Mercedes-Benz South Africa recently told CARmag.co.za (in writing) it planned to introduce only the base Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA45 locally. But now the local arm of the Stuttgart-based firm has performed a swift U-turn, saying it will in fact offer only the flagship 310 kW “S” models.

So, local hyper-hatch buyers will not have to be content with 285 kW and 480 N.m from the new M139 2,0-litre four-cylinder engine, as originally reported, but instead have access to the full-fat outputs of 310 kW and 500 N.m offered by the S-badged versions.

The decision to go only with the 310 kW versions lines up with Mercedes-Benz SA’s usual policy of offering only “S” models locally (as is the case, for example, with the C63 S, the E63 S and the GLC63 S) and eschewing base versions sold in some overseas markets.

Mercedes-Benz SA says we can expect the A45 S to arrive in South Africa either late in 2019 or early in 2020, with the CLA45 likely to hit local shores in September 2019 (along with the A35 hatchback). The A35 Sedan, meanwhile, is scheduled to touch down in October 2019.

Also read: New Mercedes-AMG A35 in South Africa: check out local pricing…

For the record, the Mercedes-Benz's Affalterbach-based performance division says the A45 will hit 100 km/h from standstill in 4,0 seconds, with the A45 S taking one-tenth fewer at 3,9 seconds. The CLA45 will complete the sprint in a claimed 4,1 seconds, with the CLA45 S again one-tenth quicker at 4,0 seconds.

The top speed of the base models is electronically limited to 250 km/h, while the S variants keep going until 270 km/h (something the A45 and CLA45 can achieve with the optional AMG Driver’s Package fitted). All variants employ an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (complete with launch control) and the German firm’s fully variable 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive arrangement.