• 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Easy access to the AMG life

LISTEN 15:48

Mercedes-Benz first offered the compact A-Class back in the late ’90s, launching the latest fourth-generation vehicle in 2018. Per tradition, Merc infused the A-Class lineup with a hearty dose of AMG-branded speed over the years, the latest iteration of which is dubbed the CLA 35. Following hot on the heels of the AMG A 35 sedan, the CLA 35 takes the same approach with regard to the powertrain spec, all while adding the sloping roofline of a four-door coupe. Standout characteristics include small dimensions, quick performance, and refined luxury inside the cabin. With fresh exterior styling bits, track-bred electronic aides, new interior gear, and all the underhood-trimmings of the A 35, the CLA 35 certainly makes a solid proposal, but is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?

  • 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    302 @ 5800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    295 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior Styling

  • Four-door coupe styling
  • AMG-enhanced bumpers
  • LED lighting
  • 18-inch wheels standard
  • 19-inch wheels optional
  • Longer and wider
  • Plenty of optional extras
left right

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 starts life as a standard CLA 250 coupe, which means it arrives with the same four-door coupe body style, complete with a sloping roofline, short rear end, and squat, square proportions.

To this, AMG adds its characteristic DTM-inspired styling enhancements. As such, the CLA 35 looks menacing, with flared wheel arches and a low, wide stance, plus dual “power domes” on the hood.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
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Up front, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 is equipped with a new radiator grille branded with a large three-pointed star badge and twin-louver dividers.

The headlights are slim and pointed, drawing back into the front fenders and illuminating the road ahead with LED lighting elements. Lower in the fascia, the unique AMG-spec bumper comes with a quartet of air blades in the corners, while silver chrome trim adds a dash of premium feel.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
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Moving over to the sides, the corners come stuffed with large twin-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, but even-larger multi-spoke 19-inch wheels are an available optional. Under the alloys, you’ll find silver brake calipers with AMG lettering. Flared-out side skirts connect the nose and tail sections.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
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Finally, the rear end completes the picture with an AMG-style bumper and black lower diffuser element. Twin rounded exhaust pipes peek out from the diffuser with a polished chrome glint. Higher up, the two-piece taillights take on a similar shape as the headlight housings, while a subtle trunk spoiler lip adds further performance intentions.

If the standard AMG CLA 35 doesn’t do it for you, extra visual spice can be had with the optional styling upgrades, including the AMG Aerodynamics Package, the AMG Night Package, and carbon fiber mirror caps.

On balance, we think the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 is a good-looking car.

It’s got the right style for a sporty four-door, especially with that sloping roofline, and the AMG additions do well to enhance what’s already there without overpowering the original design. We think it mixes aggression and refinement in well-measured proportions, and that’s no simple task.

Dimensionally speaking, the CLA 35 is quite a bit bigger than the previous CLA 45, adding an inch in overall length and a full 5 inches in overall width. The CLA 35 is also 0.4 inches lower than the previous CLA 45.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 exterior dimensions
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA Difference
Length 4688 mm 4640 mm 48 mm
Width 1830 mm 1777 mm 53 mm
Width incl. exterior mirrors 1999 mm 2032 mm -33 mm
Height 1439 mm 1441 mm -2 mm
Wheelbase 2729 mm 2699 mm 30 mm
Front track 1612 mm 1549 mm 63 mm
Rear track 1602 mm 1547 mm 55 mm

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Interior Design

  • Same layout as the standard A-Class
  • Polished metal trim
  • Piano black surrounds
  • Flat-bottom AMG steering wheel
  • Multifunction controls Optional
  • Optional full leather upholstery
  • Twin 10.25-inch digital displays
  • AMG Track Pace package adds race-spec data collection
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Interior
- image 834329

Step inside the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, and you’ll notice that the cabin layout is identical to that of the standard A-Class model. However, AMG still makes its presence known with a number of performance touches throughout.

The result will most likely divide buyers’ opinions, with some attracted to the glossy, futuristic style, and others turned off by how garish it is.

The CLA 35 is definitely not some stuffy luxury sedan - the aesthetic almost looks like it was inspired by the aftermarket, with a plethora of shiny surrounds, big screens, and polished metal trim added just about everywhere.

Frameless doors create a seamless transition between the interior and exterior, while standard 64-color interior ambient lighting provide some nightclub vibes.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Interior
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Drivers get to grips with a flat-bottomed AMG steering wheel, which is covered in leather and punctuated by red stitching. Galvanized steering wheel-mounted gearshifts provide manual cog-swap inputs, while additional steering wheel controls are optional.

