Mercedes-Benz has announced a second AMG performance version of the redesigned 2020 CLA-Class — and the CLA45 marks the debut of what Mercedes touts as the world’s most powerful production-model four-cylinder engine, its M139 turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger that will put out 382 horsepower.
There is an even higher-output version that passes 200 hp per liter at 416 hp, but Mercedes is not promising that European CLA45 S for U.S. buyers. The swoopy CLA sedan, what Europeans like to call a “four-door coupe,” has been fully redesigned for 2020 and follows the introduction of the 2019 A-Class, a properly upright sedan that slides in under the CLA as the new entry-level Benz.
The CLA45 also will put out 354 pounds-feet of torque and will be mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. It gets a standard AMG all-wheel-drive system that can send full power to the rear axle and shift it side-to-side via an electronic rear differential with separate clutches for each wheel. Mercedes estimates zero-to-62 mph in 4.0 seconds. Among the CLA45 AWD system’s tricks will be a Drift mode.
The CLA45 compares to the already-announced AMG CLA35 with a 302-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 295 pounds-feet of torque and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with standard all-wheel drive. Zero-to-60 mph is estimated at 4.6 seconds. Otherwise, the CLA45 is similarly more aggressive in AMG exterior aero add-ons, and inside gets the 2020 tech and trim design updates.
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The civilian CLA, meanwhile, has a standard 221-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 258 pounds-feet of torque, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and front- or all-wheel drive. Mercedes says all versions of the 2020 CLA will be on sale by the end of 2019; pricing has not been announced.