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The answer is actually: ‘sensationally’.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting BrakeFollowing in the considerably successful footsteps of the A 45 AMG, CLA 45 AMG and GLA 45 AMG models, Mercedes-Benz have now released the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake – their fourth high-performance compact car. With an output of 265 kW (360 hp) and peak torque of 450 Newton metres, the 2.0-litre turbo engine is the world's most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake in all its gloryNot only is the name pretty out there in the avant-garde world, but the “unique interior concept and its unrivalled mix of thrilling driving dynamics, excellent everyday usability and tremendous individuality” means that the whole concept of the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake is contained in that bracket too, offering yet another highly attractive means of entering the fascinating world of AMG.

"The continued high demand for our high-power compact models more than justifies our decision to launch another exceptionally dynamic high-performance car in the form of the new CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake," remarked Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "This means that Mercedes-AMG now boasts the most varied model line-up in this segment. The CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake serves up an enthralling blend of supreme power and dynamic handling on the one hand plus efficiency and everyday practicality on the other, all beautifully packaged within an extraordinary design."

As stated previously, this is the fourth high-performance compact car to come from the Mercedes-AMG stable, and takes great delight in adopting the same philosophy as the successful CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake i.e. a sports car with five seats and a large tailgate, yet still managing to cling on to style with a cool attitude that’s right in touch with the times. There is a role out there for this five-door newcomer to connect with individual, extravagant trendsetters and connoisseurs alike with the design and dynamic performance of this compact-sized Shooting Brake from AMG being able to satisfy even the most discerning demands.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake takes to the roadTHE MASTER MIX

Somehow, Mercedes-Benz has managed to take the obvious sporty & progressive looks with a gently sloping roofline down towards the rear, the low-set cabin, the long bonnet, the exaggerated & high beltline and the dynamically styled tail end, and made it fit into an everyday practicality suitcase too! Because of the versatile luggage compartment with a maximum capacity of 1354 litres and an increase in headroom when comparing it to the four-door coupé, the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake is “the perfect companion for day-to-day driving.”

Yet it is still as near as damn perfect for following all those outdoor pursuits that crop up with increasing regularity, and will undoubtedly be an in demand model for the target group of the physically active market that enjoys a design-oriented lifestyle and is constantly on the lookout for new trends.

And they will be impressed with the power behind the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake as it features the most powerful series-production turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the world, generating a remarkable 133 kW (181 hp) per litre of displacement and an acceleration from standing to 62mph of just 4.7 seconds. Yet the fuel consumption of just 6.9 litres for every 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) somehow bucks the power vs consumption trend – a tribute to the efficiency standards set and achieved by Mercedes-AMG.

The high-performance AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine belongs to the BLUEDIRECT family, an as such features spray-guided direct petrol injection courtesy of the piezo injectors that are positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers with an injection pressure of 200 bar. This combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition helps the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake to improve its fuel economy and at the same time significantly increase its thermodynamic efficiency – and therefore reduce the exhaust emissions; so much so that the car already complies with the Euro 6 emissions standard, including the limit for maximum particulate emissions that comes into force from 2016.

The engine has already picked up awards at the "Engine of the Year Awards 2014" by winning the "New engine 2014" and "1.8-litre to 2-litre" categories, and features a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum de-throttling of the exhaust system and an innovative new injection strategy that also work together  to reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake side viewTHE MODE MIX

Featuring an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with three distinct transmission modes, a double-declutching function dependent on the transmission mode and a RACE START function for optimum acceleration gives the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake some power and a half. Able to withstand spontaneous gear shifts without losing any tractive power, the car benefits from a tailor-made control strategy based on the AMG SPEEDSHIFT functions, allowing for extremely smooth gear shifts, and a high level of efficiency. That’s not to say that the shift times in the manual mode "M" and the sport mode "S" aren’t extremely sporty – THEY ARE!.

In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), the ECO start/stop function comes into play, helping to increase the smoothness of the transmission and supporting a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style – and there’s even a "Momentary M mode" – previously seen in the new Mercedes-AMG GT sports car that is designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment.

Needless to say, you can be guaranteed that the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake  has the highest standards when it comes to sports suspension, the braking system and the AMG Sport speed-sensitive steering.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake rear viewTHE SPORTY MIX

The CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake, as you can see from the pictures, is created with a sporty and progressive design. The radiator grille includes some outstanding AMG lettering and twin louvre in matt titanium grey, with the large air intakes on the outside framed by prominent black surrounds. As standard the vehicle features 5-twin-spoke light-alloy 18” wheels painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and 235/40 R 18 tyres.

Athleticism is highlighted by the elongated roof line that slopes down towards the rear and the roof spoiler with its special trailing edge is exclusive to the range-topping AMG model. This reduces the lift that can occur at high speeds, thereby improving roadholding at the rear axle. And staying at the rear you can see that the sports exhaust system's chromed twin tailpipes are integrated into the black diffuser insert.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake An air of dynamism and exclusivity in the interior, too

Inside the dynamism continues in both technology and style with classy touches including sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting top-stitching, red designo seat belts, a flat-bottomed multifunction sports steering wheel with shift paddles, the AMG DRIVE UNIT in the centre console, longitudinal-grain aluminium trim, five galvanised air vents with red rings and an instrument cluster in 2-tube look with the central colour display incorporating the AMG main menu that includes RACETIMER and the AMG start-up screen.

Amongst the standard specification you will find: Adaptive Break, Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist, Active bonnet, AMG door sill panels in brushed stainless steel at front, AMG floor mats, Bi-xenon headlamps, Audio 20 USB multimedia system and brushed stainless steel sports pedals

The CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake will be making its show debut in March 2015 at the Geneva International Motor Show.