•  CLA45 AMG offers 360horsepower
  •  Muscular styling touches enhance its look
  •  It will include standard all-wheel drive

The 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG has been officially unveiled. Mercedes showed the first image of the sporty sedan in a promotion for DriveClub, an upcoming PlayStation 4 video game.

The CLA45 AMG is based on the all-new CLA-Class, which was revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. It will serve as the model's high-performance variant. That is apparent from the exterior photo, which shows several styling touches common to Mercedes' sporty AMG brand.

The most obvious styling upgrades over the standard CLA include larger wheels and a revised rear bumper. The bumper is flanked by two sculpted vents on either side. The CLA45 AMG also includes a unique rear diffuser and bold dual exhausts.

But most enthusiasts will be more excited about what's under the hood. While the base-level CLA250 will only make around 200 horsepower, the CLA45 is expected to pack a whopping 360 hp. That figure will be supplemented with 332 lb-ft of torque. Both numbers are courtesy of Mercedes' 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which will deliver 0-to-60 miles per hour runs in around 4.5 seconds. Mercedes has not yet announced if a manual transmission will be available.

The CLA45 AMG model's drivetrain also differs from standard CLA models. While the workaday CLA is a front-wheel-drive car, the CLA45 AMG will include standard all-wheel drive. That means better performance and improved handling. It will also eliminate torque steer, which happens when a front-wheel-drive car pulls to one side under heavy acceleration.

Now that photos are official, the CLA45 AMG model's biggest unknown is its price. While the base-level CLA250 starts around $31,000 with shipping, the CLA45 AMG will be the most expensive model in the sedan's lineup. That could mean prices will start as high as $50,000 or more.

The CLA45 AMG will be officially rolled out at this year's New York Auto Show, which runs from March 29 to April 7. We'll be on hand to cover the debut live, providing more photos of the sedan and a host of new information.

What it means to you: No matter where it's priced, the 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG gives buyers a less pricey way to enter its high-performance AMG brand.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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