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2013 New York Auto Show - Part III

 

 

 

 

Mercedes-Benz

 

B-Class Electric

 

 
 
The B-Class will be the first all-electric from the Mercedes brand in the U.S. when it arrives in early 2014. It won’t be the first front-wheel drive, as the CLA-Class will get here this Fall.

 

 
 
On paper, the B-Class resembles nothing more than the Ford C-MAX (188 or 195 horsepower). With a 134-horsepower motor it might seem that the B-Class will not be very lively, but without a final curb-weight we can’t predict its acceleration. Diesel B-Class models in Europe weigh about 3150 pounds, but the battery pack and U.S. spec bumpers and other homologation may increase that significantly. The 228 pound-feet of torque on the other hand should launch it pretty well from a dead stop.

 

 
The little wagon shape may not be ideally suited for the U.S. market’s tastes, but it is suited for placement of a large battery in the floor while still leaving a decent luggage space.

 

 
Mercedes is estimating a range of 115 miles on a full charge. This will, of course, vary with weather, traffic and driving style. Obviously, a lot of time stuck at traffic lights shouldn’t affect range, unless you need the heater or air conditioning. Cold temperatures will also reduce range regardless of heater use. The B-Class Electric will use regenerative braking to recapture some braking energy.

 

 
If the battery becomes totally discharged, it can be temporarily rejuvenated by placing ground unicorn horn and kitten tears in a small  reservoir  under the hood. [Not true. - Ed)


CLA45 AMG

 


The CLA-Class was revealed during the Detroit Auto Show in January. Now, New York gets the smoking, tattooed, tough older brother. The CLA45 AMG uses the same 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as his smaller, more polite brother, the CLA250. But the CLA45 AMG turns the boost up to 11, well, actually 26.1, psi. This results in 355 horsepower, what MB rightly claims is the highest specific (for the engine size) horsepower for a production engine. That is quite a jump from the 208 horsepower in the CLA250.

 

 
Now crazy, high output turbo four cylinders are hardly a new thing. In fact they go back to the Eighties. Gear-heads can quote the 291 horsepower in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo’s 2.0 liter, or the 305 horsepower in the WRX STI.

 

 
Year

 

Vehicle

 

Engine

 

Boost

 

Horsepower

 

1980

 

Lotus Esprit

 

DOHC 2.0 4-cylinder

 

9 psi

 

210 HP

 

1984

 

Dodge Daytona Turbo

 

SOHC 2.2 4-cylinder

 

6.5 psi

 

142 HP

 

1984

 

Ford Mustang SVO

 

OHV 2.3 4-cylinder

 

14 psi

 

175 HP

 

1985

 

Porsche 944 Turbo

 

SOHC 2.5 4-cylinder

 

11 psi

 

217 HP

 

1985.5

 

Ford Mustang SVO

 

OHV 2.3 4-cylinder

 

15 psi

 

205 HP

 

1986

 

Shelby GLHS

 

SOHC 2.2 4-cylinder

 

12 psi

 

175 HP

 

1989

 

Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

 

DOHC 2.0 4-cylinder

 

12 psi

 

180-195 HP

 

1992

 

Dodge Daytona R/T

 

DOHC 2.2 4-cylinder

 

11 psi

 

224 HP*

 

1995

 

Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

 

DOHC 2.0 4-cylinder

 

12 psi

 

210 HP

 

2002

 

Subaru WRX

 

DOHC 2.0 flat 4-cylinder

 

13.5 psi

 

227 HP

 

2008

 

Chevrolet Cobalt SS

 

DOHC 2.0 D.I. 4-cylinder

 

15 psi

 

260 HP

 

2014

 

Mercedes CLA45 AMG

 

DOHC 2.0 D.I. 4-cylinder

 

26.1 psi

 

355 HP

 

 
Obviously, if this much power were sent through the front wheels alone the steering wheel would twist the driver’s arms off and the car would cram itself in the ditch the first time the driver floors it, so 4Matic All-Wheel Drive is standard as it is on many new AMG cars. The CLA45 AMG also uses a dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. Functioning like an automatic, its innards more closely resemble a manual, with much quicker shifts and less power loss than a traditional automatic transmission. It also boosts “RACE START,” a feature that makes launching the tiny hotrod without bogging down or turning the tires into ash fully automated. Mercedes claims 0 to 60 MPH in 4.5 seconds.

 
 

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