Speaking at the Australian and New Zealand launch of the turbocharged four-wheel drive CLA250 Sport (pictured), Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman David McCarthy said he would not be surprised if the mid-level model became the range’s most popular.
"I would think [for CLA-Class] it [the 250 Sport] would be the most popular."
Powered by an A250 Sport-matching 155kW/350Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport sits between the entry-level 115kW/250Nm CLA200, priced from $49,900, and the flagship 265kW/450Nm CLA45 AMG at $86,900.
Though bridging the performance and pricing gap between its CLA-Class siblings, starting at $64,900, the CLA250 Sport is also up $1500 from its initially introduced price, following a late decision to sell the all-paw 4MATIC variant over the originally planned front-wheel-drive version.
Citing cost and delivery wait time differences, McCarthy said, "I think they'll be a lot of people that drive a [CLA]250 and perhaps decide not to place an order for a [CLA]45 [AMG].” Though he stressed, “But they're very different cars."
With local CLA45 AMG delivery dates moving towards early next year, McCarthy said wait times for the performance model are coming down, despite strong demand continuing.
“We're getting more cars,” McCarthy said.
Either way, the wait for eager CLA45 AMG owners is a cinch compared with the delays for the A45 AMG – confirmed by the local PR head to have once been pushed back as far as 2016 but now likely for the third quarter of 2015.
CarAdvice is currently in New Zealand for the launch of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA250 Sport 4MATICs, so stay tuned for upcoming reviews on both.