Mercedes-AMG has taken the wraps off the new CLA35, joining the related A35 hatchback and sedan in the company's compact performance line-up.
Based on the new Mercedes-Benz CLA, the AMG 35 variant gets the beefed up powertrain and go-fast cosmetic bits in line with the A35 twins, and should arrive Down Under early in the fourth quarter of this year.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol carried over from other AMG 35 models, tuned to deliver 225kW at 5800rpm, and 400Nm between 3000 and 4000rpm.
Mercedes-AMG claims the CLA35 will hit 100km/h from a standstill in 4.9 seconds, matching the sedan but 0.1s shy of the hatchback, on its way to an electrically-governed top speed of 250km/h.
That grunt is sent to the ground via an AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system which can send up to 50% of torque to the rear axle, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Distinguishing features over the Benz-badged CLA range include a sports body kit, 18-inch alloys (19-inch rims are optional), two large tailpipes sticking out the rear, a model-specific diffuser in the rear bumper, and the obvious AMG badging.
Inside, the cabin is largely the same, albeit with some little AMG-specific bits. Headlining the cockpit is Mercedes-Benz's new MBUX connected infotainment system, incorporating dual screens spanning the driver's instrument cluster and central display, while also featuring AMG-specific menus for both the driver and central displays.
The driver is also treated to a new AMG steering wheel with a flat bottom, galvanised paddle shifters, and touch-sensitive switches, trimmed in perforated leather with red top-stitching.
Further changes have been made under the skin, including increased rigidity in the chassis, optional adaptive dampers, 350mm front and 330mm rear perforated brake discs with four-piston calipers up front and one-piston units at the back, both finished in silver, a model-specific steering rack with variable ratio, a variable sports exhaust system, along with the option of an on-board AMG Track Pace data logger.
The latter is built into the MBUX infotainment system, and monitors 80 vehicle-specific data (such as speed, acceleration, etc.) when driving on a racetrack. Lap and sector times are also displayed, in addition to the difference between respective times. Mercedes says 0-100, quarter mile and 100-0 values can be measured, while the MBUX's augmented reality function can display the ideal racing line.
Following its global premiere at the New York motor show on April 16, European markets will commence deliveries around August.
Australia, meanwhile, is scheduled to get the AMG CLA45 early in the fourth quarter of 2019, with pricing and specifications to be detailed closer to launch.
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