Mercedes will prove its racing capabilities once again with the unveiling of a new CLA 45 AMG Racing Series at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show . After its debut, the model will enter various international race series, such as national brand-specific trophies or the German VLN series.
Based on the standard CLA 45 AMG , the the Racing Series adds an aerodynamic package made in carbon fiber, a racing-prepared interior, and updated suspension and braking systems.
Just like with the SLS AMG GT3 , the new CLA 45 AMG Racing Series was developed in cooperation with HWA AG, which was responsible for the development and race appearances of the AMG-Mercedes DTM cars.
"The CLA 45 AMG Racing Series demonstrates our desire to further increase our commitment to customer motorsport. We are also seeking to offer interested customer teams a competitive, near-standard racing car with an excellent level of safety in the popular four-cylinder segment."
Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Racing Series.
Based on the production-version CLA 45 AMG, the new Racing Series features an extravagant aerodynamic kit made in carbon fiber. This kit includes a new front and rear apron, flared wings and side sill panels, a front apron with a front splitter, a new rear diffuser with three fins, and an adjustable rear aerofoil. For improved stability at high speeds, the CLA 45 AMG Racing Series also offers a carbon-fiber wing.
Being a racecar, it requires improved cooling of the rear brakes, and this is all taken care of, thanks to new air intakes in the side sill panels. Mercedes increased the downforce by adding wheel-arch vents in the wings, and the bonnet and boot lid are fitted with quick-release catches for fast opening and closing.
The interior is specially developed for a racecar, as the CLA 45 AMG Racing Series features a roll cage made in high-strength steel, a carbon-fiber P 1300 GT racing bucket seat from Recaro and an integrated fire-extinguishing system.
For the cockpit, AMG installed a specially developed instrument cluster that displays details on the road speed, engine speed and the operating temperatures of the engine and transmission. This gives the driver a clear view of the important information without distracting him.
Rounding out the interior mods is a racing steering wheel with shift paddles, a center console with a central switch for the on-board electronics, and switches for the hazard warning system and fire extinguishing system.
Under its hood, the new CLA 45 AMG Racing Series keeps the same engine found in the production version: an AMG-built 2.0-liter turbo engine. In the production model, this engine churns out 360 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, and mates to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. This driveline sprints the production version to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph. Mercedes said that the car’s specifications could vary according to the race rules and race series, so the exact performance and output specs on this racer depend on what level the buyer plans to race it in.
Suspension and Brakes
For the new CLA 45 AMG Racing Series Mercedes also developed a special racing suspension with adjustable ride height, spring rate and damper characteristics. The car sits on AMG light-alloy wheels in a cross-spoke design, and the wheels are wrapped in Dunlop racing tires sized 265-660-18. The wheels and suspension team up with an electro-mechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering system to help[ guide the racer trough the twist.
Doing the tedious task of slowing this racecar is an AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated discs all round.
Prices for the new Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Racing Series will be announced at a later date.
Based on the road-going version of the V12 Vantage, the new GT3 version made its racing debut at the ADAC Westfalenfahrt four-hour race (VLN1) on March 23rd. It is powered by a modified version of the 6-liter V-12 engine capable of delivering 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, but due to race regulations the output is restricted to to approximately 550 horsepower.
Mercedes will have to face strong competition at the upcoming VLN series from a number of models, including the Audi R8 LMS Ultra. This model is powered by a 5.2-liter V-10 engine that delivers a total of 570 horsepower and can hit a top speed of 195 mph.
The model can be ordered at a price of €339,000 (about $440,000 at the current exchange rates).
Gallery Audi R8 LMS Ultra
The Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Racing Series is the second racing model offered by Mercedes, and the company hopes it will enjoy the same success as the SLS AMG GT3.
- Powerful engine
- Great carbon-fiber package
- Looks very cool
- No prices
- VLN series offers more powerful competition
World premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main: The CLA 45 AMG Racing Series concept car provides a preview of a further customer sports racing car from Mercedes-AMG, alongside the world success of the SLS AMG GT3 gullwing racing car. Authentic motor racing genes, competitive technology and a spectacular design – the near-series four-door CLA 45 AMG Racing Series high-performance Coupé is intended for the avidly followed race series with turbocharged 2.0-litre cars.
The standard version of the CLA 45 AMG, which has been available since June 2013, has the perfect genes for a competitive customer sports racing car: As the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production, the turbocharged AMG 2.0-litre unit generates 265 kW (360 hp) and maximum torque of 450 newton metres. As on the standard model, power on the racing version is transferred by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. Given sufficient demand, the near-series CLA 45 AMG Racing Series could enter various international race series such as national brand-specific trophies or the German VLN series (Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring – Organiser’s association for Nürburgring long-distance championships).
