Buckle up, twist the ignition key, and the quiet motor comes to life. It is so quiet that you have to nudge the accelerator to really feel the engine running; so quiet that it seems like a lull before the storm. Check out the road in front of you, engage the drive (D) mode, press the accelerator pedal, and wait for half a second.
After that, it’s mayhem. In under a second, you will find yourself getting pushed back into the seat and find the car shooting ahead like a cat possessed. In fact, the acceleration is so intense that you feel everything around you is being fast-forwarded. As the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) struggles to keep the screeching tyres in check, the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes it from 0-100 kmph is just 4.6 seconds, before electronically limiting itself to a top speed of 250 kmph. Whoosh!
That’s the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG, which we recently drove at the Buddh International Circuit near Delhi. Launched last week, the CLA 45 is the most affordable AMG in India.
Of late, Mercedes-Benz has upped the game as far as exterior design is concerned. The CLA 45 AMG looks fascinating from most angles. What especially attract attention are AMG alloy wheels in titanium grey finish; AMG sports exhaust system; AMG high-performance brakes with callipers lacquered in red, visually highlighting its performance; and a 4Matic badge at the rear. When looked at from the sides, the A-pillar rising to meet the roof and the C-pillar dropping to meet the boot is one of the smoothest curves you will ever see on a car.
As you open the door, you are greeted with sportiness all over—enhanced by the red and black colour combination. There are all the creature comforts such as panoramic sliding sunroof; AMG floor mats and illuminated door sill panels; AMG performance seats that come with four-way lumbar support for the driver and front passenger; and AMG performance multifunction steering wheel that gets a dedicated grip area. This car is not for the rear passenger and, as expected, the rear seating area isn’t spacious.
COMAND: It is Mercedes-Benz’s infotainment system that is equipped with a navigation unit featuring a map display, DVD player, radio and 10 GB memory for compressed audio files. There is also a function called the Speed Limit Assist that displays speed limits on the instrument cluster.
Active parking assist: It makes