The Mercedes-AMG A 45 will once again become the world’s most powerful hot hatch when the new model arrives in 2019, dethroning the 394bhp Audi RS 3. Following on from the launch of the standard A-Class and the 302bhp AMG A 35 variant, the A 45 will top the range and Mercedes has given us our first official glimpse of what’s in store.
In a Christmas-themed teaser video released on the Mercedes-AMG Youtube channel, the new A 45 is shown strutting its stuff on a cold and slippery test track. The disguised car shows off its hooligan side with plenty of oversteer and cone crushing antics suggesting an advanced all-wheel drive system has been installed to faciltate drifts and boost driver appeal. We can also clearly see the extentended wheelarches front and rear, along with the tell-tale quad ehhaust pipes and the large roof spoiler that mark it out as the new performance flagship for the A-Class range.
AMG saw huge success with the old 376bhp version of the A 45; its importance has meant that AMG boss Tobias Moers and his team have been given the green light to develop an entirely new car based on the new A-Class platform.
“We’ve started working on the next generation, and it’s a blank piece of paper for my engineers,” Moers told Auto Express in 2017.
The previous generation AMG A 45 was the world’s most powerful hot hatch for a time, with its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo producing 355bhp at launch, before subsequently being boosted to its 376bhp output. However, Moers has hinted the new car will be even more powerful as when asked whether the figure would be above 400bhp, he replied: “Yes, I think so.”
Like the current model, the next A 45 will stick with its four-wheel drive and dual-clutch gearbox powertrain. We’ve already sampled the junior hot hatch in the new A-Class range and the 302bhp A 35 gives us reason to expect big things from the A 45 model. The expected power figure of over 400bhp would mean a specific output of more than 200bhp per litre that’s currently unmatched in a production car.
While the A35 gives Mercedes a rival for the Audi S3 and BMW’s hottest 1 Series, the 335bhp M140i, the A 45 is very much targeted at the top echelon of performance hatchbacks with the Audi RS 3 and the BMW M2 Coupe in the firing line.
“The A-Class works well for us”, said Moers. “There was a business case for it, it has been selling and the board has been happy with us. It’s not just one car, either; it’s four, with the A 45, CLA 45, CLA 45 Shooting Brake and GLA 45. This gives us the freedom to move forward into the future, with the next generation.”
We expect to see the new Mercedes-AMG A 45 in the early part of 2019 with a price tag in the region of £45,000.
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