If you like the idea of the recently-revealed Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA 45 models but want a little extra practicality, allow us to present the solution. It’s… a CLA 45, actually, although this one is based on the niche-within-a-niche Shooting Brake version of Mercedes’ swoopy mini saloon.
Nothing about it is remotely surprising, as all the oily bits and pieces underneath match what you’ll find under the skin of the A45 and CLA45. There’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four up front, which develops 382bhp. 0-62mph happens in 4.1 seconds, an identical figure to the CLA45.
The new ‘M139’ engine is intended to feel more like a naturally-aspirated unit rather than one running a turbo. Peak power comes in at 6500rpm, and the rev-limiter doesn’t cut in until 7200. Peak torque of 354lb ft arrives at 5000 - 5250rpm. Go for the CLA 45 S, and you have 415bhp to enjoy, arriving at 6750rpm. Its 369lb ft of twist kicks at slightly earlier than the ‘basic’ model at 4750 - 5000rpm, and it’ll hit 62mph a tenth quicker.
The engine sends its power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Drift Mode is available, although you will need to either spec the AMG Dynamic Plus Package or go for the pokier ‘S’ version for sideways tomfoolery. Either way, the top speed raises from 155 to 168mph.
Three-stage adaptive dampers are on the options menu for both cars. On the braking side of the equation meanwhile, four-piston mono block brake calipers are fitted as standard up front, squeezing 355mm discs. In the S, the front rotors are 10mm larger, and work together with six-pot calipers.
If you want to travel quickly while also carting around a lot of stuff, you’re reasonably well catered for with the CLA 45 SB. The boot opening is nearly 250mm wider than before, and there’s 505 litres of space to play with back there, making it “large enough to accommodate a wealth of recreational and outdoor equipment,” Mercedes says. Hashtaglifestyle.
We don’t know how much it costs just yet, but it’ll almost certainly be the most expensive car in the ‘45 range. If you can make do with a ‘mere’ 302bhp, the CLA 35 will be significantly cheaper.