The new Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG goes on sale today and will cost from £37,845. And that’s big chunk of bang for your buck in the hot, compact, sub-£40k new car market. It’s true that the German manufacturers are fighting hard to out-do each other in the small-but-quick side of the market, and this first ever 4-cylinder AMG model is throwing some big 360bhp punches.
It’s all about the small, turbocharged petrol engines with these premium compact cars, and Mercedes have tweaked an impressive 360bhp from their 2-litre, hand-built, 4-cylinder motor, with the full whack of horsepower coming at 6,000rpm on the tacho. A huge chunk of torque-twist is ready to for action from between 2,250 and 5,000rpm; all 450Nm of it.
These serious engine stats would smoke the rubber on a rear-wheel drive car and through the front wheels it’d likely be a torque-steer disaster. So, four-wheel drive it is. The Mercedes A 45 AMG uses a AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission and AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive set up to make the most of the horses on tap.
All this torque and 4×4 grip fires the smallest AMG model to 62mph in 4.6 seconds, with the top speed limited to 155mph. And because it’s a relatively small-capacity engine the economy stats read quite respectably. Mercedes quote a combined economy figure of 40.9mpg, with CO2 at a very decent 161g/km. Rapid, but without being ridiculous on fuel.
AMG are all about the sporting end of the Mercedes-Benz range and this very special A Class gets the right AMG knowhow in the right places to deal with that 360bhp motor. That’s uprated brakes, suspension springs and dampers, and a juicy set of AMG twin-five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels all round, as standard. Those that prefer non-standard can pick from five wheel designs in either 18 or 19 inches, while eight body colours are also offered. The bumper, front splitter and blacked-out front grille are also A 45 AMG-only items, as is the quad-detail exhaust system.
The front seats in this AMG are just gorgeous; heavily sculptured and featuring special red stitching and a carbon fibre-effect finish to the upholstery when it’s not nappa leather. The dash area also gets a race-ready carbon finish, as well as plenty of AMG badging and an AMG sports steering wheel
All-important connectivity and infotainment is taken care of by standard kit that includes an AMG electronic display and a DAB radio with iPod and Bluetooth connections. But, there’s likely to be little on the radio that’ll sound as good as this turbo’d AMG unleashed.
By Dan Anslow