Hot AMG version of next-gen A-class due in 2012; 320bhp turbo 2.0 engine
16 December 2010

Mercedes-Benz is planning to enter the hot hatch market in 2012 with a 320bhp AMG-badged A-class.

The hot AMG version of the new, third-generation A-class will have a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive. It is being developed by Mercedes’ AMG performance arm under the direction of its new boss, Ola Källenius.

The hot A-class is due on sale in the UK in September 2012. It will be priced to compete with the Audi RS3, Volkswagen Golf R and an M Sport-badged, turbocharged four-cylinder version of BMW’s second-generation 1-series hatchback — which suggests that it could be around £35k.

The new A-class will be based on Mercedes’ MFA (Modularen Frontantriebs-Architektur) platform — a newly developed unitary construction structure that ditches the heavy and expensive ‘sandwich floor’ of today’s model.

Codenamed W176, the car is radically different from its tall predecessor. It takes on a much lower and more conventional two-box silhouette, overlaid with taut surfacing and styling cues first seen on the F800 Style concept car.

The racy new look will be previewed on a concept at next year’s Shanghai motor show. It is designed to attract a younger customer than today’s A-class.

The look will be further embellished on the AMG version by uniquely styled bumpers, pronounced sills, chromed tailpipes and 18-inch wheels. 

AMG had planned to use a 2.0-litre, direct injection engine running an electrically operated turbocharger from Swiss firm Hyprex. But concerns over its complexity and related production costs have forced a switch to a more conventional powerplant using a mechanical twin-scroll turbo.

Insiders with knowledge of the 2.0-litre, aluminium-block engine suggest that AMG’s powertrain department is aiming for a power output in excess of 300bhp. One source told us: “Something in the region of 320bhp is realistically possible with the technology at hand.”

By providing the car with a new six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox and a Haldex-style four-wheel drive system with a multi-plate clutch, Mercedes is hoping to dispel any concerns about traction. But in a bid to provide the A-class AMG with the dynamics to match its badge, the new driveline will feature a positive rear-drive bias, together with an electronically operated torque-vectoring clutch to juggle drive between each of the rear wheels.

Although the AMG is likely to grab much of the attention surrounding Mercedes’ future entry-level model, standard versions of the A-class will also get new engines.

Today’s 1.5-litre, 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel four-cylinder engines are on their way out, because they are unsuitable for the non-sandwich platform.

In their place, Mercedes plans to use a combination of existing in-house units and new small-capacity engines from alliance partner Renault. Over time, the line-up will eventually include turbocharged 1.2-litre, 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre direct injection petrol engines, along with 1.6-litre and 2.2-litre common-rail turbodiesels.

All of the new powerplants will come, as standard, with automatic stop-start and brake energy recuperation systems as part of Mercedes’ BlueEfficiency programme.

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Comments
15

16 December 2010

An electronically operated turbocharger? So a supercharger run off an electric motor - as how would a turbo-charger working of exhaust gases be electronically operated? Or am I being stupid?

16 December 2010

Is somebody having a laugh? This car is exactly the same as the new 1 series image from last week with a different front grille?!!!!

16 December 2010

[quote theonlydt]

An electronically operated turbocharger? So a supercharger run off an electric motor - as how would a turbo-charger working of exhaust gases be electronically operated? Or am I being stupid?

[/quote]

Autocar is wrong, Hyprex/Comprex is not a kind of turbocharging, it's a pressure wave supercharger - a solution similar to that found in Mazda 626 2.0 D. It's a shame that Merc has abandoned this project...

16 December 2010

[quote Autocar]Mercedes-Benz is planning to enter the hot hatch market in 2012 with a 320bhp AMG-badged A-class.

[/quote]

As another poster pointed out a few days ago , this means the new A-class range will need to be extra-strong and extra-heavy with extra-big wheel arches to accomodate the 320bhp version , that few people will actually want to buy anyway.

16 December 2010

With its main rivals unveiling ultra hot-hatches,it should be no surprise that Mercedes want a piece of the action.

16 December 2010

[quote Uncle Mellow]

[quote Autocar]Mercedes-Benz is planning to enter the hot hatch market in 2012 with a 320bhp AMG-badged A-class.

[/quote]

As another poster pointed out a few days ago , this means the new A-class range will need to be extra-strong and extra-heavy with extra-big wheel arches to accomodate the 320bhp version , that few people will actually want to buy anyway.

[/quote] Why would it? Is the Ford Focus range extra strong and extra heavy with extra big wheel arches to accommodate the 350 bph Focus RS500? Is the Mitsubishi Lancer 1.8 GS, significantly different to the FQ360. AMG will just create changes to the standard car as required to fit the upgraded parts just as they normally do.

16 December 2010

[quote Autocar]Mercedes-Benz is planning to enter the hot hatch market in 2012 with a 320bhp AMG-badged A-class.

The hot AMG version of the new, third-generation A-class will have a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive. It is being developed by Mercedes’ AMG performance arm under the direction of its new boss, Ola Källenius.

The hot A-class is due on sale in the UK in September 2012. It will be priced to compete with the Audi RS3, Volkswagen Golf R and an M Sport-badged, turbocharge...Read the full article[/quote] This looks like it was inspired by Bernie Ecclestones RED BULL 80th Birthday Zimmer Frame. Good for a quick laugh, not much good for anything else. How can Mercedes turn out such fine mid-range execs and such dire stuff lower down the order. I'd rather have a base Citroen C1 than this rubbish.

16 December 2010

[quote theonlydt]An electronically operated turbocharger? So a supercharger run off an electric motor - as how would a turbo-charger working of exhaust gases be electronically operated?[/quote] They have used the word turbocharged when they mean supercharged. Both types spoken of in the article are superchargers, driven by the engine mechanically or electrically, not exhaust gas driven turbochargers.

16 December 2010

[quote Citytiger] Why would it? Is the Ford Focus range extra strong and extra heavy with extra big wheel arches to accommodate the 350 bph Focus RS500?[/quote]

Yes it is.

16 December 2010

All these £25k+ hot hatches are ridiculous.

£35k for this lump?

I would rather just have a 335i or an S4

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I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

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