Following the American debut of the new CLA 250 at the Consumer Electronics Show, Mercedes now broadens the range with the launch of the performance-oriented 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The new model packs 302 bhp and 295 pound-feet from its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, instead of the existing CLA 250 with 221 bhp and 258 lb-ft.
The more potent 2.0-litre with a twin-scroll turbo exclusively hooks up to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that routes the output to an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring at the rear axle. Mercedes estimates the CLA 35 hits 60 miles per hour in an estimated 4.6 seconds.
The CLA 35 shows off its hotter performance with some visual tweaks over the CLA 250. The front end features a pair of bars cutting through the grille and chrome trim on the louvres in the fascia's corner inlets. It comes standard with 18-inch wheels but buyers can upgrade to a set of 19-inchers. At the back, there's a diffuser with a pair of circular exhaust outlets – one on each side.
Compared to lesser variants, the CLA 35 gains an aluminium shear panel underneath the engine that boosts torsional stiffness at the front. A pair of diagonal braces also increase rigidity. Buyers can make the saloon handle even better with the optional adaptive dampers.
The AMG model's interior comes with Mercedes' now-familiar MBUX system with wide, 10.25-inch screens for the instruments and infotainment duties. In this application, it gains three AMG-specific display modes: Classic, Sport and Supersport. Buyers can opt for two-tone cabin layout, like a mix of black and red or black and digital grey. The 64-color LED ambient lighting lets customers find a hue that fits their mood.
The CLA 35 will make a public premiere at the New York Auto Show on April 16 and will have its western European launch in August. Mercedes won't yet hint at pricing.
Gallery: 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Coupe
THE NEW MERCEDES-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC
When iconic design meets strength and intelligence
Affalterbach. Sporty, stylish, intelligent and dynamic: The new CLA 35 4MATIC (combined fuel consumption 7.3-7.2 l/100 km; \combined CO2 emissions 167-164 g/km) is the latest point of entry to the world of Mercedes-AMG and is more strongly lifestyle-oriented. The four-door coupé shares the progressive technology with the A-Class produced in Affalterbach, but is even bolder with its iconic design and the intelligent MBUX interior assistant. The agile high torque 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine delivers 225 kW (306 hp), which is variably distributed to all four wheels via the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and the all-wheel drive. The sporty driving performance (acceleration from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds) is linked with a wide spread of the driving experience - from very sporty to comfortable on long journeys.
“With its iconic design and agile driving dynamics, the new CLA 35 is an attractive offer for a young, active and lifestyle-conscious target group. These customers define their requirements very clearly: They expect exciting design from their vehicle alongside superior performance and inspiring handling characteristics. The new CLA 35 embodies just this attitude to life – and enables stepping in to the fascinating world of AMG Driving Performance in a particularly emotional way”, says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Icon with a slim sporty waistline: the exterior design
The iconic design of the CLA Coupé is one of the main reasons for purchasing the car. 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.
Sporty interior with MBUX infotainment system
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.
Fully digital instrument cluster with three AMG display styles
The customer can choose between the three AMG display styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport” for the instrument cluster. The “Supersport” mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter: with a three-dimensional perspective, they reach far into the background to an artificial horizon. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data.
Touchscreen multimedia display and new centre console
The touchscreen multimedia display also emphasises the dynamic character with individual AMG displays such as visualisation of the driving programmes.
The AMG-specific centre console in piano lacquer finish with a standard touchpad has additional buttons that control the functions ESP®, manual transmission mode and Adaptive Damping System (optional). In conjunction with the leather package, it features a silver chrome surround.
New AMG steering wheel generation with optional steering wheel buttons as standard
The new generation of AMG steering wheels provides the perfect link between the driver and the vehicle. The steering wheel rim with a flattened lower section, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrasting topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. The galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting.
The built-in Touch Control buttons, familiar from other model series, are a new feature. The active distance assistant DISTRONIC and the TEMPOMAT cruise control can be adjusted on the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the infotainment system.
Reinforced body-in-white with increased torsional stiffness
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.
New four-cylinder turbo engine with output of 225 kW (306 hp)
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.
Numerous engine measures increase efficiency
The high technological standards of the new four-cylinder engine are also underscored by numerous efficiency-enhancing measures. These include CAMTRONIC variable valve control, intelligent thermal management for engine and oil, high-precision piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition. In production, the patented CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing reduces internal engine friction and also increases efficiency.
Agile gear ratios: AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission also contributes to the agile and dynamic character of the new CLA 35 4MATIC. The gear ratios have been configured so that the driver experiences very responsive acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shifting and optimum connections when shifting up.
