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The Mercedes CLA 35 is this week's small AMG saloon
When will it stop? Merc's niche busting yields two 302bhp saloons in two weeks
“The new CLA 35 enables stepping in to the fascinating world of AMG Driving Performance in a particularly emotional way,” says Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers. We’re not sure ‘exasperated confusion’ is officially recognised as an emotion, but if it is, then we can’t argue with him.
It’s not that this will be a poor car – quite the flipping opposite. What we’re essentially looking at is a swoopy, four-door coupe version of the Mercedes-AMG A35 hot hatch, a VW Golf R rival that just so happens to be the best A-Class yet.
So you can expect much of the same thing – dizzyingly punchy performance from its combination of 2.0-litre turbo power and all-wheel drive, limpet grip in all manner of weather conditions, a tech-packed interior with screen dimensions to lose your millennial mind over – just with a bit less headroom and more forward-planning before Ikea trips.
But then the same applies to the AMG A35 saloon we saw not two weeks ago. It’s quite hard to pin down exactly what the CLA 35 offers in comparison, but slimmed down styling and swelled out pricing are probably the sum of it.
“The new CLA 35 is an attractive offer for a young, active and lifestyle-conscious target group,” continues Moers. “These customers define their requirements very clearly: they expect exciting design from their vehicle alongside superior performance and inspiring handling characteristics.”
Assuming you really like the way it looks and don’t mind the fact it’s brain-achingly similar to the last new downsized Merc turbo saloon thing, there’s sure to be lots to like. Such as performance to makes its claimed numbers (302bhp, 295lb ft, 4.9secs to 62mph) look modest. Not to mention much dynamic customisation mated to some very clever electronic nannies. And an immaturely burbly sports exhaust that makes an AMG saloon with a mere four cylinders easier to accept than you might have feared.
It’ll almost certainly be decent. But quite why it needs to exist when the A35 saloon already does, we’re yet to get our heads around…