Performance version of Mercedes' new baby promises 270bhp and all-wheel drive

Mercedes-Benz’s AMG operation is preparing to enter Europe’s hot hatch ranks with its own powered-up version of the third-generation A-class.

The new entry-level AMG model aims to challenge rivals such as the next-gen Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R with a combination of supercharged four-cylinder power and four-wheel drive. It is expected to go on sale about a year after standard versions of the new A-class are introduced in 2012.

See Autocar's rendering of the next-generation Mercedes A-class

AMG’s A-class is described as a breakthrough project for Mercedes’ performance car division. “It marks the beginning of a new direction for the company and will expose AMG to a whole new, younger and more dynamic customer base,” says Ola Källenius, AMG’s newly installed boss.

Engineers at the company’s Affalterbach headquarters on the outskirts of Stuttgart are already well advanced on a new four-cylinder engine, which runs both forced induction and the latest multi-cycle direct injection.

Based on Mercedes’ existing M271 EVO unit, it is set to be the first AMG engine to receive wave-pulse supercharger technology developed in partnership with Swiss company Hyprex.

With the Golf R acting as a performance benchmark for the hot A-class, the engine is expected to deliver something in the region of 270bhp and 280lb ft of torque.

Channelling those reserves will be a new dual-clutch gearbox and the multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system that Mercedes-Benz is preparing for the new GLC junior off-roader.

AMG insiders hint that the four-wheel drive system will be specially adapted using unique software to provide a distinct rear-biased apportioning of power.

AMG is expected to launch its version of the A-class in five-door guise first. It is likely to be followed by a larger four-door saloon-coupé version of the new Mercedes — the C117, as previewed by the F800 Style concept at this year’s Geneva motor show.

Exclusive: AMG's new baby saloon

The AMG A-class will be aimed primarily at European buyers. However, the four-door coupé — described as a junior CLS and expected to take the name CLC into production — is set to be marketed aggressively in North America as part of renewed efforts there to attract younger buyers to the Mercedes brand.

Greg Kable

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Comments
11

22 July 2010

They did try this a couple of times before, but never with much success in the UK.

The old W168 A210 went quite well, 140bhp IIRC, and the W169 A200 Turbo offered a Golf GTI rivalling 190bhp. Problem with both cars was they can't cope with the power.

22 July 2010

[quote J400uk]

They did try this a couple of times before, but never with much success in the UK.

The old W168 A210 went quite well, 140bhp IIRC, and the W169 A200 Turbo offered a Golf GTI rivalling 190bhp. Problem with both cars was they can't cope with the power.

[/quote]

mate, you must know the next A-class is entirely different. Merc have wiped the slate clean and ditched the sandwich floor concept and its unique associated engines. with a brand new conventional fwd/4wd platform the engineers at Untertürkheim and Affalterbach can finally go to town on making on-the-pace small powerful engines, that aren't compromised by having to fit into the sandwich-floor platform.

22 July 2010

Might be something, but only if AMG uses the normal 6.2 litre V8.
4-pot engine? Thanks, but no thanks.

22 July 2010

All very well, but if it looks like Autocars rendering then god help it!

Usually Autocars renderings are pretty good. This however looks like a pig. Just my opinion ofcourse.

22 July 2010

[quote Autocar]with a combination of supercharged four-cylinder power and four-wheel drive.[/quote]

[quote Autocar]With the Golf R acting as a performance benchmark for the hot A-class, the engine is expected to deliver something in the region of 270bhp and 280lb ft of torque.

Channelling those reserves will be a new dual-clutch gearbox and the multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system that Mercedes-Benz is preparing for the new GLC junior off-roader.

AMG insiders hint that the four-wheel drive system will be specially adapted using unique software to provide a distinct rear-biased apportioning of power. [/quote]

Sounds good so far...not only will it be able to handle the power, but it should also be fun. Just hope the engine sounds as good as its larger sibling. And I hope they won't cock up the styling...if they get those right, coupled with reasonable pricing of course, they'll have a winner.

However, I do hope they won't completely ditch the sandwich platform...I would like to see it on some other model, because it has proven to be a great packaging solution offering big-car-like amounts of space and safety in a supermini-sized package.

 

- Follow your own star -

22 July 2010

[quote Christian Galea]However, I do hope they won't completely ditch the sandwich platform...I would like to see it on some other model, because it has proven to be a great packaging solution offering big-car-like amounts of space and safety in a supermini-sized package.[/quote] Apparently they will be using it in future as it's perfect for Hydrogen/Electric vehicles as batteries or fuel cells tend to be pretty flat and would fit perfectly in to that sandwich platform.

22 July 2010

I hope it at least gets their petrol (or even diesel) V6 - a four-cylinder AMG? No thanks. I don't care how good it is, an AMG with no exciting soundtrack ain't an AMG. Mind you, it'd be nice if they could turn Merc's four-banger into a rev-happy screaming axe-murderer a la Civic Type R...

Oh, and Merc? You won't have any credibility if you don't offer a manual gearbox and force people down the DSG route...

22 July 2010

The problem with the Merc A Class - from the experience of two that were in the extended family - is that Mercedes charge stupendously high prices for servicing, completely out of proportion for the sector of car that it is. Our local one wanted £470 for a minor service on a boggo standard non-turbo diesel one. Add in $hite build quality on both (a MK 1 and MK 2) and, non-existant after seles service, and well, keep this and I'll buy something that works and isn't sold by smarmy couldn't care less to$$ers.

22 July 2010

[quote Rich boy spanners]The problem with the Merc A Class - from the experience of two that were in the extended family - is that Mercedes charge stupendously high prices for servicing[/quote] I completely agree. Ours cost more to service than our 5 Series. Easily resolved though by finding a friendly specialist, at which point it then cost buttons to run. Our Mk1 was both reliable and well built and it's the only car we regret selling. It's a great shame if they do drop the Tardis like packaging. I didn't give two hoots for its (in)ability to put down 200BHP around a race circuit because we bought it for what it's good at - being an amazingly practical small city car, that with the rear seats removed could shame a Vectra hatchback for load lugging.

22 July 2010

I totally agree. This speculative rendering looks crude and the styling cues are not in line with Mercedes' design language.

Judging from the lastest newly designed models from Mercedes, I'm sure this new A-class will look nice.

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