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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Makes Maximum Performance Attainable

4/5/2013
Priced below $30,000 and expressively designed as a 4-door coupe, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is the least expensive way to own a brand-new Mercedes-Benz. The least expensive way to own a brand-new Mercedes with AMG engineering, the 2014 CLA45 AMG, was introduced by the automaker at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.

Selling at a base price of $48,375 (including the destination charge), the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG contains a long list of AMG-engineered performance upgrades, including reworked suspension, steering, braking, engine cooling, and exhaust components designed to dramatically improve performance compared to a standard CLA250. However, it is what is under the CLA45 AMG's hood--the most powerful series-production 4-cylinder engine in the world, according to Mercedes, and the first 4-cylinder engine that AMG has ever assembled--which makes the biggest impact.

The 2014 CLA45 AMG's hand-built, turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generates 355 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 332 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,250 rpm and 5,000 rpm. A 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is standard, fed its steady diet of power by an AMG SpeedShift 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with rev-matching and Race Start functions. Mercedes-Benz provides two key performance metrics for the 2014 CLA45 AMG, claiming acceleration to 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds, and that the car can attain a top speed of 155 mph.

Three driver-selected driving programs are offered for the transmission: C (Controlled Efficiency), S (Sport), and M (Manual). The new CLA45AMG also has what Mercedes calls a "Momentary M" function, activated using the paddle shifters to temporarily engage Manual mode for passing or brief driver control. A standard Eco Start/Stop system shuts the engine off when idling in traffic or at an intersection in order to conserve fuel, but does so only when the car is in its Controlled Efficiency driving mode.

The CLA45 AMG's stability control system is also tuned specifically for this model, providing "ESP On," "Sport Handling," and "ESP Off" settings. Curve Dynamic Assist torque vectoring is standard, selectively and imperceptibly applying braking power to an inside wheel when cornering to help tighten the car's driving line, according to Mercedes.

As is customary for AMG models, the 2014 CLA45 AMG has unique styling details to ensure that it conveys its performance intentions. Highlights include an AMG body kit, dual chrome exhaust outlets on either side of a large rear diffuser panel, bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, and trim rendered in Matte Titanium Gray or Black. Badges reading "Turbo AMG" are applied to the car's flanks, and the CLA45 AMG rides on standard 18-inch light alloy wheels wearing 235/40 performance tires.

The CLA45 AMG's interior is upgraded with standard sport seats wrapped in artificial leather with microfiber inserts and red contrast stitching. A multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters, AMG instrumentation, red seat belts, and brushed aluminum trim are also standard.

Optional equipment pushes the CLA45 AMG's price beyond the $50,000 mark. Buyers can install a panoramic glass sunroof, 19-inch wheels in a choice between Titanium Gray or Matte Black finish, red-painted brake calipers, and an AMG Night Styling package with blacked-out exterior trim. Carbon fiber is available for the car's exterior and interior, and the cabin can be upgraded with an AMG steering wheel and AMG performance seats. Parktronic park-assist sensors with Advanced Parking Assist technology can also be added to the CLA45 AMG.

Collision-prevention assist and attention-assist technologies are standard for the CLA45 AMG. Safety-related options include distronic plus adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assist system, and a lane-keeping assist system.

Mercedes dealers will start taking orders for the 2014 CLA45 AMG this spring. The car arrives in the United States in November 2013.

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