Mercedes’ 45 AMG setup had been a surprise for many, especially with the Affalterbach’s affinity towards the large V8s and V12s. But AMG stamped their class on the puny 2.0-litre by pumping 180bhp specific output per litre of displacement, a record for production cars back then. And its India debut was marked by the CLA 45 AMG, Mercedes’ welterweight rocket.
After the regular CLA underwent its share of nips and tucks as a part of the customary mid-life updates, it is the AMG's turn. Just like the new CLA, the AMG gets single horizontal slatted grille instead of the diamond grille that marked the previous generation. It also gets all-new LED headlamps with fresh changes to the bumper design. You also have the funky fluorescent yellow highlights on the aero bits to make sure you won’t be able to pass quietly, under the radar.
On the inside, the CLA 45 AMG continues with its all-black Alcantara leather-clad interior. The layout, though, has been changed to match the new CLA layout which gets the larger touchscreen. The 2.0-litre four-pot screamer of a turbocharged petrol engine makes its presence felt and now develops 375bhp of power and 475Nm of torque. Mated to a custom tuned seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, the engine sends power to all four wheels through the 4matic drivetrain.
At Rs 75.20 Lakhs ex-showroom, the Mercedes CLA practically has no rivalry from any of its direct competitors. But for this kind of money, you do have a few fancy options. For example, you can go for the recently launched Audi S5 which gets a 3.0-litre turbo V6 that pumps out 335bhp of power and has much more space inside as well. If you want something snug, you have the Audi TT to look at.
And then, there is the Ford Mustang, with its typical American brazen demeanor, a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 under its hood and the pony to flaunt. At a couple of lakhs more than the CLA, you can get yourself a Porsche 718 Cayman and you know what would be more fun. Coming into the mainstream, you have the Mercedes E350d limo or the BMW 530d and both of them are diesels. And you can get SUVs as well. Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery – you name it and it is all there in this price bracket.
But then, the CLA has its unique skill set as well. It looks gorgeous with those curvy lines and the alloy wheels just nail it. The four-pot motor is a cracker to drive as well as hear and from those who know what a CLA 45 AMG means, you will be treated with respect.