The A45 AMG was revealed by recording artist Usher and Mercedes and AMG executives in Geneva before tomorrow's motor show press days--but the CLA45 AMG was tucked away discreetly in a separate room, sealed off from photography by a checkpoint for cameras and recording devices.
Though no photos of tonight's CLA45 AMG reveal were allowed, we talked with officials bullish on the prospects for the new sports sedan, especially in America. Like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, the CLA45 AMG will fill a performance gap and will have few natural competitors when it goes on sale in November.
The CLA45 AMG has its powertrain in common with the A45 AMG. It's a 360-horsepower, 332-pound-feet turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive. In U.S. spec, output will probably end up at about 355 hp.
At those levels, the CLA45 AMG offers a big performance jump over the CLA 250, which we're bringing you in first-drive form this Wednesday. The entry-level car is said to be capable of zero to 60 mph runs of under 7.0 seconds; for the CLA45 AMG, it's 4.6 seconds.
The car seen at AMG Night in Geneva wore 235/35 Dunlop tires on 19-inch wheels, along with carbon-fiber packages for the exterior and interior. The same show car, which will make its way from Geneva to New York, also had unique air splitters, backlit AMG sill trim, a red-stitched dash and door panels.
Most noticeable, it also had an AMG shift lever on the center console--where the CLA 250 has a simple storage bin.
The CLA45 AMG will arrive in the U.S. this November. The price likely will come in under $50,000, which would make it a bit of an intriguing performance bargain considering the usual luxury add-ons, and the lack of a direct competitor.
We'll have the full details for you soon, as the car is expected to make its public debut next month at the New York Auto Show.