The first pictures of the most menacing version of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA have burst onto the worldwide web ahead of the car's debut at the New York Motor Show next week.

The company hasn't parted with any official information, but it goes without saying that the CLA 45 AMG will share its inner workings with its A-Class sibling.

This means it'll be shunted along by the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world, a hand-assembled 2-litre direct-injection turbopetrol unit that's credited with 268kW at 6000rpm and 450Nm from 2250rpm.

The engine shifts its potency to all four wheels via a seven-speed DCT dual-clutch gearbox with flappy paddles and three selectable driving modes. Activate the Race Start launch control and the A 45 AMG will allegedly get to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds - expect the CLA 45 to post similar numbers.

As the pictures portray, the CLA 45 gets an AMG body styling kit and all the necessary interior addenda, while a pretty impressive AMG sports suspension system is also on the cards.

The ordinary CLA models are due to reach South Africa in early November this year; hopefully the AMG will not be much further off.