The Mercedes-AMG A45 S 4Matic+ is expected to finally officially launch in South Africa later in May 2020 (lockdown-level dependent, of course) but a fresh price hike will see it coming in on the wrong side of R1-million.

When the A45 S first appeared on Mercedes-Benz SA’s configurator back in September 2019, the 310 kW hyper hatch had a starting price of R990 108. At the start of May 2020, however, that figure increased to R 1 067 840.

Of course, we should point out government’s revised (more aggressive) CO2 tax rates recently kicked in, so the new price includes a higher emissions figure of R12 840. We'd venture the exchange rate played a role in the price increase, too, with the rand hitting an all-time low against the dollar in April.

The A35 hatch, meanwhile, now starts at R815 000, with the A35 sedan priced from R834 520. The CLA35's price has increased to R931 640 while the CLA45 S now kicks off at R1 191 480 (which makes it more expensive than the R1 095 920 C43 sedan).

As a reminder, standard features for the SA-spec A45 S include adaptive LED headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, sports seats, the MBUX infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although going for the 10,25-inch display will cost you an extra R11 500), 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloys, tyre-pressure monitoring and red-painted brake callipers.

Ticking the “Edition 1” box now adds R148 900 to the price of the most extreme A-Class, while available packages include a lane-tracking package (R13 300), the AMG aerodynamics package (R26 350), a parking package (R15 800) and the AMG Performance “high-end” seat package (R79 400).

Other interesting options include a panoramic sliding sunroof (R15 800), heated front seats (R5 500), AMG “real performance sound” (effectively, engine and intake noise played through the speakers ... for R6 300), AMG ride control suspension (R23 100) and a Burmester surround sound system (R10 600).

The A45 S employs a turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offering a whopping 310 kW and 500 N.m to all four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. That’s enough, says the Affalterbach-based performance division, for a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 3,9 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h.