The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from stationary and is a highly emotional experience. The functions of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G transmission are rounded off with a temporary M mode activated by operating the steering wheel shift paddles in any driving mode, and with the manual transmission mode “M” for manual gear shifting with the shift paddles.
AMG Performance 4MATIC variable all-wheel drive
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.
Five driving programmes: vehicle characteristics with wide spread
The five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport +” and “Individual” enable a wide range of vehicle characteristics from comfortable to dynamic. They change relevant parameters, such as the response of the engine and transmission.
The new “Slippery” drive programme is optimised for low-grip, icy road conditions, with reduced power and a flat torque curve. Smooth gear changes and earlier upshifting support the driving impression characterised by stability.
The “Comfort” programme stands for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, for example thanks to very early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
“Sport” and “Sport+” place the focus on agility and driving pleasure with sporty engine and transmission tuning. The sound of the turbo engine is more striking. “Sport+” is particularly emotional with double-declutching during downshifts and partial cylinder cut-off via a brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection at full load.
The “Individual” drive programme enables the individual parameters to be selected and saved according to personal preferences. In addition, the gliding function is available in the “Reduced” and “Moderate” drive settings.
AMG DYNAMICS: more agility with high stability
As a new feature in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes, the new CLA 35 4MATIC comes with AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated dynamic handling control system extends the stabilising functions of ESP® with agile interventions according to the driver’s wishes. During dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the rear inside wheel creates a defined yawing moment about the vertical axis. The effect: the CLA 35 4MATIC steers responsively and very precisely.
The different manifestations of AMG DYNAMICS are called “Basic” and “Advanced”. On the multimedia display, when a drive programme is selected, the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol is displayed together with the corresponding additional information.
- “Basic” is assigned to the “Slippery” and “Comfort” drive programmes. In this case, the CLA 35 4MATIC shows very stable handling with high damping of the yaw rate.
- “Advanced” is activated in the programmes “Sport” and “Sport+”. The CLA 35 4MATIC remains neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic manoeuvres such as driving on winding country roads.
In the “Individual” drive programme the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels individually.
AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with specific components
The layout of the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension forms the solid straight-line stability and the highly dynamic cornering performance. The longitudinal and transverse dynamics are perfectly coordinated.
A MacPherson suspension strut construction is fitted on the front axle. Suspension is taken care of by one wishbone below the wheel centre, one spring strut and one tie rod respectively. The special axle geometry reduces the influence of the drive on the steering – for high comfort and agile handling. The new wishbone in aluminium reduces the unsprung masses enabling a more sensitive response from the springs. The AMG-specific front steering knuckle has a radially bolted brake calliper – a technology originating from motorsport.
The 4-link rear axle is connected rigidly with the body via a subframe. Three transverse arms and the trailing arm, the wheel carrier and the bearings from the proven A 45 4MATIC are used on each rear wheel. This ensures maximum driving stability and agility.
Adaptive damping system with three modes
The optional Adaptive Damping System enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. The spectrum ranges from comfort-focused to sporty. The system operates fully automatically, adapting the damping forces for each wheel according to the driving situation and road conditions. This happens within milliseconds and is infinitely variable, with a wide spread of damping characteristics. The result is that ride comfort and agility are enhanced in equal measure.
Robust high-performance brake system
The high-performance braking system ensures fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. Its dimensions correspond to the well-proven A 45 4MATIC model. The front axle is fitted with new 4-piston monoblock fixed callipers and 350 millimetre brake discs, the rear axle with 1-piston sliding callipers and 330 millimetre brake discs. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated to better dissipate heat and prevent brake fading, even with extreme use. The silver-painted brake callipers have black AMG lettering.
Steering with special rack and variable ratio
The speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical sports power steering supports a sporty driving style with its direct turn-in ability. It has a special rack with variable transmission ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on which drive programme the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfortable steering feedback. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering even better with the body and thus increases steering precision.
AMG exhaust system with exhaust flap for sound modulation
The exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard. Depending on the drive programme selected, it modulates the sound from balanced to powerful.
World première and market launch
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.
Data at a glance
Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC
2.0-litre 4-cylinder in-line with twin scroll exhaust gas turbocharger
225 kW (306 hp) at 5800 rpm
400 Nm at 3000-4000 rpm
AMG Performance 4MATIC fully variable all-wheel drive
AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission
Combined fuel consumption
7.3-7.2 l/100 km*
Combined CO2 emissions
Acceleration 0-100 km/h
* The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the NEDC CO2 figures according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures.
* electronically limited
 The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the NEDC CO2 figures according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures.