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Mercedes CLA slips in below $50,000

October fest: Mercedes has confirmed pricing and timing for its CLA sedan including the hot CLA 45 AMG.

October arrival for $50,000 Mercedes CLA 200 and $86,900 CLA 45 AMG

Mercedes-Benz logo11 Jul 2013

MERCEDES-BENZ has priced its slinky new CLA sedan smack-bang between the related A-Class hatchback and the slightly shorter, but more upmarket, C-Class.

The company today released local details on its three-variant, all petrol (for now) line-up — including the hardcore CLA 45 AMG — ahead of a progressive launch starting in October.

Kicking things off is the CLA 200, which shares its modular front-drive platform and its 115kW/250Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with the A 200. At $49,900 plus on-road costs, it’s $9000 more than the A 200, but $10,000 cheaper than the C200.

Standard features the CLA gains, such as bi-xenon headlights and satellite navigation, narrow its premium over the A-Class hatch considerably, though.

Also standard are automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels and a reversing camera.

Power is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Fuel-saving features including an idle-stop system and the 0.23Cd aerodynamic styling (Benz says the CLA is the world’s most aerodynamic road car) keep fuel use to a claimed 5.7 litres per 100km.

At the top of the food chain is the manic, all-wheel-drive AMG, which harnesses the performance of the handmade 265kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine via a seven-speed auto. At 4.6 seconds, the 0-100km/h sprint time pushes into serious performance car territory.

In most conditions the AWD system is front-biased, but can split the torque evenly between the front and rear wheels in slippery situations.

At a starting price of $86,900, it costs $12,000 more than the mechanically identical A 45 AMG hatch.

All AMG versions will get a driver’s package that increases top speed to 270km/h, as well as 19-inch alloys, an AMG performance steering wheel, a Harmon Kardon surround sound system, and radar cruise control.

Both of these range bookends will hit Mercedes showrooms from October 1, with the CLA 45 AMG arriving just one month after the A 45 version.

Mercedes-Benz Australia says it is not unreasonable to expect initial orders for the AMG to outstrip the base version. This extraordinary statistic reflects Australia’s lust for performance cars — per capita, we are the world’s largest AMG market.

Occupying the middle ground will be the as-yet unseen CLA 250 Sport, which uses a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 155kW and a hefty 350Nm of torque, again sent to the front hoops via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

It will cost from $63,400, or $13,500 more than the A250 hot hatch. However, unlike the CLA 200 and the AMG, the 250 will not go on sale here until February next year.

Mercedes-Benz says this is because only the regular (non-Sport) CLA 250 is currently in production. Sport production will commence later this year, meaning Australia will actually be one of the first markets to get the car.

The Sport is differentiated from the regular CLA 250 by its AMG add-ons, diamond grille design, heated leather memory seats, adaptive headlights, AMG wheels, metallic pedals, firmer suspension and smaller steering wheel.

In time, Mercedes says, the CLA 250 Sport will likely become the most popular variant in the range.

A diesel version, probably the 100kW/300Nm CLA 200 CDI, will likely come to Australia later in 2014.

2013 Mercedes-Benz CLA pricing*
CLA 200$49,900
CLA 250$63,400
CLA 45 AMG$86,900

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