Outstanding performance, the ultimate in driving dynamics, expressive design - the new Mercedes-AMG compact sports car, the CLA 45, reasserts its leading position in the segment. Seamlessly continuing the success story of Mercedes-AMG's sporty compact cars, while setting new standards. The CLA 45 is powered by the newly developed M139 2.0-liter engine, the world's most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder manufactured for series production. With 382 hp in the CLA 45, it boasts more power than its predecessor. Fast gearshifts measured in milliseconds and ideal power delivery are guaranteed by the new AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT-8G dual-clutch transmission with eight gears. Active, fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive distributes the power to the rear axle on a wheel- selective basis using AMG TORQUE CONTROL – for top traction and the spectacular Drift mode. This is made possible by a new rear axle differential featuring two multidisc clutches – one for each rear wheel. The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
With the new CLA 45 Mercedes-AMG is demonstrating its high competence in development once again: "We have completely redesigned our "45" models – from the engine and transmission through the chassis, the elaborately constructed drivetrain to the body structure and of course the design itself – all with one goal: to raise vehicle dynamics and the sporty driving experience to a level previously unimaginable in the compact class. With the presentation of this, our most powerful and most dynamic compact sports car, we are also reinforcing the significance of this segment for our growth strategy," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The new Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 is even more distinctive than its predecessors. The exterior conveys sheer driving pleasure, even at standstill. For the first time, the compact class AMG models now also feature the AMG-specific radiator grille with a wide lower contour and twelve vertical louvers – as a clear indicator of AMG Performance family membership. At the same time, the pronounced "shark nose", the slim, deeply contoured headlamps and the flat, aerodynamically-enhanced hood with powerdomes visually lowers the front section to create the impression of dynamic forward thrust. The wider front fenders with flared wheel arches also accentuate the imposing presence. These create space for the wider front axle, and underline the athletic appearance.
The front bumper is also a distinguishing feature. The CLA 45 has an even more expressive appearance thanks to its jet-like external air inlets, showing its family relationship with the AMG GT 4-door Coupe. The front splitter transitions seamlessly into the side air inlets ahead of the front wheels, which optimize the airflow to improve aero-performance and the Cd figure.
Viewed from the side, the wider AMG side skirts visually lower the CLA 45 so that it appears to hug the road more closely. If the Silver Chrome accents are specified, the inserts are in silver chrome, and with the AMG Night package, they are in high-gloss black. The exterior mirrors are mounted high on the sculpted portion of the doors, echoing the look of Mercedes-AMG coupes and sportscars. This not only looks very sporty, but also improves the aerodynamics.
As standard, the CLA 45 features 8.0 J x 19-inch light alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design, aerodynamically optimized and painted in tantalum grey with size 235/55 R 19 tires. The AMG high-performance braking system features grey-painted brake calipers with white AMG lettering.
Two round twin tailpipes (3.2 in diameter) and a wide rear bumper characterize the rear view. The slim two-piece rear taillights emphasize this impression of width at the rear. The diffuser with four vertical fins contributes to better aero- performance - it is extended forward at the center of the vehicle, making it work more effectively. The lip spoiler in vehicle color on the trunk lid enhances the effect.
Optional exterior feature highlights:
AMG developers extensively reinforced the bodyshell, as it provides the basis for the precise steering characteristics, as well as track and camber stability, also when driving at high speed. A lightweight aluminum plate bolted underneath the engine - the "shearing plate" - increases the torsional rigidity at the vehicle's front end. This is supplemented by a strut tower brace between the front suspension struts and pistol-shaped "shotguns" – these are additional reinforcing plates connecting the side members to the A-pillars to minimize movement in the front section. Diagonal struts at the front and rear of the underbody further improve rigidity. As a result, the entire suspension system responds precisely even at the physical limits, giving the driver clearly defined feedback – with considerably reduced body torsion around the longitudinal and transverse axis, and less rolling and pitching on bends, when braking and during load cycles.
With an output of 382 hp, the completely newly developed 2.0-liter engine is the world's most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder manufactured for series production. Maximum torque has also increased to 354 lb-ft. The new highly efficient powerpack is produced on an innovative production line in Affalterbach, using the "One Man, One Engine" principle.