Sport seats are standard, but greater lateral support can be had with the the optional bucket seating. MB-Tex and microfiber Dinamica upholstery is also optional, and comes with a black finish and red contrast stitching.

Full leather is an available option.

Complementary spicy bits include red seat belts and red trim for the air vents. There’s also a more subdued color option with a black and digital grey combo. The center console gets a piano black finish.

Up top is a panoramic glass roof, while three-zone climate control keeps it comfy. Five USB ports provide power as needed.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Interior
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Sitting high on the dash is a pair of 10.25-inch touchscreens mounted in a horizontal layout.

These are joined under a single piece of glass, making it appear as though they are a single screen. Merc calls it the Widescreen Cockpit, and we think it gives the cabin a nice wide look.

One of the display is used as a digital instrument cluster, while the other acts as an infotainment readout. The instrument cluster can be configured in three display styles depending on your preference. There’s also an optional heads-up display for even more high-tech goodness.

Running it all is the standard MBUX infotainment system, which replaces the old Comand system with new 3D graphics and enhanced capabilities, including the option for a digital MBUX interior assistant.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Interior
- image 834338
Acting much like Siri or Alexa, the MBUX interior assistant combines voice command and gesture control to run the various onboard systems.

Alternatively, there’s also a touchpad in the center tunnel if you prefer a more traditional approach.

However, we’re intrigued by the MBUX assistant, which Merc says comes with numerous smart functions for a more streamlined experience. For example, certain visual element on the touchscreen are enhanced when you move your hand towards the screen, making it easier to operate.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
- image 834326
Moving on, the CLA 35 is also offered with the AMG Track Pace package, which is essentially a system for telemetry data collection, which should help to extract every last tenth of performance on the track.

Granted, we doubt you’ll be seeing too many CLA 35’s at your next track day, but the AMG Track Pace package is still a nice-to-have for those who love to play the part of weekend warrior from time to time.

In case you were wondering, the package works by recording over 80 data inputs, analyzing stuff like 0-to-60 mph time, braking performance, cornering g’s, and the like. The system also comes equipped with track maps for famous circuits like Spa Francorchamps and the Nürburgring, enabling you to view your sector times and lap times and improve your driving abilities. You can even record your own circuits if they aren’t already stored in the system.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Interior
- image 834329

Additionally, there’s an MBUX Augmented Reality system that will display the perfect racing line onto the multimedia display or heads-up display. We think this is very video game-esque, and liken it to a virtual racing instructor. Like the interior aesthetic itself, this feature is most likely something that some buyers will love, while others will think it’s just some cheap gimmick.

One thing all buyers will appreciate is the CLA 35’s variety of driver assists, which includes adaptive cruise control, steering assist, emergency braking, and lane change assist.

Finally, Merc has yet to provide exact figures on interior room, but it most likely mirrors those of the standard 2020 CLA. For your reference, we’ve listed those numbers below:

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 interior dimensions
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA Difference
Max. headroom, front 1023 mm 1006 mm 17 mm
Headroom, rear 908 mm 905 mm 3 mm
Legroom, front 1062 mm 1063 mm -1 mm
Legroom, rear 861 mm 860 mm 1 mm
Elbow room, front 1457 mm 1422 mm 35 mm
Elbow room, rear 1454 mm 1410 mm 44 mm
Shoulder room, front 1400 mm 1391 mm 9 mm
Shoulder room, rear 1372 mm 1350 mm 22 mm
Load compartment width max. 1444 mm 1331 mm 113 mm
Load compartment depth max. 1054 mm 1030 mm 24 mm
Width of load compartment opening 891 mm 629 mm 262 mm
Boot capacity 460 L 470 L -10 L

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Drivetrain And Performance

  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • 302 horsepower
  • 295 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds
  • 0.5-seconds slower to 60 compared to CLA 45
  • Seven-speed DCT
  • 4Matic all-wheel drive
  • Multiple drive modes
  • Race-Start function
  • 13.8-inch front disc brakes
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Drivetrain
- image 834332

Lift the hood on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, and you’ll find a setup that closely resembles the A 35 sedan. That includes the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (also known as the M260), which once again produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The crankcase is made from die-cast aluminum, while a twin-scroll turbo makes the boost and variable valve control balances power with efficiency.

The CLA 35’s 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque represents an 81-horse and 37-pound-feet boost compared to the standard CLA 250, which produces 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

However, the CLA 35 is still 73 horsepower and 55 pound-feet down compared to the old CLA 45.

