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Old 22nd July 2014, 23:08   #1
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Default Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Mod Note: Team-BHP's Mercedes CLA-Class Review has been taken live at this link (Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review). Please continue the regular CLA's discussion over on the new thread. Thanks!

Mercedes-Benz has launched the CLA 45 AMG performance sedan in India at a price of Rs. 68.50 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-01dsc_7002.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-14dsc_7032.jpg

Mercedes claims this car will be the volume driver among the AMG range of cars; it is the 7th AMG available in India. The CLA 45 AMG is powered by a 1991 cc turbocharged petrol engine, producing 355 BHP of power and 450 Nm of peak torque (from 2250 to 5000 rpm). These figures make this motor the world’s most powerful 4-cylinder production engine. The drivetrain consists of a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, transmitting power to all four wheels through the 4matic (all-wheel drive) system.

The CLA 45 AMG sprints from 0 to 100 kph in 4.6 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 kph. It boasts of an aerodynamic drag coefficient value of 0.23.

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-13dsc_7023.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-15dsc_7038.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-17dsc_7033.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-18dsc_7035.jpg

The gearbox comes with 3 driving modes - C, S and M. C is the regular "D" mode, where the transmission keeps the car in the most efficient band, with smoother responses and early upshifts. S is the sport mode with significantly faster shift times, aggressive throttle response and shift points for sportier performance. M is "Manual" where the gears can be operated through paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. The CLA 45 AMG also features 'Race Start Assist' and a lap timer.

Apart from the regular 'on' and 'off' toggle modes in the ESP system, the CLA 45 AMG features an ESP sport mode, which allows greater power delivery to the rear axle for better drift angles and sharper handling.

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-04dsc_7012.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-12dsc_7022.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-20dsc_7036.jpg

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Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-05dsc_7014.jpg

The CLA Class is smaller than the C Class and is positioned below it. The regular CLA variants will be launched within 18 months. They'll feature transversely mounted engines that will power the front wheels, and a lot of mechanical bits shared with the smaller A-Class Hatchback.

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-06dsc_7015.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-24dsc_7028.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-27dsc_7030.jpg

Although the CLA 45 AMG has four doors, it isn’t a roomy vehicle inside. The front seats are good on space and they have a healthy travel range. However, the cramped rear seat is suitable only for small sized adults, with the low roof being the most prominent limiting factor. The interiors feature a typical, all black theme with loads of aluminium bits around.

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-30dsc_7056.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-32dsc_7043.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-37dsc_7052.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-38dsc_7046.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-39dsc_7041.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 4th February 2015 at 18:53. Reason: Adding link to official review :)
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Old 22nd July 2014, 23:08   #2
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Default re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

The CLA 45 AMG was launched at the Buddh International Circuit and I got an opportunity to drive the compact performance sedan on this F1 track. Even though it was a short 2 lap drive, with a pilot car in front and ESP on at all times, the stint was still good enough to experience what this car is capable of.

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-48dsc_7078.jpg

Considering the unconventional drive-train (for an AMG) with a transversely mounted 2-liter engine powering the tyres through an AWD system, this isn't like a typical AMG. I was keen to drive this car just to know whether it drives like an AMG or not. Specifications on the other hand looked promising - it hits the ton mark in just 4.6 seconds, has a wide peak torque band and even with the small 2-liter engine, the CLA 45 makes some serious horsepower.

Within seconds, I was fixed in my preferred driving position. The heavily bolstered driver's seat offers good adjustment range along with an easy to adjust steering. Operating the small, gear controller was easy - pull back for 'Drive' mode, toggle the modes through a separate switch and the 'Parking' mode has a separate switch too. This means no unnecessary toggling with the gear selector.

The most undramatic part for the CLA 45 AMG is the exhaust / engine sound. With a butterfly valve in the exhaust, it does get loud enough to declare its sporting credentials at higher revs, but isn't thunderous like the bigger AMGs out there. Forget the SLS AMG, it isn’t even close to the E63 or C63 in this respect.

The power deliver is pretty linear and the CLA 45 AMG starts pulling well from low revs. Beyond the midrange, it gets absolutely furious. Once past the initial set of corners at BIC, powering out of the last corner at the beginning of the straight stretch, I floored the accelerator and the CLA 45 ran f-a-s-t. It accelerates like a proper AMG should, the speedo climbs steadily and the CLA touched 200 kph before I had to brake hard for the upcoming corner.

The steering is light, but it is also quick, feeling direct and well-connected. The steering does convey the road surface well. I threw this baby AMG into a corner very aggressively, at speeds faster than what the cars ahead of me were doing. There is a bit of understeer, yet grip levels are generous. The ESP kicks in too early to restrict the slide and also limits power when exiting a corner with the throttle floored. Being a smaller and lighter car, agility is surprisingly good and it jumps from one bend to another without any resistance or delay. I wanted to switch off the ESP and drive a little harder to explore the limits of this little monster, but we were instructed not to. Some other day, I guess...