In the CLA 45, the sprint from zero to 60 mph passes in record time: (in an estimated 4.0 seconds). The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. With the optional AMG Driver's Package, the top speed can also be increased to 168 mph.
Apart from its performance figures, the new engine impresses with its immediate response. To this end, the torque curve was carefully balanced ("torque shaping"): The maximum torque of 354 lb-ft is available within a range of 4750 - 5000 rpm. With this configuration, the AMG engineers have achieved a power delivery akin to a naturally aspirated engine. The engine developers were able to realize a dynamically increasing torque curve in the lower engine speed range, thereby improving throttle response. The increasing torque at higher rpm makes the engine more free-revving. Moreover, the high maximum engine speed (up to 7200 rpm) emphasizes the engine's sporty character.
The new engine excels with numerous intelligent design features. Unlike the transversely installed four-cylinder in the 35 models or the preceding model, the new engine is rotated around its vertical axis by 180 degrees. This means that the turbocharger and the exhaust manifold are now positioned at the rear, on the side of the firewall when viewed from behind. The intake system is therefore positioned at the front. This configuration allows the flattest possible and aerodynamically advantageous front section design. Furthermore, the new arrangement allows much improved air ducting with shorter distances and fewer diversions - both on the intake and exhaust side.
The new twinscroll turbocharger combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a high power in the upper rpm range. In addition to this, the turbine housing is divided into two flow passages, which run parallel to one another. Together with the divided ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to feed the exhaust flow to the turbine separately. The aim is to prevent the individual cylinders from influencing each other negatively during load cycles, and to improve the gas cycle. The result is higher torque at lower engine speeds, and extremely good responsiveness.
Furthermore, the shafts of the compressor and turbine have roller bearings for the first time - as in the top output variant of the AMG 4.0-liter V8 engine in the AMG GT 4-door Coupe. The roller bearings reduce mechanical friction within the turbocharger to a minimum. The charger therefore responds more readily and reaches its maximum speed of up to 169,000 rpm more rapidly.
With a maximum charge pressure of 2.1 bar, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine is also the leader in its segment in this respect. The electronically controlled wastegate (exhaust relief valve) allows the charge pressure to be controlled even more precisely and flexibly while optimizing responsiveness, especially when accelerating from partial load. Numerous parameters are taken into account in this process. The main input signals for the wastegate control unit are the charge pressure, throttle flap position and the knocking tendency. The modifying signals include the intake air temperature, engine temperature, engine speed and atmospheric pressure. This also makes temporary boosting of the charge pressure (overboost) possible under acceleration.
Fresh air is used in addition to oil and water to cool the turbocharger. This is directed specifically to the charger from the radiator grille, via the engine cover designed as an air deflector and ducts beneath the hood. The concept is based on the principles and experience gained with the cooling for the internally mounted turbochargers of the current AMG 4.0-liter V8 engines, starting with the AMG GT in 2014. In addition, the turbine housing has integral insulation.
The all-aluminum crankcase is a chill-cast unit with outstanding material properties. In this process, the molten aluminum is poured into the metallic mold. Thanks to its good thermal conductivity, the water-cooled mold allows rapid cooling and solidification of the melt. The result is a fine-grained, dense structure that guarantees very high strength. Complex interior geometries can be realized with the help of enclosed sand cores.
The closed-deck construction – a design taken from motorsport - ensures maximum rigidity with low weight and allows peak combustion pressures of up to 2,320 psi. The areas around the cylinders are mostly solid, and the cover plate is only penetrated by smaller ducts for the coolant and engine oil. The crank assembly with a lightweight, forged steel crankshaft and forged aluminum pistons with optimized piston rings combines low friction with high strength. The sump features baffle plates so that despite the larger sump, and even under high lateral acceleration forces, there is always sufficient engine oil to lubricate all the relevant components.
To reduce friction between the pistons and cylinders, the linings are coated using patented NANOSLIDE technology. This gives the linings a mirror-like surface for minimal friction, is twice as hard as conventional grey cast-iron liners and therefore makes them much more durable. NANOSLIDE was developed by Daimler AG, and is protected by more than 90 patent families and more than 40 patents. This coating was first used in AMG's M 156 V8 engine, has enhanced other AMG engines for many years and can also be found in the Formula 1 engine of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
In the cylinder head, the repositioned and slightly angled injection nozzles and spark plug system have allowed much larger exhaust valves than in the preceding engine. The larger exhaust cross-sections allow the gases to stream out of the combustion chambers with low losses, and reduce the overall piston venting action.
