Fastest hatch: Latest Mercedes A45 AMG in SA
The refreshed Mercedes-Benz A-Class has just been launched in South Africa, but the real talking-point of the range is the Mercedes A45 AMG 4MATIC. This super-hatch reclaimed its title as the most powerful production hatch after Audi’s RS3 momentarily held that title, but there is more to this car than just numbers.
When this chilli of a hatchback was launched back in 2013, the world sat up. For the first time ever Mercedes handed their A-Class to AMG and the results were phenomenal! A 0–100 km/h sprint that put million Rand supercars to shame, an all-wheel drive system with so much traction it could spin the world anti-clockwise and power tapped from a little 2-litre turbocharged engine… 265 kW, to be precise.
But we all knew that this was only to be the foot in the door and now, two and a half years later, the next iteration of this much-lauded hatchback arrived and again the world is sitting up to take note.
Using the same engine as before, this new Mercedes A45 AMG 4MATIC produces 280 kW and 475 N.m of torque equipped with shorter ratios than before. The end-result is a hatchback that rockets to 100 km/h from standstill in 4.2 seconds – 0,4 seconds faster than before! Still, despite the performance gains, the engineers over at AMG managed to keep fuel consumption down to around 7 l/100 km.
Extracting this much power from an engine can take its strain but Mercedes AMG added numerous high-tech components to allow the engine to perform optimally. For one, spray-guided direct petrol injection allows the correct amounts of fuel to enter the engine at any given moment and this allows for the engine to run at “safe” temperatures and for fuel economy to remain reasonably low. The cooling systems used in the engine were also altered in order for the engine to be both durable and more suitable to track conditions.
The new Mercedes A45 AMG 4MATIC now carries sportier proportions in a compact body. The design is influenced by Benz’s involvement in motor sport and the fins and diffusers are clear highlights of that. The exterior is finished off by new “TURBO 4MATIC” lettering on the front wings and a choice of four light-alloy 19-inch wheels. Suspension geometry has been tweaked and a limited slip differential divvies up the most traction.
The Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC carries a base price of R683 600 but expect to pay closer to R750 000 for one with a few optional niceties.