Mercedes-Benz’s AMG off-shoot has confirmed the upcoming A45 AMG will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva motor show - a year after standard versions of the German car maker’s new A-class first appeared in public.
The BMW M135i rivaling hatchback marks AMG’s first ever foray into Europe’s toughly fought hot hatch market, with Mercedes-Benz officials confirming right hand drive UK sales are planned to get underway in July 2013.
Pricing is yet to be announced but Autocar understands the A45 AMG will sell for around £36,000, with an optional performance package set to add a further £3000.
Pictured here in final prototype form wearing only light disguise across the lower section of its front bumper, the A45 AMG’s appearance has already been previewed by the AMG Sport styling package available on all new third-generation A-class models. Helping to provide the new car with an added touch of visual aggression is a set of standard 18-inch multi spoke wheels shod with 235/40 profile Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, lowered ride height and twin trapezoidal shaped chromed tail pipes.
Powering AMG’s first ever hatchback is a new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine developed by AMG engine boss, Fritz Eichler. Known under the codename M132, the new unit is based around parent company Mercedes-Benz’s M274 engine of the same capacity – as used in the recently launched A250 CGI.
Running a twin scroll turbocharger with a maximum 1.8 bar of boost pressure, the transversely mounted engine is claimed provide the A45 AMG with 349bhp at 6600rpm together with 332lb ft of torque - an increase of 141bhp and 111lb ft over the A250’s less heavily tuned powerplant. By comparison, the M135i’s turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine kicks out 316bhp and the same 332lb ft.
Power is channeled to all four wheels via a seven speed dual clutch gearbox conceived and produced in-house at Mercedes-Benz’s gearbox plant near Stuttgart in Germany. It works in combination with a multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system developed in co-operation with Austrian based production and engineering specialist Magna.
Mercedes-Benz officials suggest the A45 AMG will reach 62mph from standstill in 5.1sec with top speed limited to 155mph in standard trim and 168mph when running the optional performance package. Combined average fuel consumption is said to be above 40mpg.
Underpinning the new entry level AMG model is a modified version of the standard A-class’s MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension. It has been lowered by around 25mm and receives thoroughly reworked elastokinematic prototypes, with new springs, dampers, bushes and anti-roll bar tuning. The A45 AMG also adopts the same front-end layout used by the A250. It uses different wheel bearings than other third-generation A-class models to provide a wider track.