Two overhead camshafts control the 16 valves via weight-optimized roller cam followers. Camshaft adjustment on the inlet and outlet side allows an excellent response and optimizes the gas cycle for each operating point. Variable CAMTRONIC valve control on the exhaust side is another feature, with two cams per valve. The cams have different geometries, so that depending on the cam setting to suit the driving situation, the exhaust valves can be opened for short or long periods – for even better responsiveness at low engine speeds, comfortable and fuel-efficient driving at medium rpm and full power delivery in the upper rpm range.
Turbocharging and direct injection with a spray guided combustion process not only allow a high power yield, but also improve thermodynamic efficiency and therefore reduce both fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
For the first time, the new high-performance four-cylinder has two-stage fuel injection. In the first stage the particularly fast and precisely operating piezo injectors supply fuel to the combustion chambers at a pressure of up to 2,900 psi. This is a calculated process at times, and is controlled by the engine management system as required.
In the second stage there is additional intake manifold injection using solenoid valves. This is needed to achieve the engine's high specific output. The electronically controlled fuel supply has an operating pressure of 97.2 psi.
The high output requires an intelligently conceived cooling system. This is designed so that the cylinder head and crankcase can be cooled to different temperature levels. This innovative measure allows a cold cylinder head for maximum output with efficient ignition timing, and a warm crankcase to reduce in-engine friction.
The coolant to the cylinder head is supplied by a mechanical high-performance water pump, while cooling of the crankcase is via a second, electrically driven water pump. After a cold start, this pump remains passive until the engine has warmed up. In operation it is regulated by the engine control unit so that the crankcase is always cooled according to need.
Moreover, the pump can be switched on or off as required when less output is needed, or at low engine speeds. Furthermore, the electric water pump ensures the full engine output and optimum heat dissipation over the entire engine speed range. It also protects against thermal damage when idling in very high ambient temperatures.
In addition, the engine has an oil temperature management function which controls the warm-up phase and flexibly regulates the engine oil temperature. This brings the engine to its operating temperature more rapidly, reducing friction and wear. This is accompanied by the environmentally conscious ancillary effect that fuel consumption and cold start emissions are also reduced.
The engine's high degree of supercharging calls for a high-performance intercooler. So that the charge air can be cooled close to the ambient temperature despite the extreme quantities of heat, for the first time a 2-stage, indirect intercooler has been developed. It works in conjunction with the air conditioning system, and is used in the S-models where it has been integrated into the low-temperature circuit. It was necessary to completely redesign the configuration of the condenser in the front end for this. One condenser is located in the wheel arch, and a second one is positioned in first row of the central cooling module. The separate condenser and radiator configuration and thermal management specifically designed to meet (everyday) requirements and (racetrack) performance enable efficient and coordinated cooling performance.
Functions such as alternator management, the ECO start/stop function with fast restarting, the gliding function and a gas particulate filter are also part of the technology package for the new AMG four-cylinder.
The new engine is entirely assembled by hand. A completely newly designed production line was constructed in the AMG engine manufactory in Affalterbach, where Mercedes-AMG has raised the "One Man, One Engine" principle and Industry 4.0 processes to an innovative level reflecting the latest findings in ergonomics, material flows, quality assurance, sustainability and efficiency. On the road to implementing Industry 4.0, AMG's hand assembly operation also follows the vision of "smart production". This excels with maximum flexibility, and is transparent and highly efficient. It safeguards and improves the quality of the engines and production processes using innovative and digital technologies.
The 8-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission also contributes to the agile and dynamic character. The gear ratios have been configured so that the driver experiences very spontaneous acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shifting and optimum connections when shifting up. Depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode, the driver receives a specific drive configuration with different accelerator and gearshift characteristics.
Anyone who prefers to change gears for themselves can select the manual transmission mode in every drive program. Using the temporary M-mode, this is possible very rapidly merely by operating a steering wheel shift paddle.
The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from stationary, an exhilarating experience. This also applies to the drive sound with partial ignition interruption when changing up a gear, and the automatic double-declutching function when changing down. Efficiency is not forgotten as well -- in "Comfort" mode the ECO start/stop function is active; and "gliding" function can be selected in the "Individual" driving mode.
