HG Motorsports Mercedes CLA250 Stage 1 Reviewed

HG Motorsports started their history as an official Mercedes-Benz service specialist in San Diego back in 1969. Located  at a prime and historic location near downtown La Jolla’s beach area, famous for their great food, sea lions basking in the sun, kayaking, beautiful cars, Black’s Beach and UC San Diego.

We borrowed the HGMS CLA250 project vehicle. They have a couple test subjects they are continuously working on. This one was being replaced with another CLA250 Stage 2 under going testing. More on that in a future review. They also have a CLA45 AMG that we will hopefully get to test. Our base for comparison is our Projekt VW MK6 GLI. The MK6 GLI is very similar in dimensions and motor output.

This was our first time driving the new CLA chassis. Mercedes has positioned the CLA for younger car enthusiasts. We’d like to talk a little about the chassis itself and also the modifications HGMS has done to this one. The only major thing I can say bad about this CLA250, is the rear headroom entry/exit is a little tough. Once your inside, the CLA is a great place to be.


The Mercedes CLA is a unique car. It brings the styling from the larger CLS and puts it in a price point for the masses. They sliced in a well rounded 2.0 liter turbo motor into the chassis to give it sufficient power and efficiency for the everyday drive.

A set of Brabus lowering springs were coupled with the factory dampers to provide a firmer and lower ride. This creates a nice balanced vehicle. Comfortable but firmed up around corners. Brabus shifter paddles were added to make it easier to find gears via the steer column shifter.

hg_cla250_4hg_cla250_3HG Motorsport uploaded the Jailbreak Tuning Stage 1 software to this CLA250. To compliment the added tuning of the ECU, HG Motorsport performance intake and  exhaust system were installed. Combined with intake system, exhaust system results in an increase of 42 hp and 43 ft/lb torque at the wheels. This was measured on the in-house HG Motorsport Dynojet dynamo-meter.

The driving dynamics of the HGMS CLA250 is balanced. It is firm enough for spirited driving and soft enough when hitting bumps in turn. It’s a confident experience, perfect for a daily driven touring car. The power delivery comes on strong and pulls almost to redline. The power comes on strong around 2,000 rpm and has a wonderful linear feel til almost redline.

The torque of this 2.0 liter turbo is excellent. It has plenty of grunt almost anytime you need it. Not overbearing, even for a FWD car like this CLA. It comes on strong and stays. The transmission shifts smooth and quick. The combination is excellent. CLA250 Jailbreak tune


HRE FlowForm FF01 wheels in satin red wrapped with Pirelli Pzero tires were mounted. The addition of Ki Studios vinyl work round off this CLA250 that started as a ordinary mans car, into a weekend racers car. Oddly, people thought I was driving a $100k car when I drove it around town, might want to thank it’s older bigger brother the CLS.

The Stage 1 configuration of the HG Motorsports CLA250 is great setup for those wanting a sensible car with plenty of potential for spirited weekend driving or Targa Trophy rally events. And if the Stage 1 isn’t enough for you, there’s always Stage 3.


2014 Mercedes CLA250

Blacked out grille and trim
Brabus lowering spring
Brabus shift paddles
Jailbreak Tuning Stage 1
HG Motorsports Quad-tip Exhaust
HG Motorsports Intake system
HRE Wheels FF01 19×8.5 Satin Red
Pirelli PZero Tires
Custom pinstripe by KI Studios
Tinted headlights and taillights