Eat Sleep Drive Repeat
31 Aug 2020
Mercedes-AMG has launched 5 new models in their junior categories, with a combined output of 1 395kW and 2 200Nm…
The pack of A-Class AMG models are the most affordable in the range, even two of them cost R1m+. Labelling an AMG model “entry level” seems a bit off, but that’s exactly what the company is calling the Mercedes-AMG 35 4MATIC, and it’s available as hatch, sedan and CLA models.
Powering AMG junior is a 2.0 4-cylinder turbo with 225kW / 400Nm, sent to all four wheels via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch gearbox. Making sure as much of that power gets to the road (so you can match the factory’s 4,7 second 0-100km/h time) is an all-wheel drive system that is fully variable between the axles. Added to that is a front suspension geometry design to help squash any sort of torque steer, as well as standard AMG DYNAMIC SELECT, which dials in varying levels of performance from “Slippery” all the way up to “Sport +”.
For a bit of extra involvement (and money) you can bolt on the Adaptive Damping System which, according to Mercedes-Benz’s press release, “enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes, ranging from comfort-focused to sporty”. In practice, though, that “range” is most likely going to be hard, harder, and hardest, even for the most mild AMG model on the market.
Braking is handled by ventilated and perforated discs, measuring 350mm up front and 330mm at the rear.
The other models in the latest AMG assault are the Mercedes-AMG 45 S 4MATIC+ and CLA 45 S 4MATIC+.
One again, Mercedes is shouting (with good reason) about the most powerful 2.0 4-cylinder series production motor on the market, found lurking in front of the 45 S models. With 310kW and 500Nm, it has the kind of power output that would embarrass bigger V8 motors of not so long ago. The CLA 45 S 4MATIC+ gets from 0-100km/h in just 4.0 seconds, outdone by the A 45 S 4MATIC + by just .1 of a second. Fitted with the AMG Driver’s Package, both models will reach an electronically limited top speed of 270km/h.
It’s not just power that elevates the two above the lesser AMG 35 4MATIC: a wider front axle with adjusted track and camber, as well as underbody reinforcement, mean a stiffer chassis for better responses. The gearbox is an 8-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT dual-clutch, with all-wheel drive. Boosting performance (and enjoyment) here is AMG TORQUE CONTROL: a set of multiplate clutches that allow for torque distribution across the rear axle. But if you want a drift mode, you’ll have to tick the AMG DYNAMICS PLUS option.
Both the 45 S 4MATIC+ and CLA 45 S 4MATIC+ feature a Race Mode with the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT.
And if you fancy yourself as a racer, both models also feature AMG TRACK PACE (optional on the AMG 35 models). The virtual race engineer records various data parameters, including sector and lap times, ready for analysis once you’re back in the pits. Using the car’s Augmented Reality system takes things further - showing the optimum line on the head-up display so you can master a track stored in the system.
All the latest AMG models share a few features in common, including an automatically controlled exhaust flap, delving varying levels of bark depending on driving mode selected. On the inside, the models also feature the MBUX multimedia system with voice control and, optionally, a widescreen digital display incorporating instrumentation and infotainment. The steering wheel is a new generation unit with Touch Control buttons, which basically use miniaturised smartphone swiping gestures to control various functions.
A 35 4MATIC Hatch
A 35 4MATIC Sedan
CLA 35 4MATIC
A 45 S 4MATIC+
R1 101 000
CLA 45 S 4MATIC+
R1 211 000