2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 spy shots

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Even though it just unveiled a new A-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz is planning a redesign for the coupe-like CLA. Prototypes for the redesigned CLA have been out and about for a while but on Tuesday the first prototypes for one of the AMG versions was spotted.

Yes, “versions” isn't a typo as AMG is known to be working on two performance levels for the latest generation of Mercedes compact cars. There will be direct replacements for the current crop of 45 series cars, plus a new crop of slightly tamer 35 series cars.

The prototype you see here is for a CLA35. The giveaway is the circular exhaust pipe design. Range-topping AMG models, like the current CLA45 and most likely its successor (which could be called a CLA50), get a square-shaped design.

The grille looks like AMG's protruding Panamericana design but we expect a single-bar grille to be hidden beneath. The Panamericana design should be used on the range-topping CLA, however. A similar distinction can be seen between AMG's C43 and C63 models.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Under the hood of the CLA35 should be a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with approximately 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, with drive going to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Interestingly, there are rumors the car will come with an electric compressor to build boost pressure at low revs.

A similar setup is destined for the CLA45 successor but peak power in that model is likely to be 400 hp or higher, an insane figure for a compact car.

The first of AMG's new 35 series will be an A35 hatchback, tipped to debut in October at the 2018 Paris auto show. An A35 sedan is also in the works and now we can add a CLA35 to the list.

The redesigned CLA is expected on sale next year as a 2020 model. The CLA35 should arrive roughly the same time. It's main target will be Audi's S3.

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