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Three reasons the 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG is a real track star

We drive the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG on the track. How did the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine perform?


Most 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG owners will never take their shiny new performance cars out to the track, but here’s why you should. We took the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG out to High Plains Raceway (HPR) for a test to see how this new AMG luxury compact four-door coupe would perform. This was all part of a track day that Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) journalists were able to take part in.

Myself and Aaron Turpin from Torque News were able to take part in the Rocky Mountain Drive Experience. And it’s quite an experience that Aaron and I get to do every year as members of RMAP. There were many vehicles we were able to drive, but the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG was one of the vehicles that was tops on my list to throw around the track.

After we arrived at HPR and received driver instructions on track etiquette, I grabbed my safety helmet and literally ran to be the first driver to take out the new Mercedes AMG performance car. I wanted to be the first to “warm up” the track with this new CLA45 AMG. I’ve written a lot about the car with the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine that comes in the four-door coupe, and now I had my chance to get behind the wheel.

How did the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine perform?

The new 2014 CLA45 AMG comes equipped with an AMG 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out 355 hp and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. This gives the new performance four-door coupe the world's most powerful four-cylinder engine built in series production. I put the Mercedes four-door coupe into "SPORT Handling" mode and took off onto the track. It didn’t take but a few seconds on the track and my senses were excited.

My pulse rate matched the car’s increase in rpms as I stood on the pedal and turned the first corner onto the straight-away. I looked down at the end of the long straight and I was doing 110 mph. I hit the brakes hard in order to navigate the first hard right turn. The AMG high-performance braking system worked flawlessly slowing the luxury coupe down. This was the reason I wanted to be first in the CLA45 AMG on the track. After a number of different drivers making hard runs on this track, the brakes get very hot and aren’t as effective. I wanted to go full bore without having to worry.

High-performance AMG equipment

The CLA 45 with AMG high-performance sports suspension and independently developed front and rear axles enable me to take the tight corners at HPR at high speeds with very little body lean. This performance AMG with electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering offered agile handling through the multiple corners and elevation changes.

High-performance AMG 4MATIC keeps it planted

CLA45 AMG uses a 3-stage stability program that is applied to adapt the control strategies of the variable 4MATIC system. The 4MATIC works with the new Mercedes 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear-axle gear unit with integrated, hydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch. The set-up allows fully variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles. This was ideal for the fast conditions on the warm dry track at HPR. With all that power to the four corners, I was able to go into the tight corners and keep up speed without ever losing grip on any of the four wheels.

Mercedes says the powerful compact coupe sprints from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Because the track is short at HPR, I was never able to see that top speed, but even at 110, it was enough to excite this ardent performance fan. For the performance enthusiast, it doesn't get any better than this. Starting at $47,450, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG could be the most fun per dollar of any performance sports car on the planet, on the street or track.

Other 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG stories of interest.
2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG named best performance/luxury car to buy for 2014