When the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 first went on sale back in 2013, its 2.0-liter turbo-four made an impressive 355 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. With a base price close to $50,000, it certainly wasn’t cheap, but it sure was a hoot to drive.
Five years later, the CLA 45 makes 375 hp and is due for a redesign. Based on these spy shots, it’s probably safe to assume the next-gen CLA 45 will up the aggression even further.
Our spy photographer caught this prototype out testing in Europe, showing off an AMG GT-inspired “Panamericana” grille. Heavy camouflage makes it difficult to get a clear view of the headlights, but a close look at the daytime running lights suggests an A-Class-inspired design.
As with other AMGs, this CLA prototype sports massive air intakes, swollen fenders, large wheels, and a quad-exhaust. There’s also a rear spoiler, diffuser, and a set of vents behind the rear wheels.
According to the photographer, there’s a chance Mercedes will change the name to CLA 50 to match the top AMG-badged A-Class and reflect an increase in power. Supposedly, it’s going to make at least 400 hp. With that much power on tap, assume all-wheel drive will be standard.
One thing we still haven’t figured out, though, is how exactly the CLA will fit into Mercedes’ lineup. With the new A-Class finally coming to North America, we initially assumed Mercedes would phase out the CLA.
After all, there’s only about a $7,000 difference between the CLA’s base price and the C 300. But as spy shots continue to show a next-gen CLA being tested, it’s starting to look like Mercedes plans to sell both.
How that will work, we’re still not sure, but it never hurts to have more options.
Photo source: CarPix