From time to time we take on mini Project Cars here at Vivid Racing. This can be a build of a customers car over time or even an employees car as they are just as into mods as anyone else. The new hot car on the market is the Mercedes CLA. Designed to compete with BMW’s 3 Series, the CLA brings Mercedes comfort and performance to an economical level. The CLA Class is available as a CLA250 or a AMG CLA45. The CLA250 features a 2.0L inline 4 cylinder turbocharged engine making 208 horsepower. The front wheel drive sedan has a 7 speed automated manual gearbox. For someone looking for a great fuel economy turbo sedan, the CLA250 is a great choice. Its competitor would be the BMW 328I. Having 240 horsepower and rear wheel drive, along with a 8 speed gearbox, its argueably a better car. But its big brother the CLA45 has tuners ready to pounce on building aftermarket parts for the chassis. The also 2.0L inline 4 cylinder turbocharged engine is all wheel drive and equipped with 355 horsepower. Having 50 more horsepower than a Subaru STI or Mitsubishi EVO X, its about $10,000 more expensive but makes up for it in many different aspects.
Our VR team member Dado, has himself this 2014 CLA250 as his daily driver and project car. Because the factory ride height and wheels are not sporty enough, these are the first things we will be changing. To keep cost down, comfort a priority, and a bit of handling improvement, Dado chose to go with a set of H&R Springs. The H&R lower the front and rear equally 1.2 inches. When you lower the factory shock, the stroke length is decreased but to prevent the car from bouncing, the spring rates are increased. This gives the car a more balanced ride while improving handling. Having used H&R springs on past Project Cars such as our BMW M5 E60 and BMW M3 E90, the ride of the H&R springs is very nice. With the lower center of gravity, the cars handling is much better. Since the car is front wheel drive, it would definitely benefit from a larger sway bar.
Installing the H&R springs on the Mercedes CLA250 is no different than any other car. As always, having the proper tools and know how are key. Anytime you change the springs or coilovers, you will want to get an alignment as the factory specs go out the window. Removing the factory springs requires pulling out the factory struts. We recommend starting with the fronts then doing the rears. The fronts are much easier being able to loosen the 3 bolts from the strut tops via the engine bay. The rear shock and spring setup requires you to loosen the upper shock bolt to drop the shock from the body. Typically this is obtained via the trunk compartment behind the lining. If you are doing the install yourself, you will want to rent or borrow some spring compressors. The front spring is under load and without spring compressors, removing the spring can cause some serious damage to you, your car, or garage. Remember when you are putting the struts back in to NOT overtighten the strut top bolts. They can easily snap so we recommend using a Torque Wrench. Enjoy the photos and stay tuned for our next update including the Niche 1 piece wheels.
Stock Ride Height
Ready for install
Removing the factory strut and spring
Installing the new front H&R Springs
Remove and replace rear springs
After with H&R Springs Installed
Lowered Measurements Comparison