The extremely dynamic driving experience in a completely new dimension is greatly assisted by the fully variable all-wheel drive included as standard. The secret is AMG TORQUE CONTROL in the new rear axle differential: This has two electronically controlled multidisc clutches, each of which is connected to a rear axle drive shaft. In this way, the drive power can not only be completely variably distributed between the front and rear wheels, but also selectively between the left and right rear wheel. This means that depending on the driving mode and situation, the drive torque can be separately distributed to both rear wheels.
The result is consistently optimized traction, even in adverse road conditions and during extreme cornering maneuvers, for example on the racetrack.
Furthermore, this sophisticated solution enables the optional Drift mode, which makes "powersliding" possible for even more driving pleasure. Drift mode can be called up in the "RACE" driving mode using the shift paddles, provided that ESP® is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode.
Control of the drive torque to the front and rear axle, and between the two rear wheels, is electro-mechanical. The influencing factors for torque distribution are not only the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, but also the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels, the gear selected and the accelerator position.
The main advantages of electro-mechanical control over an electro-hydraulic system relate to more refined driving dynamics – primarily due to the significantly faster response and speed-independent actuation of the discs over the entire adjustment range.
The all-wheel drive control is dependent on the selected driving mode and the AMG DYNAMICS setting. In "Basic" and "Advanced", the 4MATIC system is in "Comfort" mode. In "Pro" and "Master" (included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package for basic models) the 4MATIC system switches to "Sport" mode for even more agile handling and a higher threshold for the critical limits.
Before the system intervenes, 3-stage ESP® with individual control strategies in SPORT HANDLING MODE allows greater drift angles for a sporty driving style. When entering bends, the CLA 45 has an even more agile response thanks to braking intervention at the inner rear wheel - depending on the selected AMG DYNAMICS mode or driving mode.
The new AMG suspension with specific spring elements and the new, frequency-selective shock absorbers provides the basis for high directional stability and highly dynamic cornering characteristics with low body roll. At the same time comfort has been improved compared to the preceding model. The longitudinal and transverse dynamics are perfectly coordinated. All suspension components have been thoroughly revised in order to achieve a higher maximum lateral acceleration together with easy vehicle control at the limits.
A McPherson strut design is used at the front axle. Suspension is taken care of by one wishbone below the wheel center, one spring strut and one tie rod respectively. The special axle geometry reduces the influence of the drive on the steering – for high comfort and agile handling. The new wishbone in aluminum reduces the unsprung masses enabling a more sensitive response from the springs. The brake calipers at the front axle are radially bolted – a technology from motorsport for more stability. The front axle carrier is rigidly attached and thus additionally stiffens the front section.
The 4-link rear suspension is rigidly connected to the body via a rear axle carrier, and therefore very torsionally rigid. There are three transverse control arms and one trailing arm plus specific bearings per rear wheel. This design ensures maximum driving stability and agility.
The optional AMG RIDE CONTROL adaptive damping system enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. The spectrum ranges from comfort-focused to sporty. The system operates fully automatically, adapting the damping forces for each wheel according to the driving situation and road conditions. This happens within milliseconds and is infinitely variable, with a wide spread of damping characteristics. The result is that ride comfort and agility are enhanced in equal measure.
The high-performance braking system ensures fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. In the CLA 45, the 4-piston monobloc fixed front calipers act on 13.8 x 1.3 in brake discs, while at the rear axle, 1-piston floating calipers act on 13 x 0.9 in brake discs. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated to better dissipate heat and prevent brake fading, even with extreme use. The grey-painted brake calipers have white AMG lettering.
The speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical sports power steering supports a sporty driving style with its direct turn-in ability. It has a special rack with variable transmission ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on which drive program the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfort-biased steering feedback. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering even better with the body and thus increases steering precision.
As standard, the exhaust system has an exhaust flap which is automatically controlled depending on the engine speed and load. Depending on the drive program selected it modulates the sound from harmoniously discreet (in the programs Slippery, Comfort and Sport) to emotionally sporty (in Sport+).
The six AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes "Slippery", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +", "Individual" and optional "RACE", allow a wide spread of vehicle characteristics, from comfortable to dynamic. Numerous relevant parameters are modified:
The individual drive programs offer an individual driving experience, precisely tailored to different driving conditions and driver requirements.