At the same time, the CLA 35 can sprint to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is just half a second slower than the CLA 45. Not too shabby. Top speed is estimated to top out at 155 mph.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
- image 834346

Routing the muscle is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a unit we’re all quite familiar with at this point. Putting the power to the pavement is a 4Matic all-wheel drive system, which offers a torque split that varies between 50-50 front-to-back, or just the front wheels only. Making it possible is a multi-disc clutch with electro-mechanical operation.

Per usual, the CLA 35 offers multiple drive modes for refined driving characteristics, affecting everything from the engine response, to the exhaust note, to the transmission shift settings, to the electronic driver aides, to the suspension. It includes settings for comfort, a sportier experience, and a “Slippery” mode as well.

There’s also a standard Race-Start function for quick and easy launches, which is typically a pretty tricky thing to execute in an all-wheel drive sports car.
2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
- image 834327

Under the flared wheel arches and bright paint, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 comes with rigid underpinnings for sharper handling characteristics. The front end was strengthened for improved turn-in and more aggressive toe and camber settings, and includes an aluminum shear panel that bolts directly underneath the engine, plus there are diagonal braces for the underbody.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
- image 834345

As for the suspension duties, there are MacPherson struts up front paired to aluminum wishbones. An AMG-specific front steering knuckle with radially bolted brake caliper helps to alleviate torque steer, which is a setup Mercedes says comes from its experience on the track. In back is a four-link suspension setup.

Making the most of available grip is an AMG Ride Control system with adaptive dampers. These utilize fully automatic operation, adapting each individual corner to the road conditions and driver inputs. The added bonus is that the system strikes a balance between sportiness and comfort, a critical characteristic for a sporty luxury four-door.

Turning the thing is a speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical power steering system with a variable ratio.

Throwing the anchor are 13.8-inch discs in front, which are clamped by four-pot monoblock calipers. The rear gets 13.0-inch discs and single-piston calipers. Each of the four discs are ventilated and perforated for heavy-duty use, although we’ll have to test them before we can sign off on that claim.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 drivetrain specifications
Engine 2.0L Inline-4 turbo
Displacement 1991 cc
Max. output 302 hp at 5800 rpm
Peak torque 295 lb-ft at 3000-4000 rpm
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.6 s (est)
Top speed TBA*

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Prices

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
- image 834333

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 made its big debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. It will arrive in dealers later in 2019.

Official pricing info is not yet available, but with the 2019 CLA 25 4Matic Coupe priced at $35,100 and the AMG CLA 45 Coupe priced at $53,100, we think it’ll slot in at around $45,000. That figure also places it at the same level as its two direct competitors.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Competition

BMW 240i xDrive Coupe

2018 BMW 2 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 724423

The natural go-to competition for anything and everything Mercedes is BMW, but in this case, the matchup is a bit mismatched. While the AMG CLA 35 is a four-door coupe, the BMW 240i xDrive Coupe is a more traditional two-door. However, the rest of the spec looks to be on target - behind the kidney grille is a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, which is tuned to produce 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive system, it’s enough muscle to push the Bimmer to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Top speed without the limiter hits the traps at 149 mph. Pricing starts at $47,800. For now, the 240i is the best rival from the Bavarians, but that’ll change when BMW releases the up-and-coming 2 Series Gran Coupe in its M’d form.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 2 Series Coupe.

Audi S3 Sedan

2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Sedan High Resolution Exterior
- image 671729

As goes Mercedes and BMW, so goes Audi. If it’s a compact sports sedan with Four Rings on the nose that you’re after, then the S3 is the right choice for you. The styling elements are big and bold, including a massive Singleframe grille up front and available 19-inch wheels in the corners. Providing the motivation is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which lays down 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and quattro all-wheel drive put it to good use, making for a Merc-matching 4.6-second 0-to-60 mph time. Pricing starts at $44,500.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi S3 Sedan.

Final Thoughts

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Exterior
- image 834324

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 has a lot going for it. Not only does it look great, but it comes stuffed with features. That interior is sure to be polarizing, but we like the fact AMG isn’t holding back when it comes to adding the flavor.

And with a 4.6-second 0-to-60 mph time, the CLA 35 is quick too. The track stuff is nice, but we think it’s inevitably useless on a car that’s almost certainly never gonna see the track. Besides, the CLA 45 is still the one to get if performance is on your mind - after all, how can you say no to 345 horsepower?

So where’s the CLA 35 slot in? For us, it seems like a mid-ranger solution, offering the same compact goodness you’d expect, but without the full-blown craziness that is the CLA 45. Still, for our money, we’d regret not going all the way to the 45. But hey, that’s just us.

