Not long ago, AMG was just a mere tuning house in the eyes of Mercedes Benz. A firm that simply pimped up existing Mercedes vehicles, adding a bit of zing and character to the otherwise luxury centric German carmaker. The performance segment was left for BMW to deal with, and they did a bloody fine job of it. Over the last few years though, the landscape has changed drastically. Mercedes has gone after performance segment with all the ammunition it can muster, and the result has been some truly mind-boggling cars. The C63, E63, ML63, SL55 are a few that come to mind almost instantly. They were brutes. Hairy, broad-chested cousins of the C, E and ML Class that you wouldn’t want to mess around with. But what was so refreshing was Mercedes’ take on the performance market. They didn’t beat around the bush trying to make a BMW clone. They created a different type of performance car altogether. While BMW and Audi were busy crunching the numbers in order to precisely engineer hot-rod versions of their luxury sedans, Mercedes and AMG just kept it simple. Big, naturally aspirated or turbocharged engines, enough power to move the earth about it’s axis, bulging bumpers and lots of sideways action.
The CLA45AMG is the latest addition to the AMG parade. But before you take your cheque book out, we’d like for you know that this isn’t like your “average” AMG. This car is different. For starters, it’s not powered by a massive V8 or V10. Instead, it has a 2.0L four cylinder petrol engine under the hood. Sounds puny, doesn’t it? At least till I tell you that this power plant produces 355bhp and 450Nm of torque! Mercedes claims it’s the most power dense 2.0L engine ever produced. 177bhp per litre sounds like a lot, because it is. In comparison, Ford’s Ecoboost (which won a number of laurels last year) produces just 126bhp.