Competes with: Audi S4, BMW 335is
Looks like: Honey, I shrunk the $95,900 CLS63 AMG into a compact car
Drivetrain: 355-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: November 2013; ordering starts this spring
Mercedes-Benz is looking to redefine what a "pocket rocket" is. The 2014 CLA45 AMG builds on the company's newest and least-expensive CLA-Class by stuffing a 355-horsepower four-cylinder into the four-door coupe. Mercedes says the CLA45's turbocharged 2.0-liter is the most-powerful four-cylinder engine built in a production car; it should propel the CLA45 AMG to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
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No other small sedan crams this much power into an entry-level luxury car. A base CLA-Class starts at $30,825, including a $925 destination charge, while the CLA45 AMG starts at $48,375 including destination charge. The CLA45's 2.0-liter engine uses twin-scroll turbocharging, water-to-air intercooling and a stout 26.1 psi of turbocharger effort to pull off its high horsepower. In traditional AMG fashion, the high-performance CLA45 AMG comes with only an automatic transmission, though the seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission is no ordinary automatic as the style of transmission typically offers lightning quick shifting.