While the appetite for a compact, high-performance four-door Mercedes-AMG has been whetted somewhat with the debut of the A 35 sedan, we now have a better, less obscured view of the sleeker, full-fat Mercedes-AMG CLA 45, which our spy photographers have spotted testing in Germany.

Our spy photographer sources note that the CLA 45 will feature in two forms; a base version with more than 395 hp, as well as a CLA 45 S variant with 416 hp – just like its A 45 sibling. An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4Matic all-wheel-drive are expected to handle the turbocharged four-cylinder’s outputs, and the latter is also expected to offer a ‘drift mode’ as with the A 45 and the E 63 S further along the family tree.

Along with the requisite aggressive visual treatment that will denote a top-of-range AMG, the forthcoming CLA 45 appears to follow in the tracks of the A 45 hatch in employing quad circular exhaust outlets in place of the rectangular units from the generation before.

Nestled in between these is a diffuser which appears similar to that on the A 45, while the front end of the CLA 45 development car sports the Panamericana grille and deep intakes within the front bumper for that junior AMG GT 4-Door look. Elsewhere, the CLA 45 also sports a bootlid spoiler, while rolling stock is expected to comprise wheels of a unique design, along with CLA 45-specific suspension setup.