Images of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA has been captured by our spy photographers before throughout the course of this year, and here finally it seems we have the first images of the full-blown Mercedes-AMG version of the forthcoming four-door coupe. The latest sighting was at the Nurburgring where the standard CLA was found running tests, whereas now we have images of the top performance model.

At the front, it appears that the high-performance version of the CLA will be distinguished by the Panamericana grille as seen on higher-end models such as the revised AMG GT range, including the GT3 racer. The headlamps naturally follow the CLA suit, while the lower corners appear to have the current AMG signature of two horizontal slats within the air intakes.

Around the back, a much more aggressive rear bumper featuring a diffuser and large, quad exhaust tips aid in giving the CLA a wider, more muscular stance, which is doubtlessly aided by larger wheels and tyres as well as a lower ride height courtesy of its AMG-specific suspension setup.

A turbocharged inline-four will continue to reside under the bonnet of the AMG-fettled CLA, which is set to breach the 400 hp mark in peak output, channeled to all four wheels. It remains to be seen whether the top CLA will keep the CLA 45 nomenclature, or move onwards to a rumoured CLA 50 nameplate. Either way, the top of the CLA class is expected to reach showrooms either late in 2018 or early next year.