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New York show: Mercedes-AMG warms up with CLA35

Mercedes-AMG CLA35 packs 225kW/400Nm punch, to launch in Australia in Q4 2019

Mercedes-AMG logo9 Apr 2019

MERCEDES-AMG has revealed its first CLA35 small sedan, with the coupe-style model confirmed to enter Australian showrooms at the start of the fourth quarter this year.
 
Following in the tyre tracks of its A35 hatch and sedan siblings, and sitting below the CLA45, the CLA35 is motivated by a 2.0-litre M260 turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine that produces 225kW of power at 5800rpm and 400Nm of torque from 3000 to 4000rpm.
 
A seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch automatic transmission (with paddle-shifters) sends these outputs to the ground via front-biased AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
 
As a result, the CLA35 sprints from standstill to 100km/h in a claimed 4.9 seconds – 0.2s and 0.1s slower than the A35 hatch and sedan respectively. However, all three models have the same electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
 
The CLA35’s claimed fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions on the combined cycle test are 7.2-7.3 litres per 100 kilometres and 164-167 grams per kilometre respectively.
 
Five driving modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual) allow the driver to alter engine, exhaust, transmission, steering (speed-sensitive with a variable ratio), suspension (MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear axles with adaptive dampers) and electronic stability control (ESC) settings while on the move.
 
The CLA35 takes its braking package from the previous-generation A45 hatch, with four-piston monoblock fixed callipers up front and single-pot sliding stoppers at the rear, both of which are painted silver and feature black AMG lettering. The ventilated discs measure 350mm and 330mm respectively.
 
Torsional stiffness has been increased by bolting on an aluminium plate under the engine and adding two more diagonal braces to the front of the underbody.
 
Compared to the CLA, the CLA35 picks up Mercedes-AMG’s signature twin-louvre grille and the AMG Line front bumper, albeit with silver chrome trim instead of the former’s black for the side air intakes’ louvres.
 
Side skirts bridge the 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, while a bootlid-mounted lip spoiler, the AMG Line rear bumper with a diffuser, and twin round exhaust tips feature at the back.
 
Inside, a combination of Artico artificial leather and Dinamica microfibre upholstery in black with red stitching, piping and seatbelts – or the former only in black and Digital Grey – is offered. Red accents are also found around the air vents.
 
The flat-bottom AMG steering wheel with touchpads is trimmed in black perforated leather that is contrasted by red stitching.
 
Mercedes-AMG’s new MBUX infotainment system is standard with always-on natural voice control and a unique Supersport theme. It powers a pair of displays (a central touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster) that measure 10.25-inch in size.
 
Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific says pricing and specification will be released closer to the CLA35’s launch. For reference, the first-generation 280kW/475Nm CLA45 flagship is priced from $93,430 plus on-road costs.
 
“With its iconic design and agile driving dynamics, the new CLA35 is an attractive offer for a young, active and lifestyle-conscious target group,” Mercedes-AMG chief executive officer Tobias Moers said.
 
“These customers define their requirements very clearly: They expect exciting design from their vehicle alongside superior performance and inspiring handling characteristics.
 
“The new CLA35 embodies just this attitude to life – and enables stepping in to the fascinating world of AMG driving performance in a particularly emotional way.”
 
Sales of the CLA have decreased significantly this year in the lead up to the new model’s release in the third quarter, with the 392 examples sold to the end of March representing a 58.3 per cent slide over the 941 deliveries made during the same period in 2018.

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