2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG (US Version)

2014 Mercedes‑Benz CLA 45 AMG (US Version)

By Arthur Demi via Mercedes-Benz

Quick Specs

Price $47,450

Power 355 hp

Torque 332 lb.-ft.

0-60 mph 4.5 sec.

2014 CLA45 AMG (US Version)

Mercedes-Benz AMG celebrated its world debut of the 2014 model year CLA45 AMG at the New York International Auto Show. Set to go on sale in the U.S. this November, the four-door coupe follows in the design footsteps of the successful CLS63 AMG, the trendsetter for four-door high-performance coupes. With 355 horsepower and torque of 332 lb.-ft., the 2014 CLA45 AMG is the world's most powerful four-cylinder production engine. The AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system on the CLA45 AMG sets new standards in its segment as well.

Ola Källenius, outgoing CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "In the CLA45 AMG, Mercedes-AMG presents a unique and absolutely desirable automobile with the characteristic AMG genes. The high-tech package with the world's most powerful four-cylinder production engine and performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive stands for 'Driving Performance' at its best."

Pure AMG: the most powerful four-cylinder production engine in the world

The 2014 CLA45 AMG two-liter turbo engine is the most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder production engine with 355 hp and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The combination of high power, strong torque and performance-oriented all-wheel drive lends the CLA45 AMG superb driving performance. The powerful coupe sprints from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Mercedes-AMG achieves these impressive figures by the use of high-tech engineering throughout the engine and related systems. The combination of multiple injection and multiple spark ignition on each piston stroke improves fuel atomization and substantially increases thermodynamic efficiency, ontributing to low exhaust emissions. Other highlights include a sand-cast aluminum crankcase, weight-optimized crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimized piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder lining technology, water-to-air intercooling, alternator management and ECO Start/Stop function.

Twin-scroll turbochargers and AMG sports exhaust system with butterfly valve

Mercedes-AMG addresses the challenge of small-displacement turbo engines by using a twin-scroll turbocharger, minimized restrictions in the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. Twin-scroll technology makes effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, temperature and momentum to provide a faster build-up of boost pressure, for a quicker build-up of torque from low revs. Twinscroll technology also benefits gas mileage and exhaust emissions. With boost pressure of 11.9 psi (0.8 bar), the AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine also leads the field with the highest boost pressure used in a production engine.

The AMG Sports Exhaust system features large pipes and an automatically controlled butterfly valve in the exhaust system. This technology (also used in the SLK55 AMG) allows the CLA45 AMG to deliver a distinctive sound on acceleration while also offering a refined note at sustained speed, such as during highway cruising. The valve is continuously adjusted by the engine computer, based on signals about gas pedal position and engine speed.

The exhaust butterfly valve provides a more striking exhaust note when the throttle is open and during shifts. It also produces an especially strong sound during downshifts using the rev-matching feature as well as during upshifts under full load with the momentary suppression of ignition and injection. And, the AMG Performance Exhaust system creates an enhanced exhaust note that is typically reserved for engines with more than four cylinders.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG (US Version)

High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG GT

The high power of the CLA45 AMG calls for a highly effective cooling system. Similar to technology in the SLS AMG GT, an extra low-temperature cooling circuit is installed for water-to-air intercooling of the pressurized intake air. A large radiator at the very front of the cooling module is supplemented by a second radiator in the wheel well. A high-performance electric pump provides high flow through the water radiators behind the large air intakes and the intercooler. This provides ideal cooling of the highly compressed intake air, contributing to optimum engine performance.

Cooling of transmission oil is integrated into the engine water cooling circuit. The radiator behind the front fascia is supported by another heat exchanger, which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water by an auxiliary pump.

"One man, one engine": engine production the traditional artisan way

Like all AMG V8 and V12 engines, the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine is hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine" on an exclusive assembly line for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda, Germany. The "one man, one engine" production process is evident in the AMG engine plate bearing the personal signature of the engine builder. The engine plate serves as a symbol of AMG's superlative production quality and underscores the peerless genes of the Mercedes-Benz high-performance brand.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed sports transmission

Dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive - the drive train on board the CLA45 AMG is a dramatic demonstration of engineering prowess. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed sports transmission is mounted directly to the transversely installed AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The dual clutch transmission of the CLA45 AMG features seven gears, three driving programs, a rev-matching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The highlights of the AMG DCT sports transmission include fast shifts without interrupting power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gearshifts and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gears ensure maximum durability, and synchronizer rings with carbon-fiber friction linings improve longevity while also optimizing response during manual gearshifts - the ideal situation for ambitious lap times on a closed circuit.

"Momentary M mode" for even greater dynamics and driving pleasure

Another special feature designed to enhance performance and driving pleasure is the "Momentary M" program. In the C and S shift modes, the driver can activate the “M” manual mode without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by simply pressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In "Momentary M" mode, the driver experiences the dynamics and performance in all automatic driving programs, with automatic upshifts only at the rev limit. This allows drivers to devote their full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.

The shift times in manual mode "M" and in sport mode "S" are similar to the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Momentary suppression of ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts with a more exciting sound than ever. In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), soft transmission and engine characteristics are conducive to a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. In addition, the ECO Start/Stop function is active in "C" mode.

AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The development focus for the standard AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive was on "performance" and "dynamic spirit." A compact power take-off unit (PTU) that's fully integrated into the 7-speed sports transmission transfers power to the rear wheels. Its lubrication is supplied by the same oil circuit as the transmission, resulting in substantial weight advantages compared with rival systems, which use an add-on PTU with a dedicated circuit. Together with low-friction tapered roller bearings, the PTU delivers excellent efficiency. As an additional bonus, the weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent less than the systems offered by competitors.

