The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is a runaway sales success, with dealers completely selling out of the new entry-level luxury compact in 2013. But what happens when AMG adds a dash of its black-magic performance, in the form of a 355-hp turbo-four that can summon 332 lb-ft of torque at just 2250 rpm? We intended to find out, testing the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG at Michigan’s Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport for a standing mile run.
Four-cylinder power seems perhaps ill-suited to a standing mile, especially considering AMG marketing chief Mario Spitzner’s joke that AMG, “used to use four-cylinder engines to run windshield wipers.” How times have changed.
Under the hood of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG is the most powerful four-cylinder in production car history. Thanks to a stellar seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the CLA45 waves bye-bye to the 60-mph mark in 4.5 seconds, “with express efficiency, rather than the yippee-ki-yay of the rear-drive C63.”
On its standing mile run, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG emitted a burbling grunt and thrash with every shift of the seven-speed transmission. All told, AMG’s pocket rocket completed the run in 34.4 seconds at 146.1 mph, which is ahead of the Nissan 370Z Nismo.
For $57,165 after destination, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG is an indisputable performance bargain — it finished only 1.9 seconds behind the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, which costs a pretty penny at $300,000.