There’s now a Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S Shooting Brake | Top Gear
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There’s now a Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S Shooting Brake

AMG’s mission to Drift Mode All The Things continues with 400bhp mini-wagon

Published: 16 Jul 2019

Attention, the four or five people of the world for whom AMG does not yet cater. You listening?

Have you been waiting for a ludicrously fast estate car that isn’t too big? Have you been hoping for a 400bhp hot hatch but thought the AMG A45’s boot was just too small? Then you lucky people, meet the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Shooting Brake. The estate version of the four-door saloon coupe version of the AMG hot hatch. Wait, what?

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As you’ve probably guessed, this car shares all of its heavy-duty engineering with the AMG A45 super-hatch. That means a record-breaking 2.0-litre turbo engine good for, in the CLA 45 S, a massive 416bhp. If you can do without the ‘S’, you’ll be getting by with only 377bhp. And getting from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, instead of 4.0sec dead. Honestly, could you be seen in one? In a non-S? The shame of it.

The CLA 45 ‘S’ also brings with it Drift Mode, thanks to a clutch pack in the rear differential that can send torque to the most tyre-wreckingest end of the rear axle when you’re cornering with German vim and vigour. And the 505-litre boot isn’t full of fixie-bike or windsurfing gear. And designer dogs.

Like the A45, there’s a fleet of chassis reinforcements under the body-kitted skin to stop the CLA 45 collapsing like poorly assembled furniture when its truly hilarious power output is unleashed, via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and four-wheel drive. This might look like a concept car inspired by a shoe, but make no mistake – there’s some serious fast car engineering at play here.

Incidentally, if you’re pondering what it’s like to ride in the new 416bhp Mercedes-AMG A45 S, you can discover the answer by tapping on these blue words.

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As usual for an AMG, there are more driving modes than there are seats, the top speed is limited (to, er, 174mph in the CLA 45 S), and the slatted grille up front is bookended by a set of big ol’ tailpipes. Here’s a stat for the nerds: the CLA 45 makes do with 82mm-wide tailpipes, while the S version gets 90mm-wide pipes. Don’t be caught measuring them in public.

No prices yet, but if you’re expecting a decent chunk of change from £50,000, have a lie down in a cool, dark room. Which is probably where AMG’s engineers are now. Working out what to put a 416bhp, 2.0-litre motor in next. A B-Class, perhaps? A Smart?

We digress – that’s mere fantasy. So, which of the mad (and real) ‘45’ family is it to be? Hatchback, coupe-saloon, or swoopy wagon Shooting Brake?

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