Mercedes A45 AMG gets 330bhp and all-wheel drive offering 0-62mph in 4.9sec. Mercedes claim it will have the fastest cornering speeds in its class
12 June 2012

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed limited details to its most affordable performance model to date – the Mercedes A45 AMG.

Set to go on sale in early 2013, the Audi RS3 and BMW M135i rivaling hatchback sits at the top of the new third-generation A-class line-up at an unconfirmed price that is expected to start at around £35,000 in the UK.

The first series production AMG model with a transversely mounted engine runs a heavily tuned version of Mercedes-Benz’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, as used in the standard A250 Sport set for UK sale by the end of the year.

With a specially developed free flow cylinder head and unique induction system among a myriad of other power boosting modifications, the M270 Evo designated unit is claimed to deliver 330bhp and what AMG describes as "maximum torque significantly above 295lb ft".

Developed in partnership with the German car maker’s High Performance Engine offshoot based in Brixworth, England, the new engine is the most powerful four-cylinder ever placed in a Mercedes production model. 

"Our goal right from the start was to match the output of the larger turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine used by the RS3," says Tobias Moers, head of development at AMG.

By way of comparison, the RS3’s EA255 engine delivers 335bhp and 332lb ft torque, while the M135i, which is powered by an uprated version of BMW’s N55 turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit, pushes out 316bhp and the same 332lb ft. 

As first revealed by Autocar, the A45 AMG channels its drive through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox and, in a layout that mirrors that of the RS3, a specially tuned Haldex-style multi-plate clutch to all four wheels. 

To provide the new car with typical rear-wheel drive AMG handling traits, the engine’s torque is delivered primarily to the rear wheels under load.

No performance claims have been made prior to the A45 AMG’s official unveiling at AMG’s Affalterbach headquarters in Germany this week, but Mercedes-Benz insiders suggest it will match the claimed 0-62mph time of the M135i, which BMW puts at 5.1sec for the six-speed manual equipped version.

The inclusion of fuel saving features such as automatic stop/start and brake energy recuperation also has Mercedes-Benz claiming the A45 AMG will be the most economical car in the hot hatch ranks.

In a bid to provide the price leading AMG model with class leading dynamics – including what one AMG insider described to Autocar as "the highest corner speeds among its rivals", AMG’s engineering team has provided it with a largely unique chassis set-up – the likes of which has undergone extensive testing both on the road and at the Nürburgring. 

The basic components of the MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension are carried over from the A250 Sport but the elastokinematic properties, including the bushes used to attach it to the body structure, have been greatly altered. Other changes include wider tracks, firmer springs and dampers, larger diameter anti roll bars and reduced ride height. 

The standard electro-mechanical steering system has also been reworked for added on-centre sensitivity and a meatier feel, while the brakes have been upgrade with larger crossdrilled and vented discs as well as more powerful calipers.

As with other recent AMG models, the A45 AMG also receives a three stage electronic stability program (ESP) that includes a "sport handling" mode which allows you to turn the electronic safety net off completely.

The A45 AMG is differentiated from standard third-generation A-class models by an extensive body kit. Included is a deeper front bumper, altered grille, widened front fenders, carbonfibre look exterior mirror housings, wider sills underneath the doors, a prominent spoiler atop the rear hatch and new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser element as well as characteristic chromed tail pipes. 

Inside, the new car receives an upgraded interior with unique front sport seats along with more upmarket trims.

Our Verdict

The latest Mercedes A Class apes the successful formula of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series

Can the latest Mercedes A-class's slick conformity outweigh the old model's originality?

Join the debate

Comments
22

13 June 2012

Johnnytheboy,

Not sure both of these do fit your bill - if you don't mind something that would look at home on the school run that has been given a potent 2 litre 4 cylinder motor and a Haldex diff. with maybe some rearward bias the A class may be for you!

But from what you said a 3 litre straight six with turbo, a coupe bodyshell and proper RWD would be a much more appealling proposition.

If I were in your position the M135i would be my only choice! 

12 June 2012

This is a lot more interesting than the Audi and BMW competition.It looks much better than rivals too.I agree with TrivsTom though why not get a real rear drive GT86or BRZ for much less

12 June 2012

A bit like BMW's emminent 135i?......really!?

Peter Cavellini.

12 June 2012

I dont think A45 AMG rolls or the tounge quite as nicely as say S63 AMG or ML63 AMG, anyway sounds like its going to be a seroiusly hot hatch but all the power in the world dosent make it the best drive in the class.

13 June 2012

@Azarian  The reason is that the Veyron's Haldex is a completely different setup. The way that Haldex is most commonly applied (and as it is in the A45, Golf R, TT quattro's) is as a way to provide drive to the rear wheels of what is essentially a FWD transaxle. It does this by taking a driveshaft to a rear mounted Haldex clutch pack which can regulate whether the rear wheel get zero drive variably through to them being locked to the front wheels giving a 50:50 split. As is it impossible to reduce the torque going to the front wheels, 50% is the most RWD bias such a setup can provide (unless the front wheels lose grip). Haldex claim that up to 100% of the drive can be chanelled to the rear wheels but this can only occur when the front wheels have ZERO traction (like when they are no longer on the ground for example). "RWD bias" is technically impossible to achieve with this setup. This sort of Haldex setup is essentially FWD most of the time, with the rear wheels getting engaged as required when the Haldex controller determines that the front wheels may soon be in need of assistance. It's technically very clever, but it's not "true" AWD like the Subaru or Audi Torsen designs which have a centre differential and can apportion more drive to the rear than the front.

RBH58

14 June 2012

I repeat, you will not get RWD bias with this type of Haldex setup. If the front and rear wheels have the same amount of available grip, it's mechanically impossible to push more than 50% of the power to the rear wheels.

RBH58

3 February 2013

Twin Fountains EC has full and unique facilities, which includes a guard house, clubhouse, Function Room & Indoor Gym Tennis Court, 50m Freeform Pool Pool Deck, Wading Pool, Splash Pool & Family Pool Jacuzzi & Hydro Spa, BBQ Area Dining and Play Fountain, Fitness Alcove & Children’s Playground and Garden Trail.

Twin Fountains EC

18 June 2013

DUO Residences is also near to Bugis Junction as well as the buzzling city area. Entertainment for your loved ones and friends is therefore at your fingertips with the full condo facilities as well as the amenities in Bugis.

Bugis Condo

18 June 2013

DUO Residences is also near to Bugis Junction as well as the buzzling city area. Entertainment for your loved ones and friends is therefore at your fingertips with the full condo facilities as well as the amenities in Bugis.

Bugis Condo

24 June 2013

Lush Acres EC will be accessible with Kupang LRT Station as well as Sengkang Bus Interchange. It is also right beside Tampines Expressway(TPE). Lush Acres EC is also near to Marina Country Club, Sengkang Riverside Park and Sheng Siong hypermart in Sengkang Central.

Project Details of Sengkang West EC

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    28 May 2015
    We drive Ssangyong's new small SUV, which isn't up with the best in class but is certainly worth consideration as a budget option
  • Car review
    26 May 2015
    493bhp GT3 RS represents a new level for the Porsche 911 - faint hearts need not apply
  • First Drive
    25 May 2015
    Track drive of Lamborghini's astonishing limited-run special, the Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce
  • First Drive
    21 May 2015
    The DS 5 is hard to pigeonhole but it works as a package. Impressive French-style long-range cruiser, albeit at strong money for an unproven brand
  • Car review
    21 May 2015
    The industry's biggest power makes a plug-in hybrid for the masses