Even though it's just launched the new 2019 A-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz is planning a redesign for the similarly sized CLA.
Prototypes for the new coupe-like sedan have been out and about for a while but we now have spy shots and video of prototypes for one of the planned AMG versions.
Yes, “versions” isn't a typo as AMG is 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 first of which is the A35 hatchback unveiled in October at the 2018 Paris auto show.
The prototypes you see here are for a CLA35. The giveaway is the circular exhaust pipe design. Range-topping AMG models, like the current CLA45, and most likely its successor, 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 CLA45, however. A similar distinction can be seen between AMG's C43 and C63 models.
Like the A35 hatchback, the CLA35 will feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 making 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive will also be part of the package. This combination should result in 0-60 mph acceleration in around 4.5 seconds.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 hatchback
Beyond the power boost, the CLA35 should also benefit from increased body rigidity and performance tuning of the transmission and all-wheel-drive system compared to the regular CLA models.
The redesigned CLA is expected on sale in late 2019 as a 2020 model. The CLA35 should arrive roughly the same time. It's main target will be Audi's S3. Note, an A35 sedan is also in the pipeline.
As for the next 45 series cars, we hear they will come with eight-speed dual-clutch transmissions and over 400 hp (the outgoing 45 series cars come with 375 hp). There are also rumors that there will be both standard and extra spicy S variants, so AMG fans already spoiled for choice will have even more options to choose from