AMIL UMRAW finds the wild alter-ego button in Mercedes-Benz’s new CLA.
THE Mercedes CLA is the C-Class’s sexy little sister and she has just undergone some cosmetic surgery, the nips and tucks making her even prettier.
Being true fashionistas in their segment, the face-lifted CLA range boasts a combination of contemporary elegance with racy curvature, elements that are pronounced both inside and out.
But before I get into that, Mercedes has added a whole new derivative to the previous CLA production line: the ecofriendly 200d.
With an output of 100 kW, 300 Nm of torque and a claimed fuel consumption of 4,4 l per 100 km, the spirited diesel engine offers a smooth balance between speed and economy, which I anticipate will do rather well in the South African market.
The CLA seems like the type that would wear a pencil skirt with high heels but would also let you get lucky on the first date.
It’s sophisticated when it needs to be, but has a spontaneously wild alter ego when you decide to mix business with pleasure.
So what’s new?
On the outside, the CLA has been made more aggressive, with sleek new bumpers and Mercedes’ all-new diamond radiator grill. Also, there are some new rims to choose from.
On the inside, Mercedes has added new seat covers and fiddled a bit with the trimming, throwing in chrome-plated controls as an extra touch.
There is no need to go in depth about the quality trimming and material, the fancy headlights, the keyless this and hands-free that, the attention to detail and the functionality of it all — it’s a Mercedes so we all know what to expect.
Now on to what everyone really wants to read about: the CLA45 AMG.
It’s a howler
A true racing brute, the spec’d out 45 is not a subtle machine.
The engine howls away in a symphony of cylinders, emitting one hell of a bang as the turbo dumps on every gear change.
We all know the 45s are fast and this one is no exception. With a peak output of 280 kW and maximum torque of 475 Nm, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC Coupé is among the most powerful vehicles in its segment, accelerating from rest to 100 km/h in just 4,2 seconds.
At the same time, a fuel consumption of just 6,9 l per 100 km underlines the trailblazing standards of efficiency achieved by Mercedes-AMG.
In this model, the AMG design team have fiddled with the aerodynamics, bolting on new splitters, wings and vents across the car, not only adding to the aesthetic appeal, but also making a huge difference to the handling and stability of the car. As a result, the ride is exceptional. The 45 sits tight around corners and allows the driver to accelerate flat out with the confidence of a single hand on the steering.
About that pricing
With most German vehicles, you would not expect to pay anything less than R400 000 for something fresh off the production line.
Starting at R449 900 for the CLA 200 and skyrocketing all the way up to R832 900 for the 45, the cosmetic surgery comes at a price.
Also, what you see on the poster will most likely not be what is actually on the showroom floor.
Expect to fork out up to about R100 000 extra if you want all the bells and whistles.
CLA 200 R449 900 CLA 200d R481 900 CLA 220d R519 900 CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC R631 900 AMG CLA 45 4MATIC R832 900.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC Coupé is among the most powerful vehicles in its segment but at the price, it needs to be.