Mercedes CLA45 is a 360hp AMG That Americans Will Get, For a Change
All pictures from mercedesclaforum.com
With every injustice we suffer as an individual or as people, there comes a point when we must accept reality and recognize what we can change and what we cannot. When we face the facts and know in our hearts that something cannot be changed, we must adapt to the circumstances and rise up above our hardships. I must accept the cold, hard truth that no amount of bitching and complaining will make Americans love hatchbacks, no matter how practical they are or how cool they look. Logically, I know that car manufacturers cannot survive by trying to convince a population to buy something they don’t want, even though the VW Scirocco deserves to be sold here, darn it!
So yes, I did my share of whining when Mercedes announced the 360hp A45 hot hatch in the same breath they admitted that no, silly journalists, Americans won’t be getting it. But remember that fantastic Superbowl commercial with a Satanic Willem Dafoe, introducing the first front-wheel-drive Mercedes has ever sold in the US?
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That car, the CLA, is basically just a sedan version of the A-Class hatchback that the rest of the world enjoys. The sedan is available with multiple engines, but as far as we knew, the US was set to only get the 208hp 2.0L turbo-4. Yesterday, however, Mercedes officially announced the CLA45 AMG is slated for production, and it will be coming stateside. That will make entry to the famed AMG brand much lower than the $60,000 C63 aMG, currently the most reasonable model the high-performance division offers.
Like the A45, the CLA45 will deploy an all-wheel-drive system to handle the 360 ponies and 332 lb-ft of torque; the engine and tires are mated by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission only (Mercs with three pedals have been victims to strict MB-USA embargo laws for years). The most obvious difference between the two cars lies in the rear view, which, to put it kindly, looks pretty awful.
The CLA itself is just awkward in the rear; the front 2/3 of the car is so clearly designed with a hatch in mind that the finishing touches had to be designed either by committee or a disgruntled employee at 4:59 PM. The taillights still look like they melted halfway through the assembly floor and nobody had time to fix them. The rear diffuser and vents in the AMG version admittedly help break up the sight of the LED tears on the back, so while the design is more busy, the whole effect is much less depressing to look at.
The CLA45 will officially be unveiled to the public at the New York Auto Show next week. Official pricing has not been announced, so don’t believe other news outlets and their speculations.