Wait, what? Another 4-cylinder Mercedes-Benz? And an AMG-tuned one at that? Mercedes-Benz made the performance version of their new A-class official today at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, drawing in more hype about downsizing the brand and making AMG more accessible. And though it may appear to be an unassuming hatchback, this A45 AMG packs a much more serious punch.
Amazingly, a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo sits under the hood of this AMG-badged compact, cranking out an impressive 355 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft of torque. But the performance additions don’t end there. This A45 AMG is available with a 7-speed DCT transmission (with paddle shifters), and the “Race Start” option allows for maximum 0-60 acceleration under launch control (4.6 seconds). Mercedes-Benz even went ahead and installed their famous 4MATIC AWD system, albeit tuned for more sporty driving, to provide maximum grip in those tight corners.
The A45’s body also sees notable improvements over the standard A-class. The traditional AMG split front grill fades into rectangular cooling ducts along the front bumper, and an AMG-specific body kit lowers stance and widens wheel wells. And of course, no AMG Mercedes would be complete without a gorgeous rear diffuser accented by large exhaust tips. Buyers will also be able to add the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package, giving front, side, and rear inserts a great looking touch of carbon fiber.
This A45 AMG is one seriously engineered subcompact. After all, its 2.0-liter, hand-built turbo engine is the most powerful of any I-4 turbo on Earth, and the already spectacular AMG 7-speed DCT is more suited to a Le Mans racer than a small sedan. Competition, including the Euro-specific Audi S3 Sportback and BMW 135i hatchback, is stiff, so the A45’s success is no shoe-in. Mercedes-Benz has really gone out on a limb with this new A45, and with such a small market for hyper-performance subcompacts, it remains to be seen how the public reacts to the newest German “hot hatch.”
TFLcar did catch the A45 AMG as a test mule high altitude testing in the Rocky Mountains last year. However, there is no official word on whether the A-class and this A45 AMG will ever make it to the American shores for sale. So here are Roman and Nathan playing with another Mercedes in the Rocky Mountains.