Packing 265 kW and an all-wheel drivetrain, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG looks to set the hot hatch segment alight when it arrives here by the third quarter of 2013.
Most powerful production 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine:
The A45 AMG constitutes a number of firsts for the firm; Mercedes’ first proper crack at building a hot hatch, AMG’s first offering that’s smaller than a C63 and the performance division’s first four-cylinder powerplant.
The engine in question is an impressive unit featuring a lightweight aluminium block, twin-scroll turbocharging and with each unit being hand-built by a single AMG engineer. The turbocharged 2,0-litre develops 265 kW at 6 000 r/min and 450 N.m of torque between 2 750 – 5 000 r/min; what the firm claims is the highest specific output from a 2,0-litre engine fitted to a production car.
All-wheel drive and uprated underpinnings:
Coupled with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and a heavy duty version of Mercedes’ 4Matic torque apportioning all-wheel drivetrain, this engine will propel the A45 AMG from standstill to 100 km/h in around 4,2 seconds on the way to an electronically limited 250 km/h top speed. The transmission will feature three preset modes (Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual).
In addition to lower, firmer springs, the A45 features an uprated braking system with 350 mm front and 330 mm rear ventilated discs and revisions to the power steering system that improve precision and feedback.
Inside and out:
The interior features thin-shell AMG sports seats (probably an option in most markets), the now-trademark stubby square gearshifter, and AMG-designed binnacle cluster and red bezels for the eyeball air vents.
As is the norm with AMG models, the A45 has undergone an aggressive exterior treatment that includes a more prominent front air dam, a rear wing, 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/40 profile tyres and a honeycombed rear diffuser apron studded with rectangular dual exhaust tips.
Targeting a more youthful market when it arrives around September:
Mercedes claims that the A45 AMG will target younger buyers looking to get into the AMG motoring experience. It will face stiff competition from such hot hatch staples as the next-generation Audi RS3 and BMW’s M135i when it arrives here around September 2013.