The baby AMG car is reborn.
After a long period of anticipation filled with numerous rumors and spy shots, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 has arrived for the US market. The updated "baby AMG car" is powered by a newly developed M139 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque (an increase of 7 hp and 4 lb-ft over its predecessor) that goes out to the 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system after first passing through an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
These numbers are certainly impressive, though they do fall a tad short of the 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft claims for the CLA 45 S model, which has only been confirmed for Europe (for now). Unlike the A35, which will be sold as a sedan in the US, the A45 will be a hatchback sold in Europe only.
While Europe gets more powerful variants, it seems like the US has been given the short end of the stick, but the "base" CLA 45 is still an extremely impressive vehicle. Its new AMG SpeedShift DCT-8G dual-clutch transmission is so quick it has to have its shifts measured in milliseconds, and the 4MATIC+ AWD system is so sophisticated that it can modulate the power ratio between the front and rear axles as well as between the left and right rear wheels using a new rear axle differential that features two multidisc clutches. To top things off, the CLA 45 includes a rear-wheel-drive-only Drift Mode.
AMG has benchmarked the Audi RS3 and BMW M2 in terms of performance, and the 0-60 mph time is expected to be around four seconds (slower than the RS3 and tied with the M2 DCT). With a new RS3 set to produce over 400 hp on the horizon, Mercedes might be smart to offer the more powerful S model here in the US.
Pricing for the 2020 CLA 45 hasn't been announced, but it will arrive at US dealerships later in 2019 along with the lesser AMG CLA 35 and base CLA 250 models. The CLA 45 will be the highest trim model (so far) and includes plenty of standard features including 19-inch AMG wheels, keyless entry, a 10.25-inch Digital Instrument Cluster and 10.25-inch MBUX infotainment system. Also included is 64-color ambient lighting, sport seats, adaptive braking technology with hill-start assist, cruise control, crosswind assist, attention assist, and active brake assist.