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Mercedes CLA45 AMG Intake R&D, Part 1: Stock System and Initial Prototyping

Interested in picking up our Mercedes CLA45 intake system? Check out our product page for more details.

Mishimoto Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Performance Air Intake

 

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The CLA45 AMG ticks all the boxes for what you want to see in a performance-oriented luxury sports vehicle. Drop-dead styling, incredible engineering, an exhaust tone that promotes eargasms, fantastic seating and ergonomics, and power output substantial enough to post a 12-second quarter-mile run. All these features raised the eyebrows of our engineering team, and we absolutely had to get one into the shop for product development.

CLA45 AMG in shop
CLA45 AMG in shop
CLA45 AMG in shop
CLA45 AMG in shop

We put out feelers on a variety of forums and through our vendor channel, and we received numerous offers from vehicle owners. We eventually worked out a schedule with the gracious owner of this vehicle and set to work developing our first component for the AMG.

CLA45 AMG in shop
CLA45 AMG in shop

Stock Intake System

Before jumping into product design we needed to take a look at the stock intake system. This would allow us to properly evaluate the system to determine where improvements could be made. Below we have a few shots of the stock engine bay.

Stock engine bay
Stock engine bay
Stock engine bay
Stock engine bay

And the stock airbox and intake duct are shown in the image below.

Stock engine bay
Stock engine bay

Next we removed the intake system so we could examine each component and begin organizing our ideas and plans for the Mishimoto intake.

Stock intake removed
Stock intake removed
Stock intake removed
Stock intake removed

Let’s take a look at each individual component and evaluate their functions and locations.

Stock Intake Components

The stock inlet hose routes air from the intake airbox to the turbocharger. It is constructed from a rubber material and is accordion shaped to provide flex during engine movement.

Stock inlet hose
Stock inlet hose
Stock inlet hose
Stock inlet hose
Stock inlet hose
Stock inlet hose

As you can see, this hose is already showing a little oil buildup from the crankcase control valve (CCV) system. Perhaps a catch-can setup is a wise investment for this direct-injected engine! We will be investigating the use of such a product in the near future.

Notice the various ports on top of this hose. Only two ports are used on the AMG, one for the boost pressure solenoid and the other for the CCV system. These will need to be incorporated into our design as well.

The smaller port mounts to the turbocharger compressor inlet, and the larger connection mounts to the airbox velocity stack, which works to provide smooth, laminar airflow through the intake system.

Stock intake velocity stack
Stock intake velocity stack

This piece connects directly to the airbox. The flange is shown in the shot below.

Stock airbox flange
Stock airbox flange

Here is a better image showing the different ports and mounting points built into the factory airbox.

Stock airbox
Stock airbox

The front port on this piece is connected to an air duct that routes fresh air from the front grille area. This duct is shown below.

Stock airbox inlet duct
Stock airbox inlet duct

The rear of the airbox has yet another duct that provides airflow to the cooling heat sink on the ECU and attaches directly to the rear of the airbox. This setup is pretty slick. Airflow coming from the grille provides intake air and also cools the electronics.

Airbox ECU duct
Airbox ECU duct

Within the airbox sits a cylindrical paper air filter. This piece clips into the velocity stack shown in earlier images.

Stock air filter
Stock air filter

And finally, we have the airbox lid that seals the filter completely from the warm engine bay.

Stock airbox cover
Stock airbox cover

That wraps up the stock intake system! It’s quite complex, but we should have no problem coming up with a rendition of our own that flows better and makes a bit more power.

Inlet Hose Design

Our engineering team decided to start our project R&D with the inlet hose. This would then dictate our airbox placement and the rest of our design.

Dimensions were collected from the stock inlet hose using our coordinate measuring machine (CMM) and Romer arm. These basic measurements would provide a starting point for modeling a hose of our own.

Inlet hose on CMM table
Inlet hose on CMM table

Once complete, we printed our design using our 3D printer to check fitment and continue with designing our intake. Check out our 3D piece!

3D-printed intake inlet hose
3D-printed intake inlet hose

Coming Up!

Check back next time for full details on our inlet tube and a look at the full development of our first prototype design.

Thanks for reading!

–John

Interested in picking up our Mercedes CLA45 intake system? Check out our product page for more details.

Mishimoto Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Performance Air Intake

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