2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG debuts: A stylish 302-hp firecracker

April 8, 2019

Don't let its suave looks fool you: The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG that debuted Monday is a 302-horsepower muscle machine in a tight-fitting track suit. 

The hottest version yet of the automaker's redesigned CLA four-door sedan retains the CLA300's elegant roofline, but it swaps in a high-output, AMG-massaged version of the automaker's 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine rated at 295 pound-feet of torque. Teamed to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with metal paddle shifters and all-wheel drive, the CLA35 zips to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, according to Mercedes.

MORE: Read our 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class preview

The engine breathes through a sport exhaust system with an automatic flap that opens up for a louder rumble when pushed. 

The CLA35 will square off against the 288-hp Audi S3 when the Mercedes-Benz hits the road later this year. Mercedes hasn't said how much it will cost, but the $45,500 Audi charges for the S3 is a good indicator. 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

Adaptive dampers are optional to make the most of its MacPherson struts up front and a four-link rear suspension. The CLA35 rides on 18-inch wheels and 19s are an option. Uprated brakes measure 13.8 inches up front and 13.0 inches out back and the calipers feature AMG badges. 

To differentiate the CLA35 AMG, Mercedes swapped its bumpers for beefier designs, grafted a small spoiler to its tail, and gave it a bulging hood. Inside, the car can be had with synthetic leather and microfiber upholstery in standard or available sport seats. Bright red seat belts complete the sporty look inside.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG

Like the standard CLA, the CLA35 comes with a wide 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice controls. An optional AMG Track Pack uses the infotainment screen to display lap and performance times and the system can learn a user's home track—even if it's their brisk commute home. 

Gesture controls, navigation, and a Burmester-branded audio system are also optional. Surprisingly, Mercedes makes most advanced safety gear optional. CLA35 buyers will pay extra for adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors.

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