Geneva 2013: Mercedes-Benz

  • A 45 AMG is hottest version of A-Class yet
  • Four-wheel-drive and 355bhp means 62mph in 4.6s
  • Facelifted E-Class and CLA also on show

Cars on show: A45 AMG, facelifted E-Class and CLA

A 45 AMG (Main picture)

Mercedes’ souping-up department, AMG, has got to work on the A-Class hatchback to create the A 45 AMG, a powerful high-performance version.

With 355bhp and a massive 450Nm of pulling power it doesn’t seem quite right to call it a hot hatch, as it promises to be far more serious than that. It’s powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine and is fitted with four-wheel drive to help it put all that power down. It’ll get from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds but will still average more than 40mpg and emit 161g/km of CO2.

Mercedes say it’s aimed at a younger group of customers than you might traditionally see driving a Merc, with a target age range from 30 to mid-40s.

You can read more about the A-Class AMG here: http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/mercedes-benz/a-class/amg-2013/.

Facelifted E-Class

The refreshed E-Class has been given its European debut at Geneva. The most obvious change from the outside is its new face which abandons the old car’s ‘four-eyed’ headlamps for a smoother single lens shape.

Under the surface there’s a lengthy list of safety tech, including Active Lane Keeping Assist and the ability to scan, recognise and brake to avoid pedestrians and other vehicles in an emergency stop situation.

There are new engines too, with better than ever emissions figures as low as 125g/km.

The firebreathing AMG version is on display for the first time in Europe too. The top S-Model churns out a frankly absurd 555bhp and 800Nm of pulling power. It also comes with four-wheel drive as standard, a system which is available as an option for other E-Class AMG models.

More on the new E-Class here.

CLA

Imagine a shrunken CLS and you’ve pretty much pictured the CLA. Based on the A-Class hatch’s underpinnings, it has a coupé-style fastback body but still has four doors. It might be a bit of a squeeze for tall passengers in the back, though.

The basic facts are that you can have it with a diesel or a petrol engine, a manual or an auto transmission and soft, comfy suspension or firm, sporty suspension.

It’s available to order from March with deliveries in June and it’ll cost around £3,000 more than the regular A-Class.

Mercedes is also keen to point out that it’s been hard at work in the wind tunnel, stating that the CLA’s slippery bodyshape makes it the most aerodynamically efficient car on sale today. This contributes to the diesel CLA 220 CDI’s low CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

You can read more about the CLA by clicking here.