The technical specifications will vary according to the race rules and race series. The engine output and power transmission are variable, with permanent all-wheel drive or purely front-wheel drive possible as in the standard version.
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "With the CLA 45 AMG Racing Series we are providing a preview of another exciting customer sports racing car from Mercedes-AMG. The great success of our involvement with the SLS AMG GT3, which is now used by customer teams on five continents, means that we are very confident: in the popular four-cylinder segment too, we want to offer interested customer teams a competitive, near-series racing car with a high level of safety."
Uli Fritz, Head of AMG Customer Sport: "The large demand for a customer sports racing car for the extremely popular race series with turbocharged 2.0-litre cars encouraged us to present a showcar CLA 45 AMG Racing Series. Our involvement in customer sports with the SLS AMG GT3, which was able to win the "grand slam" of classic GT3 long-distance races, continues to spawn success in its fourth year."
Spectacular racing car design
Typical racing car features made completely from carbon-fibre (CFRP) make the extravagant design of the standard CLA 45 AMG even more spectacular: they include a new front and rear apron, flared wings and side sill panels. In addition, treadless racing tyres ensure an impressive width. Thanks to carbon-fibre rear wings and large cooling apertures for engine and brake cooling, the CLA 45 AMG Racing Series makes an imposing impression even when stationary. For use on the racetrack, the already good aerodynamic attributes of the four-door high-performance coupé are further optimised by the newly developed carbon-fibre components: the front apron with a front splitter ensures additional downforce, as do the rear diffuser with three fins and the adjustable rear aerofoil.
The air intake in the side sill panels ahead of the rear wheels ensures effective cooling of the rear brakes. Wheel arch vents in the wings, which are flared by over six centimetres on each side, increase the downforce at the front and rear axles. In true racing style, the bonnet and boot lid are fitted with quick-release catches. In short: the motor racing DNA of AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz, is immediately recognisable in the CLA 45 AMG Racing Series.
High level of safety in the interior
A functional racing car atmosphere predominates in the interior: the roll-over cage is made of high-strength steel. An exemplary level of safety is ensured by the carbon-fibre P 1300 GT racing bucket seat from Recaro, prepared for the HANS system (Head and Neck Support), and the integrated fire extinguishing system. In the cockpit the AMG instrument cluster keeps the driver informed about the road speed, engine speed and the operating temperatures of the engine and transmission. The racing steering wheel with shift paddles for gearshifts allows perfect vehicle control. The centre console houses additional controls such as the central switch for the onboard electronics and switches for the hazard warning system and fire extinguishing system.
Special motorsports suspension allows an individual, track-specific setup
The special racing suspension has a wider track at the front and rear, and allows numerous adjustments for an individual racetrack setup. The suspension level, spring rate and damper characteristics are adjustable, as are the track and camber at the front and rear axles. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated discs all-round is equipped with an anti-lock system. The AMG light-alloy wheels in a cross-spoke design are shod with racing tyres in size 265-660-18 from technical development partner Dunlop, and to reduce unsprung masses the AMG light-alloy wheels feature a particularly lightweight forged construction. The electro-mechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering assists with agile handling. Fast wheel-changes during pit-stops are made possible by the pneumatic lifting system integrated into the underbody.
Like the SLS AMG GT3 before it, the CLA 45 AMG Racing Series was developed by Mercedes-AMG in close cooperation with HWA AG. HWA is responsible for the development and race appearances of the AMG-Mercedes DTM cars on behalf of and in close collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Motorsports. Professional racing drivers including the AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider share the cockpit during the course of the test and development programme. The HWA team, which originated within AMG, is one of the most successful teams in international motorsports: Ten driver’s titles in the DTM and ITC, as well as two overall victories in the FIA GT Championship, are compelling evidence. No other brand has won as many DTM races and DTM titles as cars from AMG-Mercedes.
SLS AMG GT3 successful worldwide
Now a permanent fixture in the GT3 segment, the SLS AMG GT3 has been extremely successful since its racetrack debut in autumn 2010. 67 examples have been sold to date. With various titles in international championships such as the ADAC GT Masters, the FIA GT3 European Championship and the FIA GT1 World Championship, as well as over 100 victories in race series all over the world, the racing version of the gullwing-door model has impressively demonstrated its extraordinary performance. In particular, long-distance successes in this year’s Bathurst 12-hour race and the 24-hour races in Dubai, at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps have spectacularly confirmed its competitiveness. The SLS AMG GT3 2013 thus claimed the "grand slam" of classic GT3 long-distance races, with four victories in succession.
Homologated according to the FIA GT3 race rules, this customer sports racing car is active in more than 22 race series and on five continents of the world.