
Is the AMG CLA going to price itself invitingly though? Is this going to be a 20k package on a 30k car?
$48,375 base.

Originally Posted by OperationDarkie View Post
I think Chris Harris drove the AMG version and said it had AWD 360 Hp and goes like stink.
Autoweek drive review of the CLA45 AMG at: http://www.autoweek.com/article/2013...iews/130619854.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by OperationDarkie View Post
I think Chris Harris drove the AMG version and said it had AWD 360 Hp and goes like stink.
From what I have been reading Mercedes may have understated power as well. Everything I've seen is that the thing is a beast.
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