While this car may not have the sound or RWD drivetrain associated with the performance badge, the CLA 45 AMG has a character of its own. It's not a scaled down AMG, this is a different beast altogether. It is not as dramatic as other AMGs, but be in no doubt, it is fast and fun.

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-44dsc_7072.jpg

Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh-46dsc_7074.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 25th July 2014 at 13:01.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 23:09   #3
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Default re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

This is my first attempt with a Go Pro, please excuse the high wind noise. I should have used the vented back door for the camera case.


Last edited by .anshuman : 25th July 2014 at 16:07. Reason: wrong casing mentioned
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Old 25th July 2014, 13:04   #4
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Supercars & Imports. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th July 2014, 13:43   #5
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Quote:
The CLA Class is smaller than the C Class and is positioned below it
What does this mean?

BTW the red Merc is real drool material!
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Old 25th July 2014, 14:47   #6
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
What does this mean?

BTW the red Merc is real drool material!
CLA Class is positioned lower than C Class. CLA is also smaller in Size, comes only with 4 Cylinder engines mounted transversely powering the Front Wheels. The soon to be launched C Class has grown up in size and retains the RWD format, it is far more spacious and accommodating on inside as well.
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Old 25th July 2014, 14:53   #7
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Quote:
The CLA Class is smaller than the C Class and is positioned below it
+1. What does this mean? Cost wise its way above C Class. Does it mean its positioned below C Class AMG?
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Old 25th July 2014, 14:56   #8
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

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Originally Posted by Vahanam View Post
+1. What does this mean? Cost wise its way above C Class. Does it mean its positioned below C Class AMG?
I was talking about regular CLA vs C Class. CLA45 AMG is positioned lower than C63 AMG
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Old 25th July 2014, 15:09   #9
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Ok. Figured out CLA stands for Coupe Light A-Class. So Merc carved out a separate class for this.
Source:
http://www.mercedesclaforum.com/foru...cla-stand.html
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Old 25th July 2014, 15:25   #10
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I should have used the sealed back door for the camera case.
Sorry for going off-topic, do you mean the waterproof housing when you say sealed back door?

How exactly were you using the camera on the suction mount directly?
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Old 25th July 2014, 16:10   #11
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Sorry for going off-topic, do you mean the waterproof housing when you say sealed back door?

How exactly were you using the camera on the suction mount directly?
It was wrongly mentioned, i used sealed back door with the waterproof housing, i should have used the vented back door in the waterproof housing. What do you suggest? I was using Suction Cup mount.

Another issue was- it was about to rain, that confused me into using the sealed casing to protect the camera.
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Old 25th July 2014, 16:57   #12
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
It was wrongly mentioned, i used sealed back door with the waterproof housing, i should have used the vented back door in the waterproof housing. What do you suggest?
Assumed you used the open back-door, since it was so noisy. My bad!

The fact is that if you actually did use the open back-door, you wouldn't get more engine note; it would be even noisier

The truth is that, without a special set-up, there's really no good way to capture the engine note with a GoPro mounted on the outside of a fast-moving car, due to the wind-noise.

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Old 25th July 2014, 17:42   #13
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
The fact is that if you actually did use the open back-door, you wouldn't get more engine note; it would be even noisier
The engine note would definitely be better with the skeleton back door. While there would be wind noise but if an engine roars it would definitely be captured better.

What is actually needed is that fur micover thing if someone really wants to capture the local engine noise and filter out most of the wind noise.

I've seen a lot of videos of gopro usage in the last 2 months and micover takes care of wind noise to a lot of extent, of course, to be used with skeleton housing / open back door.

EDIT: @anshuman, if it was going to rain then you did the right thing by using the waterproof housing. I for one would never ever use the camera without the waterproof housing outside of my car. What if a water tanker stops beside me on a red light (not that Buddh had that possibility) on a hot sunny day, wouldn't risk my camera with it at any cost.

If you really want to capture the engine sound, mount it on the bonnet or on the fender with the skeleton housing using micover, you may be surprised with the result.

Last edited by fine69 : 25th July 2014 at 17:45.
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Old 25th July 2014, 18:11   #14
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

Faboulous report anshuman. This 2L surely a driver's dream. How this gearbox fares against DSG?

OT: Mercedes has invited whole indian media for this drive. Everybody was gung ho on twitter. I always wanted to ask this. How do they(auto-media) react to team-bhp guys?
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Old 25th July 2014, 18:33   #15
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Default Re: Driven: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG @ Buddh

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Originally Posted by zalaps View Post
Faboulous report anshuman. This 2L surely a driver's dream. How this gearbox fares against DSG?
This Dual Clutch transmission performed at par with VW group's DSG, on this short drive on F1 track i couldn't make out any differences compared to my Skoda Laura's DSG(both are brilliant!).

Quote:
OT: Mercedes has invited whole indian media for this drive. Everybody was gung ho on twitter. I always wanted to ask this. How do they(auto-media) react to team-bhp guys?
Auto Media is always friendly with us. We even share cars during many of the Drive events. Its fun working with Auto Media.
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