As a feature of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, the new CLA 45 includes AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated vehicle dynamics control extends the stabilizing functions of ESP® with agility-enhancing intervention in the all- wheel control, steering characteristics and additional ESP® functions. When cornering at speed, for example, brief braking intervention at the inner rear wheel generates a defined yawing motion around the vertical axis for responsive and precise entry into the bend.
The spectrum ranges from extremely stable to highly dynamic. On the multimedia display, when a drive program is selected, the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol is displayed together with the corresponding additional information.
In the "Individual" drive program, the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels "Basic", "Advanced" and "Pro" themselves.
With its sporty appointments and the MBUX infotainment system, the high- quality interior creates a close, personal connection between man and machine. The driver and front passenger are seated in an active position on contoured sport seats with firm lateral support. The standard upholstery as a combination of black MB-Tex and DINAMICA microfiber is timeless, and creates typical AMG highlights with double topstitching in red. The color scheme is echoed by the red designo seat belts and the dashboard support trim in black DINAMICA microfiber with a red border. The chromed air vents are also upgraded with a red ring. As an alternative, upholstery in MB-Tex in neva grey/black with mid-grey double topstitching and light-longitudinal-grain aluminum trim is available.
The center console in high-gloss black with a touchpad as standard has a further control array with additional switches controlling the 3-stage ESP®, the manual transmission mode, the optional adaptive damping system AMG RIDE CONTROL and the optional AMG Performance exhaust system. In combination with the optional leather package, it features a silver chrome console surround.
The characteristic, sporty AMG ambience is also enhanced by the sports pedal set of brushed stainless steel with rubber studs, black floor mats with AMG lettering and a surround in a nubuck leather look, the black fabric roof liner and AMG front entry sills in brushed stainless steel with "AMG" lettering.
The combination of sporty design and sophisticated details is also featured in the MBUX infotainment system with its innovative operating and display concept. MBUX creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. Emotionally appealing presentations underline the clear control structure and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics.
Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasizing the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
The customer can choose between the three AMG display styles "Classic", "Sport" and "Supersport" for the instrument cluster. The "Supersport" mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter: with a three-dimensional perspective, they reach far into the background to an artificial horizon.
Via the AMG menu the driver can call up various special displays:
The touchscreen multimedia display also emphasizes the dynamic character with individual AMG displays such as visualization of the driving programs, AMG TRACK PACE and telemetry data.
Needless to say, the trailblazing voice control activated with the words "Hey Mercedes" is also on-board. Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognizes and understands nearly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and vehicle operation, even if they are expressed indirectly.
Perfect interaction between the driver and vehicle is ensured by the multifunction sport steering wheel in nappa leather with flattened lower section and perforated grip area, and depending on the upholstery, red or black topstitching and a facing in silver chrome. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting.
The Active Distance Assistant DISTRONIC and cruise control can be adjusted on the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the infotainment system.
The available AMG steering wheel buttons allow the AMG driving modes to be accessed directly, and other AMG functions to be conveniently operated directly at the steering wheel.
Numerous options are available to suit the new CLA 45 to individual customer wishes. They include the following:
AMG TRACK PACE, the virtual race engineer, is optionally available in conjunction with Navigation and the media display: The software is part of the MBUX infotainment system, and when negotiating a race circuit it continuously monitors more than 80 vehicle-specific data points (e.g. speed, acceleration). On top of this, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference from a reference time. Because specific display elements are shown in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance without reading numbers whether they are currently faster or slower than the best time.
After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyze and, if necessary, improve their driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a newly developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit has been left or it has been shortened. This is done using GPS data as well as the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds).
The data is displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the optional head-up display. Well-known race tracks like, for example, the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already stored. Furthermore, it is also possible to record one's own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online.
The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored racetrack to be displayed on the multimedia display or optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
|2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45|
|Engine||2.0-liter 4 in-line with roller bearing twinscroll turbocharger|
|Max. output||382 hp at 6500 rpm|
|Peak torque||354 lb-ft at 4750 - 5000 rpm|
|Drive system||AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive with AMG TORQUE CONTROL|
|Transmission|| AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.0 s est|
|Top speed||155 mph**|
|Available at U.S. Dealers||Late 2019|