  • Leave it
    • Not as fast as the CLA 45
    • Seems like a compromise
    • Plenty of alternatives already out there

Further Reading

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Exterior
- image 813008

Read our in-depth review of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan
- image 832643

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
- image 764932

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Exterior Spyshots
- image 789475

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author

Sporty, stylish, intelligent and dynamic: The new CLA 35 is the latest point of entry to the world of Mercedes-AMG. The four- door coupe shares the progressive technology with the A-Class, but is even bolder with its iconic design and the intelligent MBUX interior assistant. The high torque 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine delivers 302 hp, distributed to all four wheels via the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and variable all- wheel drive. Sporty driving performance (acceleration from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds est.) is combined with a range of versatile driving experiences - from very sporty to refined and 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 sporty design: the exterior

The unique design of the CLA Coupe is one of the new model’s key purchase reasons. The AMG designers therefore aimed to maintain its basic form with wide wheel arches and a slim profile. The two power domes on the hood were also adopted as sporty details. The new radiator grille with classic twin louvers and an AMG front bumper with flics on the air inlets are distinctive features of the CLA 35. Other distinguishing characteristics include silver chrome trim elements in the outer air inlets. From a side view, the aerodynamically optimized 18-inch light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design (19-inch wheels are optionally available) and the accentuated side sills catch the eye. The rear bumper with a new diffuser insert, the small spoiler lip on the trunk and the two round tailpipes on the left and right dominate the rear view. The two-piece, narrow tail lamps and the license plate housing placed low in the bumper add to the CLA’s wide rear appearance.

Sporty interior featuring MBUX infotainment system

Frameless doors open to an interior with a high-tech ambience, where quality and elegance meet digital displays. The interior scene can be catered to specific tastes thanks to the standard 64 color ambient lighting. The distinctive interior design is evident with the available MB-Tex and microfiber DINAMICA in black with red contrasting stitching and red seat belts, as well as in the available combination of MB-Tex in black/digital grey. Red piping on the microfiber DINAMICA trim elements and ventilation outlets with a red ring are additional unique accents.

The combination of a sporty design with sophisticated details is also evident in the MBUX infotainment system with its innovative operation and display. In the new CLA 35, MBUX replaces the previous COMAND systems and creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
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 consequently emphasize the horizontal orientation of the interior design.

With the newly available MBUX interior assistant, select infotainment functions can be operated without touch, along with switching the reading light on or off. The assistant differentiates between driver and passenger interaction and recognizes certain hand positions and movements. The interaction area for the MBUX interior assistant is in front of the media display up to the center console, including the touchpad between the driver and front-seat passenger.

The MBUX interior assistant recognizes movement toward the various operating elements of the infotainment system. The operator’s seat is enlarged on the media display if one’s hand moves toward the touchscreen. The most suitable operating elements are automatically pre-selected. In the radio and media menu, the MBUX interior assistant reduces the number of operating steps. In the navigation menu, the system fades in the display as soon as the hand moves to operate the touchscreen or touchpad, so that a symbol is selected directly. When displaying the camera image, as soon as the hand moves toward the touchscreen the MBUX interior assistant enables the four camera operating symbols from the 360-degree camera to be faded in. This means that the front, rear, right or left camera view can be selected directly.

The CLA 35 also comes with our new trailblazing voice control, activated with the words "Hey Mercedes". Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognizes 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

Customers can choose between three AMG display styles for the instrument cluster: "Classic", "Sport"and "Supersport". 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. 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 center console

The 10.25 inch touchscreen multimedia display also emphasizes the dynamic character with individual AMG displays, such as visualization of the driving programs, AMG TRACK PACE and telemetry data.

The AMG-specific center console in piano black finish with standard touchpad has additional buttons that control the functions of ESP®, manual transmission mode and the Adaptive Damping System. When combined with the optional leather package, it also features a silver chrome surround.

New AMG steering wheel generation with optional steering wheel buttons

The next generation of AMG steering wheels provide the perfect link between the driver and the vehicle. The steering wheel rim with a flat-bottom, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrasting topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting.

The built-in Touch Control buttons, familiar from some of our other models, are a new feature. The Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control can be adjusted on the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right activate the voice control and telephone, and regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the infotainment system.

The steering wheel with innovative AMG steering wheel buttons is available as an option. These consist of a round controller with an integrated display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned color display buttons with switches beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke. The AMG drive programs are actuated directly via the controller. With the two configurable display buttons and the additional switches, further AMG functions can be controlled within easy reach directly on the steering wheel.

Reinforced body-in-white with increased torsional rigidity

Specific measures to strengthen the front section of the bodyshell help enable the precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis, even when driving at speed. A "shear panel", a bolted aluminum plate under the engine, also increases the torsional stiffness of the front section of the CLA 35. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase rigidity.

