Mercedes-AMG's Pocket Rocket Assault Has Only Begun

Mercedes-AMG

Impressed with the new A35 and CLA35? Just wait.

Mercedes-AMG recently rolled out a new A35 and CLA35 – performance versions of Benz's smallest models. But they won't be the most powerful. As tempting as those pocket rockets may be, the versions we're really looking forward to are the forthcoming 45 variants. And now we know how much power they'll produce.

Speaking with Autoblog, AMG chief Tobias Moers confirmed that its new 45-series models will boast "about” 420 horsepower – the final output to vary slightly between American and European versions. Either way, that will mark a not-inconsequential upgrade over the outgoing models, which produce 375 hp.

Affalterback will slot the new 2.0-liter turbo four into at least three models to make the A45 hatchback, CLA45 four-door coupe, and GLA45 crossover. European customers can also expect a new CLA45 Shooting Brake, but Moers would neither confirm nor deny whether we'll get an A45 sedan.

Whatever form they take, though, the increased output won't be the only element that distinguishes the 45 models from their "lesser” 35 counterparts. They'll also get an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (instead of seven speeds) and a more rear-biased all-wheel drive setup that "doesn't know what understeer means,” according to Moers.

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As it stands, with 302 horsepower, the new A35 sedan can sprint to 60 mph in a quoted 4.7 seconds, and the CLA35 in 4.6. The outgoing CLA45 hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and the GLA45 in 4.3, so we'd anticipate the new models with more power to crack into the upper threes.

That'd make them quicker off the line than the more potent next models up the AMG hierarchy. With 385 hp, the current C43 sedan runs to 60 in 4.5, the 469-hp C63 in 3.9, and the 503-hp C63 S in 3.8. So much for the baby Benzes, right?

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