SPECS AND VER­DICT Model En­gine

Friday - - Motoring - CLA 45 AMG 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo Seven-speed auto, AWD 360bhp @ 6,000rpm 450Nm @ 2,250rpm 250kph 4.6 seconds Now Dh240,000 In­cred­i­ble grip, huge speed Mas­sive turbo

The swoopy roof doesn’t help the er­gonomics, but it looks good. Be­sides, pas­sen­gers will weigh you down and you cer­tainly don’t want the ex­tra ki­los slow­ing your progress. Not when this car’s re­mit is to de­liver ex­cep­tional per­for­mance.

And de­liver it does. Fea­tur­ing the same snappy seven-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic as the A 45 AMG, the CLA feels just as dy­namic as the boot­less won­der in spite of it lug­ging an ex­tra 30kg.

It tips the scales at 1,585kg (you’ll won­der where the ex­tra mass is hid­ing as it doesn’t trans­late on the road) but the added weight is brought on by Af­fal­ter­bach’s decision to utilise all-wheel drive (with a front-wheel bias) for this hard-core model. It’s a good job, as with the enor­mously pow­er­ful Honey­well tur­bocharger putting out a huge 26.1 psi of boost and 360bhp at your dis­posal, you need all four wheels dig­ging in. But it’s hard to break the tail loose, mean­ing you can en­ter cor­ners at a far greater pace. And when you do sense a bit of un­der­steer you can cor­rect it by floor­ing the throt­tle; the back end hun­kers down, straight­ens up and you’re out of harm’s way.

The steer­ing (speed-de­pen­dent, elec­tri­cally as­sisted rack) is nicely weighted and of­fers just about enough feed­back dur­ing turnin, while the brakes pro­vide lots of stop­ping power. How­ever, in stop-go traf­fic, they feel a lit­tle grabby.

It suf­fers from quite a bit of lag and the only way to get it to play is to drive it in Man­ual mode (Com­fort and Sport are your other two) and this way, it’s far eas­ier to ex­ploit the seven-speed. Be­fore you know it, you’ll be clos­ing in on its 250kph limit – when that turbo even­tu­ally spools up and hits the torque band’s sweet spot.

On the move, you’ll be treated to a cho­rus of snap-crackle-pop sounds from the AMG ex­haust, which add to the fun fac­tor of driv­ing this car – but soon be­come cum­ber­some. I mean, at 1,000rpm, it’s still mak­ing those “braap” sounds when you flick the pad­dles, which is just weird when you’re only go­ing 30kph.

Re­gard­less, this thing drives as tight as the hatch and has all the DNA of AMG thanks to that hand­built V8. Oh, I beg your par­don, four-pot. Easy mis­take to make.

Those in the rear bet­ter not be of the six-foot va­ri­ety or they’ll have a neck ache to con­tend with

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.