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Pity those poor souls over at AMG. The company still holds its ‘one man, one engine’ philosophy to heart, and now it appears some overtime is required. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG.

Quite a moniker, but it’s quite a lot of car. It’s the fastest, most powerful version of the brand new Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake; essentially the estate version of the baby CLA saloon.

And because it’s spun off the A-Class platform - like its A 45 AMG, CLA 45 AMG and GLA 45 AMG brothers - it gets the world’s most powerful production four-cylinder engine.

You’ll of course know it by heart now: a 2.0-litre turbo packing a whopping 360bhp and 331lb ft of torque, with a seven-speed DCT gearbox and ‘fully-variable’ four-wheel-drive (a front-driver for most of the time, switching to a 50:50 torque split front/rear when required).

Strapped into this swoopy-small-estate body, that engine’s good for a 0-62mph time of just 4.7 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. If you’re concerned about such things, it emits 161g/km. We suspect you might not be.

It’s quite an engine, related to the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the new AMG GT and recipient of two ‘Engine of the Year Awards 2014’. Technically then, it’s just like the A45 and CLA 45 underneath.

But on the outside you’ll see it wears its Shooting Brake body well, Mercedes telling us it wants to be like big brother CLS Shooting Brake. Squint, and it’s the stubbier little sibling. The AMG of course gets the twin exhaust pipes, spoilers, aprons, AMG lettering, aggressive bodykit and bigger wheels.

Of course, you can buy a non-AMG CLA Shooting Brake, a car that Merc’s design chief Gordon Wagener reckons is “a whole new class of vehicle”. There’s the option of the 2.1-litre diesel in 136bhp and 177bhp guises, as well as two petrol engines with three power outputs. The 1.6-litre gets 122bhp and 156bhp versions, while the bigger 2.0-litre comes in 211bhp flavour. In the A-Class, this last engine is a cracker.

All CLA Shooting Brakes come of course, with that extra payload at the rear: 495 litres with the seats up, 1354 litres with the rear seats folded down. You can even spec a ‘cargo’ position that allows space for five and 595 litres of boot.

As ever, the interior appointments all look top notch, with the capacity to option everything Mercedes-Benz will sell you, from better leather, more electronic assists to brain-numbing audio. Oh, and a choice of colour schemes that’ll beggar belief.

The CLA 45 AMG will debut at next year’s Geneva motor show. It seems to suit this bodystyle more than the saloon, we feel.

Is this the baby AMG you’d take, or would you just have a Golf R estate and be done with it?

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