The AMG designers therefore kept more or less the basic form with wide wheel arches and a slim sporty waistline. The two powerdomes on the bonnet were also adopted as sporty details. By way of contrast, the new radiator grille with the classic twin louvres and the AMG Line front apron with flics on the air inlets are typical distinctive features of the CLA 35 4MATIC. Other distinctive features include trim elements in silver chrome on the louvres in the outer air inlets. From a side view, the aerodynamically optimised 18-inch light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design (19-inch optionally available) and the accentuated side sill panels catch the eye. The rear view is dominated by the rear apron with a new diffuser insert, the small spoiler lip on the boot and the two round tailpipe trims on the left and right. The two-piece, narrow tail lamps and the number plate housed in the bumper make the rear of the CLA look especially wide.
Frameless doors open to an interior with a high-tech ambience where quality and elegance meet fully digital displays. This interior optionally stages the ambient lighting in 64 colours.
The combination of sporty design and sophisticated details is also featured in the MBUX infotainment system with its innovative operating and display concept. In the new CLA 35 4MATIC, MBUX replaces the previous COMAND systems and creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. Emotionally appealing presentations underline the clear control structure and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
Needless to say, the CLA 35 4MATIC comes with trailblazing voice control, activated with the words “Hey Mercedes”. Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognises and understands nearly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and vehicle operation, even if they are expressed indirectly.
Specific measures to strengthen the front section of the bodyshell form the basis for the precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis components, even when driving at speed. A so-called “shear panel”, a bolted aluminium plate under the engine, increases the torsional stiffness of the front section of the CLA 35, too. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase the stiffness.
The 2.0-litre turbo engine is a new development and is based on the M 260 four-cylinder engine in the new A-Class. The new drive is very responsive to accelerator pedal commands, high tractive power (400 Nm max. torque from 3,000 rpm) and an emotional engine sound. The crankcase made of high-strength, lightweight die-cast aluminium reduces the vehicle weight where it matters most for driving dynamics.
A twin-scroll turbocharger is used for turbocharging. It combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a strong power increase at higher speeds. The housing of the twin-scroll turbocharger is divided into two parallel ducts. Together with two separate exhaust ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to channel the exhaust gases separately on the turbine wheel.
This results in a further advantage of twin-scroll technology, i.e. minimisation of the mutually adverse effects of the individual cylinders on the gas cycle. The exhaust gas back pressure is reduced and gas exchange and engine efficiency are improved.
Dynamism, agility and performance – these three attributes characterise the standard all-wheel drive of the new AMG CLA 35 4MATIC. The variable AMG Performance 4MATIC combines the best possible traction with lots of driving fun. The torque distribution is infinitely variable to suit the dynamic handling requirements. The spectrum ranges from front-wheel drive only to a 50:50 percent distribution to the front and rear axles.
A multi-disc clutch that is integrated in the rear axle transmission is responsible for the variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles. It is controlled electro-mechanically. The influencing factors for torque distribution are not only the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, but also the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels, the gear selected and the accelerator position.
The main advantages of electro-mechanical control over an electro-hydraulic system relate to more refined driving dynamics – primarily due to the significantly faster response and speed-independent actuation of the discs over the entire adjustment range.
As long as ESP® is activated, the 4MATIC system stays in “Comfort” mode. As soon as the driver presses the “ESP® SPORT Handling” or “ESP® OFF” button, the 4MATIC system switches to “Sport” mode – for even more agile handling and even higher stability limits.
The new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC is celebrating its world premiere as part of the New York International Auto Show on 16 April 2019, sales release is on 29 April 2019, and market launch is in August 2019 in western Europe.