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To be honest, the sub-$30,000 Mercedes-Benz CLA was more a theoretical than a real thing. Squeaking in at $100 below that magical threshold, not counting a $925 destination charge, snagging a CLA anywhere near $30k meant exercising extreme self-control with the options catalog.

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UPDATE: As we feared, the CLA Shooting Brake is not currently slated for US availability. The text below has been adjusted accordingly.

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We give BMW a whole lot of grief for its niche-exploiting ways. Check our report on the rumored X2 to see what we mean. But in reality, Mercedes-Benz is very nearly as guilty. The latest batch of evidence supporting the argument is this, the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake.

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Brabus isn't afraid to get under the hood of any Mercedes-Benz to add a pinch more power and sharpen up the exterior, from the tiniest Smart all the way up to the big G-Class SUV. So it should come as no surprise that one of its latest releases is a tweaked version of the Mercedes CLA45 AMG with some red accents and more muscle.

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Simply Irresistible

If working from home these past few years has taught me anything, it's that I genuinely miss commuting. Yeah, you heard me. Maybe it's because, historically, my commutes have always been pretty enjoyable – not like the opening scene from Office Space, one of those stop-and-go-until-the-end-of-time grinds. When I had to drive to an office every day, I always managed to find routes that didn't involve the highway, or at the very least, they incorporated a fun on-ramp or two. In my more recen

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Mercedes-Benz trotted out its CLA45 AMG-based racer at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. We first showed you the sedan in the deluge of news and reveals that precedes most good auto shows, and were blown away by the car, formally known as the CLA45 AMG Racing Series.

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On any given weekend, you can expect to see the Three-Pointed Star racing somewhere. It could be in Formula One, DTM, V8 Supercars or any of the myriad sportscar racing series where customer teams compete in the SLS AMG GT3. But now it looks like Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to add one more.

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Having already driven the new Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, we're just itching to get our hands on its hatchback counterpart, the A45 AMG. Not only has Auto Express driven both cars, it recently pitted them against each other in a head-to-head sibling rivalry throwdown.

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A Really Hot Little GT Plants The Seed For A Better AMG

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Let's get the necessaries out of the way. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG has debuted at the 2013 New York Auto Show, and it brought a 355-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to the party. With 332 pound-feet of torque, Mercedes-Benz says the engine is the "most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder production engine" with a power density of 178 hp per liter.

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It's not terribly difficult to imagine what the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG will look like, or what it will perform like, for that matter. Take the basic recipe that is the recently introduced A45 AMG, throw in a swoopy and devastatingly attractive coupe-like sedan shell, mix and serve.

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