The news of upgraded AMG models as part of the CLA-Class update brought the excitement of the spiciest CLA 45 yet; for 2024, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 gets an ‘S’ added to its name to signify a bump in power. Outputs are now at 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque – 34 hp and 15 lb-ft more than the non-S version America received in 2023 – but other than a few styling tweaks and updated equipment, the new AMG CLA 45 S isn’t an entirely new animal. The sporty four-door coupe, as Mercedes calls it, is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door if you’re looking to buy a performance car with five seats; although there is a cheaper (and less potent) version available in the AMG CLA 35, this is the one to have if you have around $60k to spend and really have to get to 60 mph in four seconds.
When Is The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Coming Out?
Initial reports had the release date for the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S pegged for later in 2023 but we expect the car to arrive at dealerships in the USA early in 2024.
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Price and Competition
We don’t have a confirmed price for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S yet, but an increase over the current model’s MSRP is a reasonable expectation. For 2023, the AMG CLA 45 Coupe costs $57,800; the new, more powerful model may break the $60k mark.
As far as rivals go, the spiciest Audi A3 compact sedan is the RS3, which makes 401 hp and 369 lb-ft – while less powerful than the CLA 45 S, it’s quicker to 60 mph by four-tenths. There isn’t currently a comparable BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe since the M235i makes just 302 hp and 332 lb-ft, but homegrown rivals like the Cadillac CT4-V can be considered, too. It punches above its weight in Blackwing specification, making 472 hp and 445 lb-ft from a twin-turbo V6 engine, and it is priced at $61,495 for 2024.
New Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Exterior and Colors
As part of the refresh, the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Coupe gets a few aesthetic upgrades to set it apart. Like the rest of the new CLA range, it gets a new front and rear design, updated LED High Performance headlamps, and a freshened paint palette. Buyers can also switch out the standard 19-inch five-twin-spoke matte black wheels for a new design exclusive to the 2024 AMG CLA 45 S.
The coupe gets the AMG-specific radiator grille and the reshaped front fascia, and for 2024, the LED headlights and taillights feature new graphics. Of course, it retains the coupe-styled roofline despite having four doors.
The exterior colors for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S have been expanded, with Hyper Blue and Starling Blue joining the existing palette. The matte Manufaktur Mountain Gray Magno paint can be accented by red stripings and graphics, and we assume the various AMG Night Packages, exterior chrome packages, and carbon bits and pieces will carry over onto the 2024 options list. The new AMG Aerodynamics Package Plus also avails the CLA 45 S with a fixed rear spoiler.
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Dimensions
We don’t expect changes to the dimensions of the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S for the new model year, which means the 107.4-inch wheelbase and length of 184.8 inches will carry over. The AMG CLA 45 Coupe’s width works out to 78.7 inches and its height comes in at 55.4 inches. We may see a slight variation in curb weight, courtesy of new equipment and mechanicals, but it’ll likely remain somewhere in the 3,660-pound region.
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Engine and Performance
The big news for the new AMG CLA 45 S has to do with the addition of the letter ‘S’ to its name. This comes with a bump up in power to the tune of 34 hp and 15 lb-ft. The 2.0-liter handcrafted inline-four engine in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S now makes 416 hp and 369 lb-ft, which is good enough to hustle the AMG CLA 45 S from 0-60 mph in four seconds. It’s worth noting that despite the increase in power over the older model, the benchmark sprint time remains unchanged. Top speed is limited to 167 mph.
Like the outgoing model, the new CLA 45 S uses the brand’s AMG Performance 4Matic+ fully variable all-wheel drive system with AMG torque control, and an AMG Speedshift eight-speed dual-clutch transmission does duty. This system can send all the power to the rear wheels, and for those who enjoy getting the rear out, the 45 S has a Drift drive mode. Unlike the AMG CLA 35 that sits below it in the lineup, the 2024 model isn’t too vastly different from the 2023 version, but a new aerodynamics package will also add a fixed rear spoiler to generate negative lift force at the rear axle to benefit high-speed handling.
With an increase in specs, we expect gas mileage figures for the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Coupe to differ from the current model. The 382-hp model earns EPA ratings of 20/28/23 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles for 2023, but that may take a slight hit in exchange for the extra power. The standard 13.5-gallon gas tank will likely offer around 300 miles of range, though.
If you’d like something more efficient, the 2024 AMG CLA 35 may be a better choice, as it comes with a new mild-hybrid setup that should improve fuel economy.
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Interior and Cargo
Like with the rest of the car, the interior of the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S gets a few upgrades, but you’ll have to look around carefully to spot them – that’s no bad thing since the interior of the current model is already a great place to be. We think the tech-forward and sporty aesthetic works on the compact four-door coupe, and the dual 10.25-inch screens don’t feel out of place.
The steering wheel is covered in Nappa leather as standard, but a heated version is available for the first time. There are new interior trim options available in dark carbon, open-pore wood, or brown microfiber, but which ones are specifically available to the AMG versions remains to be seen. Interior colors include Black, Bahia Brown, Sage Grey, Titanium Grey Pearl/Black, and Red/Black in the AMG Line specification, which wraps the seats in MB-Tex/microfiber. The AMG Performance Seat options will still be on the menu.
The entire CLA lineup boasts added tech and more standard equipment, with the automaker saying that the Parking Package and Mirror Package will now be standard fare. The infotainment setup obviously runs the latest generation of MBUX with individual display modes, but the telematic system has been revised for a fresher design and optimized performance. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are new for 2024, and the optional Burmester sound system is upgraded with Dolby Atmos. Finally, the optional Driver Assistance Package is enhanced for 2024.
As far as cargo space in the AMG CLA 45 S goes, the 11.6 cubic feet in the trunk will be unchanged. It’s more than rivals offer and the rear seats of the Merc-AMG CLA 45 S can be folded down if you need to fit bigger items inside.