Currently reading: Merc plans hot AMG A-class
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

See all the latest Mercedes A-class reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Add a comment…
mullogutherum 25 July 2010

Re: Merc plans hot AMG A-class

I like the idea, but the performance target seems modest. Why aim at the Golf R instead of the forthcoming RS3? The pricetag for even an "entry-level" AMG is unlikely to be compelling in this fiercely competitive segment, so it will need one of AMG's typically stonking HP numbers to stand out, e.g. something well north of 300 HP.

ahaus 22 July 2010

Re: Merc plans hot AMG A-class

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.

MrTrilby 22 July 2010

Re: Merc plans hot AMG A-class

Rich boy spanners wrote:
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
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.