Trail­blazer stan­dards

AMIL UMRAW finds the wild al­ter-ego but­ton in Mercedes-Benz’s new CLA.

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

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.

Pric­ing:

CLA 200 R449 900 CLA 200d R481 900 CLA 220d R519 900 CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC R631 900 AMG CLA 45 4MATIC R832 900.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC Coupé is among the most pow­er­ful ve­hi­cles in its seg­ment but at the price, it needs to be.

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