Welcome to the most-exposed pictures we’ve yet seen of the highly-anticipated compact Mercedes-Benz model, the new A45 AMG. Aside from some black tape on the lower part of the front bumper, the grille edging, the Mercedes-Benz moniker, the centre of the rear diffuser and side skirts, this is a production ready Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in almost all its naked glory.
What separates the A45 AMG’s aero kit from the AMG Sport styling package offered on the regular A-Class hatchback (not on sale in South Africa yet), are the bigger, 18-inch multispoke alloy wheels, the honeycomb grille inserts and the trapezoidal instead of oval tailpipes at the rear. Underneath the body, however, it’s a different story as AMG engineers have made some serious modifications and taken the A250’s 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine, with direct injection and turbocharging technology, to task.
Mercedes-Benz is now saying the AMG engineers have managed to drill so much power out of 2.0-litre turbo engine that it will produce 261 kW and 450 Nm of torque. The standard A250 produces 155 kW, a figure not unworthy of hot hatch status in its own right.
We know Mercedes-Benz pride themselves on playing the toughest power game and it appears they’ve done it once again by out-powering the 235 kW, BMW 135i and 250 kW Audi RS3 Sportback. To harness all the A45 AMG’s brute force, the mad Merc gets a SpeedShift DCT 7-speed sports transmission with dual-clutch technology, which works together with an all-wheel drive system to transfer power to the road.
The chassis of the five-door hatchback has been reworked and features new suspension and steering, a wider track, reworked electronic aids and stronger brakes. Mercedes-Benz is expected to fully reveal the A45 AMG at next year’s Geneva Motor Show, in March. Rumour says it will undercut the Audi RS3 Sportback on price as well, but this might be wishful thinking.