If you had popped over to the Mercedes-Benz fan page on Facebook recently, you might have seen the chance to win a trip to the New York Auto Show for the unveiling of the CLA45 AMG.
This is exciting for two reasons. 1. You and a friend could win a trip to NYC to hobnob with us automotive journalists. 2. And more importantly – Mercedes will in fact be bringing the CLA45 AMG to the US.
We had anticipated the European-only A45 AMG to premier at the Geneva Auto Show but we hadn’t really expected Mercedes to unveil the CLA variant so quickly. We’re quite glad they are, however.
Both the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG, which is headed Stateside, are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine producing somewhere in the ballpark of 350 horsepower, according to MotorAuthority. Bolted to the extremely powerful four will be Mercedes seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, which – no doubt – will have been fiddled with by the nuts at AMG. The power will thankfully not be sent solely to the front wheels, like on the standard CLA, but to all four wheels.
Buyers will be sure to find plenty of AMG upgrades, including; strengthened front and rear axles, ensuring the monstrous power gets to the road reliably; electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive steering; and bigger, stronger brakes.
We expect the CLA45 AMG to make a 0-60 run in the upper four-second range.
For all that giddy up, however, customers will pay the price – at least at the dealership. The standard CLA starts at just shy of $30,000. For the AMG, the price tag will surely rocket up to near the $50,000 mark, if not above. This begs the question, then: Why would Mercedes, eager to attract younger buyers, introduce a relatively inexpensive new entry-level sedan in the US to then simply turn it up to 11? Doesn’t that essentially miss the whole point? It’s like ordering the oatmeal at a nice restaurant because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu, then having the chef top it off with a sheet of gold leaf. It’s lunacy.
That’s what we like about Mercedes – especially AMG. They’re absolute loons. They take a very sensible German car and make it crazy. And we love it.