Mechanically identical to its more formal counterpart, the CLA 35 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 302 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which sends power to all four wheels via an AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. This enables the model to run from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.9 seconds, before hitting a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
The sportiness extends beyond the engine compartment as designers gave the CLA 35 an AMG Line front fascia with chrome accents and flics. Buyers will also find a new diffuser, a sportier exhaust system and a small rear spoiler. Rounding out the styling changes are aerodynamically optimized 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.
The interior largely carries over from the standard model, but there are a handful of sporty upholstery options such as black MB-Tex and microfiber seats with red contrast stitching and matching red seat belts. Elsewhere, there’s red piping and red accent rings.
Given the CLA 35 is premium product, it comes as little surprise drivers will find a digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with AMG-specific displays. Other highlights include piano black accents and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with galvanized paddle shifters.
Getting back to the performance theme, AMG engineers have equipped with the CLA with an aluminum “shear panel” which is located under the engine. It helps to increase torsional stiffness and it’s aided by two diagonal braces which help to increase rigidity.
Those aren’t the only modifications as the CLA 35 has an AMG Ride Control Suspension with aluminum components, a unique geometry and an AMG-specific front steering knuckle. Mercedes says this gives the car “solid straight-line stability and highly dynamic cornering performance.”
Customers will also be able to order an optional Adaptive Damping System. It has three different modes and promises to optimize both comfort and agility.
Other unique features include a special power steering system and a high-performance braking system. The latter has four-piston calipers and 13.8-inch (350 mm) discs up front, while the rear has single-piston calipers which grab onto 13-inch (330 mm) discs.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show later this month and U.S. sales will start late this year. European customers won’t have to wait that long as orders begin on April 29th with deliveries scheduled to start in August.