New four-cylinder turbo engine with 302 hp

The 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine is a new development and is based on the M260 four-cylinder engine in the new A-Class. The new drive boasts a quick response to accelerator pedal commands, high torque (295 lb-ft max. torque from 3,000 rpm), a lively response and an emotional engine sound. The crankcase made of high-strength, lightweight die-cast aluminum reduces the vehicle weight where it matters most for driving dynamics.

The twin-scroll turbocharger combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a significant power increase at higher engine speeds. The housing of the twin-scroll turbocharger is divided into two parallel ducts. Together with two separate 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 — minimization of the mutually adverse effects of the individual cylinders on the gas cycle. The exhaust gas backpressure 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 7-Speed Transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Transmission also contributes to the agile and dynamic character of the new CLA 35. The gear ratios are configured so that the driver experiences very responsive acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shifting and optimum connections when upshifting.

The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from a stationary position and is a high performance experience. The functions of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed transmission also include a temporary manual shift mode activated by operating the steering wheel shift paddles in any driving mode, and with the manual transmission mode "M"for manual gear changes with the shift paddles.

AMG Performance 4MATIC variable all-wheel drive

Dynamism, agility and performance – these three attributes characterize the standard all-wheel drive of the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The variable AMG 4MATIC+ combines the best possible traction with driving pleasure. The torque distribution is 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 the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, and 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 programs: vehicle characteristics with a wide spread

The five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Slippery,""Comfort,""Sport,""Sport +"and "Individual"enable a wide range of vehicle characteristics from comfortable to dynamic. They change relevant parameters, such as the responsiveness of the engine and transmission.

The new "Slippery"drive program is optimized for low-grip, icy road conditions, with reduced power and a flat torque curve. Smooth gear changes and earlier upshifts support a more stable driving character.

The "Comfort"program stands for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, for example, thanks to 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 exciting 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 program enables specific 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 programs, the new CLA 35 comes with AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated dynamic handling control system extends the stabilizing functions of ESP® with responsive 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 steers quickly and very precisely.

The different modes of AMG DYNAMICS are called "Basic"and "Advanced."When a drive program is selected on the multimedia display, the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol is displayed with the corresponding additional information.

"Basic"is assigned to the "Slippery"and "Comfort"drive programs. In this case, the CLA 35 shows very stable handling with a high damping of the yaw rate.
"Advanced"is activated in the programs "Sport"and "Sport+."The CLA 35 remains neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic maneuvers, such as driving on winding country roads.
In the "Individual"drive program the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels individually.


The layout of the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension provides solid straight-line stability and highly dynamic cornering performance. The longitudinal and transverse dynamics are optimally coordinated.

A McPherson strut construction is fitted on the front axle. The suspension is comprised of one wishbone below the wheel center, one spring strut and one tie rod. The special axle geometry reduces the influence of the drive on the steering – for high comfort and agile handling. The new wishbone in aluminum reduces unsprung mass, 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 with the body via a subframe. Three transverse arms and the trailing arm, the wheel carrier and the bearings from the proven A 45 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 both enhanced.

Robust high-performance brake system

The high-performance braking system enables fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. The front axle is fitted with new 4-piston monoblock fixed callipers and 13.8 inch brake discs, while the rear axle is equipped with 1-piston sliding callipers and 13.0 inch brake discs. The discs are ventilated and perforated to dissipate heat and reduce brake fading, even with heavy use. The silver-painted brake callipers have black AMG lettering.

Steering with special rack and variable ratio

The speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical power steering supports a sporty driving style with its direct turn-in ability. It has a special rack with variable ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on the drive program the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfortable steering feedback. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering 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 program selected, it modulates the sound from balanced to powerful.


AMG TRACK PACE is also available as an option for the new CLA 35. The virtual race engineer is part of the MBUX infotainment system and permanently records more than 80 vehicle-specific data measures (e.g. speed, acceleration). On top of this, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference to a reference time. Because specific display elements are shown in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance without reading numbers whether they are currently faster or slower than the best time.

After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyze and, if necessary, improve their driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a newly developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the track has been left or if it has been shortened. This is possible using GPS data as well as the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds).

The logged data is displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the optional head-up display. Well-known racetracks like, for example, the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already stored.
Furthermore, it is also possible to record one’s own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and be updated online.

The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored racetrack to be displayed on the multimedia display or on the optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.

World premiere and market launch

The new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 celebrates its world premiere as part of the New York International Auto Show on April 16, 2019 and will be available in U.S. dealerships starting late 2019.

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Press release

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