A two-part propeller shaft transfers engine power to the rear wheels. Contributing to favorable weight distribution, a multi-disc clutch is integrated into the rear differential. An electronically controlled hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels engine torque dynamically to the rear wheels when needed. All this takes place virtually unnoticed by the driver. For fast response, the pump is always active and doesn't need to be started each time it's needed (as is usually the case with other systems). The torque split is fully variable: in normal driving, the CLA45 AMG is frontwheel drive for optimal efficiency. If the system senses any front wheel slippage, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive distributes torque between front and rear wheels at a ratio of up to 50 : 50. The variables influencing the torque split are speed differences between individual wheels, vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, selected gear and accelerator position.

3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist

An exclusive feature of the CLA45 AMG is the interaction of the 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable drivers to vary the dynamics of the CLA45 AMG according to their individual preferences at the push of a button. The normal "ESP ON" mode helps the driver maintain safe and neutral handling. The system initiates braking on one or more wheels to neutralize the onset of unstable driving conditions.

Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates a "SPORT Handling" mode, which delays ESP® intervention and allows more torque at the rear wheels. This means more driving fun for those who enjoy using the car's full handling potential. Pressing and holding the ESP® button activates the "ESP OFF" mode, which should only be used by experienced drivers on closed circuits. Whenever a driver steps on the brake pedal in "SPORT Handling" or "ESP OFF" mode, all safety features of the ESP® system are available for the duration of the braking.

ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system: during spirited cornering, imperceptible braking on an inside wheel directs more torque to the outside wheel, resulting in precise and safe turnin of the CLA45 AMG. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is different in each ESP® mode, and in "SPORT Handling" and "ESP OFF," it helps fulfill the driver's wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an extra feature of the already impressive Electronic Stability Program, which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety, at least within the limits of the laws of physics.

AMG sports suspension with multi-link front and rear axles

Like every high-performance AMG automobile, the CLA45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated suspension technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, its three-link front suspension has stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are used in the lower link plane to ensure more agile turn-in as well as more precise and direct feedback from the road. More rigid bearings also lead to better camber stability, allowing higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front suspension, great importance was placed on maintaining the best possible traction under very sporty driving conditions.

The CLA45 AMG four-link rear suspension is also a totally new development. To optimize elastokinematics, the bushings were modified for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear suspension carrier is fitted with more rigid bearings for increased directional stability, and the subframe is rigidly bolted to the body. With its tuned spring / shock absorber units and larger stabilizer bars, the AMG sports suspension ensures high lateral acceleration and a reduced body roll in fast S-bends. The CLA45 AMG comes standard with twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels inlayed in titanium gray with a high-sheen finish and fitted with 235 / 40 R 18 tires.

AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system

The electromechanical sports steering with AMG speed-dependent power assist and a constant steering ratio of 15.1:1 provides precise and agile steering. Its electric motor is installed directly on the steering gear to save space.

To provide quick, reliable deceleration, AMG high-performance brakes feature vented and perforated front and rear discs that measure 3.8 x 1.2 inches at the front and 13.0 x 0.8 inches at the rear.

Unmistakable design

Even at first glance, the new CLA45 AMG leaves no doubt about its character; similarities with the CLS63 AMG are intentional. Mercedes-AMG complements the expressive design idiom with distinctive AMG elements, creating a new design standard. The CLA was developed with sporty proportions - the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the cross member in the AMG front fascia, both painted matte titanium gray, further reinforce its sporty appearance. Large air inlet ports on the sides are framed by black winglets that improve air flow to the cooling system behind them. Bi-xenon headlights are part of the standard equipment.

From the side of the CLA45 AMG, sill panels with matte titanium gray inserts catch the eye. Other elements of a top-of-the-line AMG model are the twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels, inlayed in titanium gray with a high-sheen finish, as well as a "TURBO AMG" badge on the fender. The AMG rear fascia includes stylized side air vents as well as a large diffuser insert and matte titanium gray trim. The conjoined quad-tip chrome tailpipes of the AMG exhaust system emphasize its sporty purpose. Striking LED tail lights come as standard equipment.

Dynamic, exclusive and high-quality interior

Obvious quality, high-end materials and a sporty, exclusive character typical of Mercedes-AMG make the interior of the CLA45 AMG impressive. Standard equipment includes AMG door sill panels, sport seats wrapped in MB-Tex man-made leather and DINAMICA microfibers with red contrasting stitching, red seat belts, a multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and an AMG DRIVE UNIT bearing the AMG Affalterbach Crest. The AMG instrument cluster provides key information with a central color display, the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER, while brushed aluminum trim on the instrument panel is matched to the five anodized ventilation nozzles.

Numerous options for the CLA45 AMG include:

  • AMG Exterior Carbon-Fiber package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear fascia in genuine carbon fiber
  • AMG Carbon-Fiber Interior trim AMG 19” 16-Spoke Alloy Wheels (8 x 19 with 235 / 35 R 19 tires, inlayed in titanium gray with high-sheen finish or painted matt black with high-sheen rim flange
  • AMG Night Styling: black anodized beltline trim strip, tailpipes with black-chromed finish, radiator grille blades in silver chrome, gloss black painted front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear fascia trim
  • AMG Performance steering wheel
  • AMG Performance seats by Recaro
  • AMG wheel center caps (for 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels only)
  • Red painted calipers
  • AMG Driver's Package: AMG Performance Suspension , 19-inch AMG Alloy Wheels, Red Brake
  • Calipers and 167 mph top speed
  • AMG Performance Exhaust

U.S. deliveries of the 2014 CLA45 AMG begin in November, 2013 at a suggested retail price of $47,450 (the CLA250 price begins at $29,900).

(Mercedes-Benz USA Press Release)