GOT HEAT? - Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4Matic
The AMG ‘Lite’ models are ready to hit SA, and we have pricing
Just as Mercedes-AMG has lifted the sheets to reveal their ultra-high-performance compact siblings – the A45 S and the CLA 45 S – so has Mercedes-Benz South Africa released pricing for the fiery CLA 35 which is set to land in South Africa in the coming months.
Much like the A-Class, the CLA 35 will sit below the flagship CLA 45 S when it arrives in local dealers in October. Following the unveil of the A 35 Hatchback, and the A 35 Sedan, the CLA 35 is the third model to wear the “35” badge, and it won’t be the last. We already know that AMG is set to launch the A 35 L exclusively for the Chinese market, and there will be a GLB 35 and most likely a GLA 35 too.
Under its hood is the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor that does duty in the A 35 siblings. The motor, an improved version of the M260 4-cylinder used in the CLA250 (which SA will not be getting) now outputs 225kw and 400nm. Paired with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission, and a RACE-START launch control system, it can sprint from 0-100kph in just 4.9 seconds, 0.4 seconds slower than the original 265kw CLA45 AMG, and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250kph.
Much like its “35” siblings, it features an AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system despite being front-wheel drive biased. The chassis has also been stiffened to cope with the additional power, while the Haldex-based 4MATIC system can split power 50:50 between the front and rear, should the need arise. The braking system has also been upgraded, with its ventilated discs now measuring 350mm up front and 330mm at the rear, held by 4 pot calipers and single pot calipers respectively.
Riding on the same Modular Front Architecture (MFA2) platform as the W177 A-Class, the C118 CLA-Class retains the fastback styling to set it apart from the V177 A-Class Sedan. Stylistically, the design is inspired by the new design language Mercedes-Benz adopted for the C257 CLS-Class. The aggressive CLA 35 though, looks distinctively different from the regular AMG-styled CLA models; sporting a radiator grille with twin louvres, a front splitter, power domes on the bonnet, 18-inch wheels, deeper side skirts, a more defined rear diffuser with dual pipes, and a subtle boot spoiler.
The interior is nearly identical to that seen in the Car of the Year-winning A-Class hatch, but gains subtle AMG touches like its AMG Sports seats, an AMG steering wheel, as well as AMG display styles for the MBUX system. AMG TRACK PACE is also available as an option for the CLA 35. The virtual race engineer is part of the MBUX multimedia system and permanently records more than 80 vehicle-specific data (e.g. speed, acceleration) while driving on a race track. Boot space is particularly impressive, offering a rather useful luggage capacity of just under 460 litres – larger than both the A 35 Sedan and the Audi S3 Sedan.
Despite being very similar, the A 35 Sedan and the CLA 35 aren’t exactly rivals. The A 35 Sedan is said to be a more family-friendly sports compact sedan, whereas the CLA 35 Coupe has a distinctly sportier demeanour. And this shows in terms of pricing. While Mercedes-Benz South Africa have yet to release pricing for the A 35 Sedan, they have for the A 35 hatchback, and sees it priced at R755 198. Comparing the rest of the A-Class hatchback and sedan line-up, it’s expected that the A 35 Sedan will likely be marginally up on the price of the hatchback. The CLA 35 however, costs a whopping R100 820 more than the sporty hatch.
And in typical Mercedes fashion there is an incredibly long and pricey list of optional extras. Fancy the slightly exaggerated AMG aerodynamics package? That will add an extra R21 800 to your bill. Opting for the AMG performance seat package? You better sit down because that will set you back R77 000! The parking package with a 360-degree camera will also have your eyes watering thanks to its R21 000 asking price.
As we mentioned, the CLA 35 does come with the MBUX system, but if you want the full MBUX experience, that is going to cost you an additional R4 500 for the MBUX interior assistance package, and a further R10 000 for a 10.25-inch display. Want more tech? You can add a heads-up display to the mix for an extra R15 000. You’re even paying for keyless go, which is priced at R9 000. In terms of aesthetics, larger 19-inch alloy wheels will add R16 600 to the deal, while a panoramic sunroof carries a price tag of R15 200. As you can see, it would be very easy to spec a CLA 35 that will have your forking out R1million for.