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Rediff.com  » Business » The new Mercedes-Benz AMG is a cracker on the road

The new Mercedes-Benz AMG is a cracker on the road

August 04, 2014 15:35 IST

The new Mercedes-Benz AMG is a cracker on the road

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Arup Das

One has to keep in mind that this car is powered by the world's fastest 4 cylinder power train, so there is definitely more to this coupe than meets the eye. 

If looks could kill, then I am a dead man walking. You see, I have been driving the new Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG and it is right up there in the automobile market today for its killer looks.

With an indulgent smile on my face, I have watched the coupe becoming the star attraction in my neighbourhood.

It is undoubtedly one of the most desirable cars to have emerged from the Mercedes-Benz stable. 

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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After years of being badgered for having the most conservative portfolio in the luxury segment, the boys from Stuttgart have launched a host of new vehicles that are totally radical in nature, leaving the critics eating humble pie.  

The CLA 45 is the most afforable AMG-branded car in India.

But believe me when I say that it is also the most attractive four-door coupe of its generation.

For once, I didn't have to answer a volley of questions from people on the streets about this machine. It left everyone speechless.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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The new Mercedes-Benz AMG is a cracker on the road

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Once you have stopped drooling about its physical appeal, you can then get into what the CLA 45 is capable of.

Bucking the new trend of installing a start-stop ignition button, Mercedes-Benz has persisted with its smart key, which is personally how I prefer it.

Twist the key, and the coupe's 2.0-litre turbocharged heart growls like a lion in a bad mood. But you will grow to love this roar.

Besides, it is the best way to wake up your neighbours.

I leave the driving option on Comfort, or Eco mode, so that the CLA 45 AMG doesn't shoot off like a rocket. 

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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Though there is a fraction of a second's lag in this mode, there isn't much to crib about.

One has to keep in mind that this car is powered by the world's fastest 4 cylinder power train, so there is definitely more to this coupe than meets the eye.

Once it crosses the initial hiccup, the car gallops without a stumble.

The mid-range speed is where the actual power rushes in.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Indian AutosBlog

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The new Mercedes-Benz AMG is a cracker on the road

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However, because this is an AMG car, its test lies in the Sports mode. Here, the rev needle happily flirts with the red line and provides the car a serious initial kick that pushes you back into the seat.

"Now this is what I am talking about," your inner-self screams as the car flies.

Once you have your fill of crazy drive mode, you can shift to Manual, which lets you have the final say on the CLA 45's progress on the road.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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The 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox makes precise gear changes. It is so much in sync with the engine that you don't even feel the change in gears.

With 355 bhp, the coupe is always ready to pass the rest of the world at a blistering pace.  

The new vehicle is like a well-toned athlete, smoothly taking in the sharp turns without breaking step.

There is a minimum, if any, body roll, which makes it an amazing car to drive.

But when it comes to the quality of the ride, the story is a bit different.

The suspensions are extremely stiff for sporty handling - if you face a deep pothole, be prepared to experience a bone-jarring ride.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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The steering wheel is weighted perfectly and makes driving an engaging feature between man and machine.

Also the car's responsive brake system provides excellent bite, because of the huge 13.8-inches brake discs at the front and 13 inches at the rear.  

The sporty Recaro seats are like second skin that provide perfect side support, while the seat squab keeps you firmly snug.

But drive this stylish car for a couple of hours, and you will feel your back ache.

Appallingly for a car of this sort, the seats don't support the lower back .

The rear too fails to please because it lacks head room due to the car's sloping roof.

The legroom is limited and leaves you feeling claustrophobic.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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Though the interiors look smart in a black-aluminium combo, they seem all too familiar. Apart from the toggle gear knob, a steering wheel wrapped in suede leather and chrome foot pedals, the interiors resemble those of the A-Class.

The quality of the plastic used for the centre console too is disappointing, while the infotainment screen sticks out like a sore thumb with its tacky feel.

Also being an AMG, the CLA 45 should have had a touch-screen display.

The Harman-Kardon music system, however, provides an excellent surround experience.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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The exterior is distinguished with a chrome strip and a huge Mercedes logo.

The lower lip of the bumper sports a silver finish, while the side arches have been pumped up.

The rear is well sculpted and fitted with eye-catching LED lamps.  

The coupe makes an unmatchable style statement. It goes from 0 to 100 kmph in 4.5 seconds and handles like a ballet dancer.

The ride quality is harsh, though you could ignore this for its AMG status.

The lack of adequate rear space is disappointing, though it does come with a spacious boot. This rocket can be used for daily purpose and represents an expensive but a versatile option.

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Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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MERCEDES-BENZ CLA 45 AMG

Engine: 4 cylinders, 1991 cc, turbocharged

Power: 355 bhp at 6000 rpm

Torque: 45.9 kgm at 2250-5000 rpm

Type: All-wheel drive

Gearbox: 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic

Price: Rs 68.50 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)


Image: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

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