Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 is like the A-Class, but swoopier

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2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 front driving parking deck Mercedes-Benz

Following the introduction of the AMG A 35, for those who want a bit more show along with their go, Mercedes-AMG announced the swoopier, fastback CLA 35 “four-door coupe.” The CLA 35 shares the A 35’s 302-horsepower 2-liter turbo four, all-wheel drive, and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, good for 60 mph in an estimated 4.6 seconds.

Styling revisions to the basic CLA include wider wheel arches, two bulging “power domes” on the hood, twin-louvered radiator grille, an AMG-specific front bumper with revised air inlets, and accentuated side sills. The rear end gets a different diffuser, dual exhausts with round tailpipes, and a small decklid spoiler.

The interior features your choice of MB-Tex synthetic leather or Dinamica microfiber upholstery with contrasting stitching and red seat belts. Red piping accents the interior trim and the air vents also get red highlights.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 rear taillight
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 front wheel brakes
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Mercedes-Benz

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 side view driving curve
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Mercedes-Benz

The CLA shares the A 35’s widescreen cockpit with two displays and a touchpad, as well as the new MBUX infotainment system that has both hands-free voice operation and an “interior assistant” that anticipates driver or passenger actions from their hand gestures. The fully digital dashboard has three instrument display modes: Classic, Sport, and Supersport. The last gives access to performance data, while the 10.25-inch touchscreen can display information from the AMG Track Pace track data recorder as well as telemetry data.

The CLA 35 also gets an AMG-specific piano black console with controls for the transmission and suspension modes, as well as the latest generation AMG steering wheel with its multiple control switches, as seen on the A 35.

As with the A 35, for more precise handling, the CLA 35 is stiffened with an aluminum “shear panel” and two diagonal braces under the front end.

The front-wheel-based all-wheel-drive system can send up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels and the AMG Dynamic Select system’s five drive modes now include a “Slippery” setting for icy situations. It reduces power, flattens the torque curve, and makes the transmission upshift earlier.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 rear sunset
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Mercedes-Benz

AMG Ride Control features adaptive damping with three modes. Silver painted disc brake calipers with black AMG logos are at all four wheels, with the fronts having four pistons and monoblock construction. The speed-sensitive electric power steering has an AMG-specific rack with selectable ratios. The AMG exhaust system has a flap, controlled by the drive mode selector, that automatically tunes the exhaust depending on the setting and throttle input.

The optional AMG Track Pace data recorder is integrated in the MBUX infotainment system. It logs more than 80 different data points such as speed, acceleration, lap, and sector times, with a digital coach telling you whether or not you are on pace. The MBUX Augmented Reality can display a track’s ideal line on the dashboard screen or with an optional head-up display.

We’ll get the first public look at the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 when it premieres at the New York International Auto Show on April 16th. Deliveries will start in late 2019. No price information has been released yet.

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