What's the news?
It's familiar stuff for the CLA 35. It uses the 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine from its fast stablemates to deliver 306hp and 400Nm to all four wheels (hence the 4Matic badge) via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The CLA 35 is the slowest of the three hot baby Mercs, hitting 100km/h from rest in 4.9 seconds (it's 4.7 seconds for the A 35 hatch and 4.8 seconds for the A 35 Saloon), but that's still seriously rapid and it is limited to 250km/h, just like its siblings. Best eco-stats are 7.2 litres/100km (39.2mpg) with 164g/km of CO2. AMG Ride Control three-mode adjustable damping and high-performance AMG brakes will be fitted to the CLA 35, while the steering rack is a variable-ratio item.
The CLA 35 looks like a regular CLA, only with some subtle signifiers, like 18-inch alloys (19s an option), the twin-louvred radiator grille, a couple of power strakes on the bonnet, various flics and large openings on the front airdam, a rear diffuser and round tailpipe trims either side. Inside, owners will enjoy the MBUX infotainment system, a fully configurable AMG three-display instrument cluster, piano-lacquer interior trim finishers, the latest AMG steering wheel and sportier seats.
Tobias Moers, the CEO of Mercedes-AMG, said: "With its iconic design and agile driving dynamics, the new CLA 35 is an attractive offer for a young, active and lifestyle-conscious target group. These customers define their requirements very clearly: they expect exciting design from their vehicle alongside superior performance and inspiring handling characteristics. The new CLA 35 embodies just this attitude to life - and enables stepping in to the fascinating world of AMG Driving Performance in a particularly emotional way."
Following its debut at the New York Auto Show in the middle of April, sales of the CLA 35 will commence later in the year. Prices for the Irish market have yet to be confirmed.