AMG have announced that they are going to release three new models based on the Mercedes A-Class. The AMG A45 is the first of these and is set to undercut the competing Audi S3 in price. It’s estimated to be priced at around the £40,000 or less.
An A-Class AMG, Seriously?
The A-Class won’t be some sort of dummed down AMG, it will be every bit as tuned and performance orientated as the rest of the AMG range. Don’t be fooled, you can expect to see it churning out 350bhp, 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (which is ever so slightly faster than the RS3 – now out of production). According to AMG’s head-of-development, Tobias Moers, the A45’s Nurburg lap time was very good indeed, possibly better than the BMW 1M (the A45’s other closest rival which completed the lap in 8 minutes 15 seconds). The exact official specification is yet to be unveiled.
The engine is a mere 2.0 litres and to reach its acclaimed 350bhp and 331 lb ft it has been graced with a very potent turbo charger. It has so much power/ cylinder volume that it is said to have the highest specific output of any road car. To deliver all this torque and power effectively however, they had to develop a 4WD system; AMG had their work cut out converting the standard A class model into a 4WD machine.
A further worry for Moers was the danger of there being too much frontal weight due to the short wheelbase and front engine nature of the A-Class. To tackle this there had to be a complete redesign of the suspension as well as chassis modifications. The A-Class is comfortable to ride on the road and grippy on the track with its 7 speed dual clutch transmission. The 4WD system also makes sure your cornering is sublime.
Compared to the competition?
At 40,000 the A45 will not be in the same price range as other hot hatches such as the Ford ST, VW Golf GTi, Renault RS, VXR’s and so on, but it is in an entirely different league. It’s an AMG, so rather than getting 200 bhp out of your 2.0 litre, you’re getting a full 350bhp which is closer to the limited edition Ford RS 500 (which produced 350bhp from a 2.5 l engine) .
With such a highly anticipated specification, it should blow even its closest competitors, the RS3, RS3-based Golf R and BMW M1 out of the water. You’re also looking at a car which sips its juice with a 40mpg fuel consumption. It may be a hatchback, but get some motor insurance quotes before buying, as it has got the AMG badge after all.